One of the things that I learned from my husband was the tradition of the Sunday dinner. Chris was raised the Texas Hill Country in a little ranching community called Camp Wood. Every Sunday his family would gather around the dinner table and eat the pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans; or something of that nature. The gathering was large and the bill of fare was even larger. He carried that tradition with him when we got married. Now days, on Sundays, we “traditionally” try to get together with our friends to have a “big” meal. We prepare a variety of foods, drink and talk to wile away the afternoon to a small degree of indulgence. We some time ask ourselves, “Ahh, what are the poor people doing today,” then, laughingly, we remember that we probably are the poor people! In spite of that I have to admit that amongst us we can create quite a gourmet feast on the “cheap.” Let me introduce Nathalie to you. She is one of my best friends and she is also a chef. She got her training at Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. Ohh! … and she is French. French and a Chef what better combination! She is the creator of this beautiful feast.
Get a load of this spread; it is a “Calliope of Vittles” that will not disappoint any gourmet-ist. This menu was relatively inexpensive and simple to prepare. We fed nine people with food left over.
- Scramble Eggs ala Natalie
- Hash Browns
- Biscuits and Gravy
- Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Sweet Rolls
- Ham Steaks
- Maple Bacon
- Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage
A number of the items were store bought:
- Ham Steaks
- Maple Bacon
- Jimmy Dean’s Link Sausages
- Trader Joes’ Pumpkin Sweet Rolls
- Pancakes (follow instructions on box)
We followed the manufactures instruction in preparing these items. The rest of the items we prepared ourselves and the recipes follow. Remember that these recipes fed nine people with food to spare. Be sure and moderate your preparations to the number of people who you are serving. If you have questions on portions send a comment and we will respond.
The Ham Steaks, Bacon, Sausage, Sweet Rolls were prepared first and placed in the oven under low heat to keep warm.
Then the preparation of the following took place.
Scramble Eggs ala Nathalie
- 16 Eggs
- ½ cup of grated / sliced Swiss Cheese
- 2 tbsp. Tarragon
- 2 tbsp. Chives
- 1 cup of milk
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Whip up eggs in a big bowl, then combine all the other ingredients and keep whipping until all mixed together. Take a large Teflon pan (to keep from sticking or use a non-stick spray) and pour the mixture in. Cook over a low heat. A pan that is too hot will burn the eggs. Remember you are using milk and milk will scorch if it gets too hot. The Secret to cooking fluffy eggs; low heat first of all but don’t stir the egg mixture. Push it and fold it onto itself. This will allow the eggs to fluff up like clouds. It will not only look for elegant but will taste better as well. Enjoy!!
Biscuits and Gravy
The biscuits were store bought and prepared according to instructions on the container. The gravy was made from scratch. We always recommend making your gravy from scratch. It is easy and the ingredients are simple. Store bought gravies is always too salty or over seasoned.
- ½ package Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage –chopped up.
- ½ Onion – chopped
- 2 tbsp. Flour
- 3 cups of Whole Milk (trust me – enjoy the Whole Milk. If you are going to eat gravy, 2% or non-fat milk is not going to save you a lot of calories – indulge!)
- Salt and Pepper
- Bacon Drippings -saved from the cooking of the maple bacon. This is as important as mustard on a hotdog.
Combine all the flour, bacon drippings, milk and flour into a mixture. Cook the sausage and sauté the onion in the sausage drippings. Add in the onion and sausage to the mixture and cook slowly over a low heat (remember what milk will do!) Here comes the “chefy” part. You want a nice thick gravy. No one likes runny gravy. So get it to the thickness that suits you by adding milk or flour to the consistency you want. Heat until hot.
- 2 packages of Trader Joe’s hash Browns (any brand will do). Not the patties.
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- ½ Medium Gold Onion
- 1 Green Bell Peppers
Place the packages of hash brown in a medium hot cast iron skillet (a future blog will discuss the advantages of preparing foods in cast iron) with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook together. Sort of flatten the hash browns, onion and bell peppers together in the pan after several minutes or until the bottom of the hash browns are golden brown. This should all come together and one hash brown “Pattie” (never does actually). Now comes the tricky part; either cut the hash brown “Pattie’ in half or have a giant spatula and flip the hash browns over. The “browned” hash browns should be on top. Just heat in the pan a couple of more minutes to get the bottom layer warm and firmed up. Transfer into a casserole dish and place in the oven to keep warm while the rest of the meal is being prepared, also it will be easier to serve from the casserole dish.
Champagne and Orange juice in any ratio proportion that you want.
Indulge! You can sleep the afternoon away!