Entertain your friends with a fantastic Brunch!

Brunch is my very favorite way of entertaining my friends and family. It has such flexibility. You can be as simple as to make fresh fruit and eggs or step it up and serve pastries or seafood. Since brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, your ideas are endless. I am going to give you recipes for 2 of my very favorite brunch items. Explore, test, prepare and then entertain your guests with a beautiful array of the best foods brunch has to offer.

Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

cornmeal ricotta pancakes with strawberry rhubarb compote

naked pancakes! quick, put some compote on it!
Pancakes adapted from MJ’s Kitchen

This recipe makes more compote than you’ll have pancakes.

This is okay, in my book, because you can always use the

remaining compote as spread in toasted bread –

never a bad thing. Or you can top shortcake with it, put a

dollop of whipped cream, and voila – perfect summer

dessert ready in minutes! I used buttermilk instead of milk

and doubled the amount of lemon zest,  otherwise,

I stayed true to the recipe as written.

The compote makes about 2 cups
The batter makes about 8 to 10 pancakes

For the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces strawberries ( about 1 cup), hulled and quartered
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in half
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoo baking soda
Zest from 1 lemon
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup  fresh ricotta

Make the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
1. In a nonreactive pot set over medium heat, combine

the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and vanilla. Bring

everything to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and simmer

until the rhubarb is soft, and is about to fall apart, about

15 minutes.

Remove the compote from heat and allow it to cool to room


Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Make the Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes:

1. When ready to make the pancakes, remove the Strawberry

Rhubarb Compote from the refrigerator and set it aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, gently warm the

buttermilk. It will try to separate but just stir it a few times,

especially at the end, it’ll be fine. Do not let it come to a boil –

just warm it until you see tiny bubbles at the surface.

Remove the pot from heat and slowly whisk in the cornmeal so

that it doesn’t clump. Add the pieces of the butter and set it

on top of the cornmeal-buttermilk mixture to melt. Let it rest

until ready to add to the batter.
2. Start to warm a pan or a pancake griddle on medium-

low heat. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F; position the rack

in the middle.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder,

salt, baking soda, and the lemon zest. Whisk together for

1 minute to ensure that the ingredients are well combined.

In another bowl, combine the eggs and the ricotta until

well-mixed. Add the cornmeal-buttermilk mixture and the

eggs-ricotta mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients

and either whisk or stir gently until the batter is just combined.

Do not over-stir. The batter will look thick and slightly lumpy –

it will give you the fluffiest pancakes imaginable.
4. Lightly brush the griddle with the melted butter. Using a

1/4-cup scoop, gently place the batter onto the griddle.

Cook until the bubbles on the surface of the pancakes

will start to pop and not close up, about 3 minutes.

Flip the pancakes and cook until the bottom is golden

brown and the top of the pancake is firm to the touch,

about 3 minutes longer.
5. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a shallow baking sheet

and keep in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes.

Serve the pancakes with the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote,

or warm maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice.

The Best Huevos Ranchero Recipe Ever!


Black Beans

First, let me get my “semi-homemade” moment out of the way and I start by opening a can of beans, but by “beans” I mean Goya’s black bean soup, and no, I don’t feel bad about it. This is my favorite-est shortcut–these guys are so perfect right out of the can–with just the right amount of liquid–I see no reason to trouble myself with cooking and seasoning my own. Or at least not when I have a quick meal in mind.

Salsa Fresca

Next I make a quick salsa fresca with diced tomatoes, some red onion, a minced jalapeno, salt and a good squeeze or two of lime juice. If you’re the cilantro type, you can mix that in as well. With tomatoes in high season right now, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

Corn Tortilla

First you heat a 6-inch corn tortilla in an oiled pan.

When it is golden brown underneath, flip it over. (Don’t worry, you’ll brown it a bit more in a moment.)

Shredded Cheese

Sprinkle some shredded cheddar over the browned side and let it melt a bit. I like to use about half an ounce per tortilla.

The Egg

Break a single egg over the melting cheese.

Don’t worry if it rolls over the edges, that’s all part of the tasty mess of it. Season it with salt and pepper.

When the white is about halfway set (i.e., the edges and some of the egg on the tortilla), flip the whole thing over. For me, this is when the mess always strikes as the yolk is just itching to run off the spatula as I flip it.

Cook it for a few minutes on the other side, flip it back onto a plate and you’re done. All there is left to do is decorate.

Add the good stuff

If you’re Alex, that means a tidy arrangement of salsa fresca, beans, cilantro when we have it, salsa from a jar, extra and several shakes of Tabasco. For me, this means a scattered mess of salsa fresca, beans and sour cream, everything muddling together in a glorious tangle of things that are delicious.

Basic recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Bon Appetit!

4 thoughts on “Entertain your friends with a fantastic Brunch!

  1. mjskit says:

    What a perfect brunch! Your strawberry rhubarb compote is perfect for these pancakes! Will definitely be making it! I’m flattered that you adapted your pancakes from my favorite pancake recipe! Thanks Darlin! Great looking plate of Huevos as well! Your friends should be very happy. 🙂

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