Wine for breakfast

By Terry Sweeney
It’s Sunday morning and a delectable bottle of Dom Perignon rests in a sterling silver ice bucket on my breakfast table alongside a tall, elegant, glass pitcher filled with chilled fresh-squeezed orange juice.
The homemade ricotta-filled blinzes, beautifully arranged on an oval white porcelain platter, have been artfully sprinkled with the blackest of Beluga caviar.  “Surprise!” says Lanier … Wait a minute, that’s not Lanier … that’s Mariah Carey!  Oh hell, this is a dream!  I wake up furious to have been so taken in by my subconscious. I remember suddenly that a friend who works in a very fancy wine shop inside Newton Farms on Kiawah Island told me several months ago about Mariah Carey coming in and getting a case of Don Perignon (at $200 a bottle) and gallons of fresh orange juice to serve mimosas at a brunch for her “posse.”  Apparently, it made quite an impression on my wishful thinking wine-logged brain.

Crabcake eggs benedict with avgolemono sauce

Still, it is nice to treat yourself on a Sunday morning to something a little bit special on your last day of freedom before you have to return to the grim grind of your work week. And what’s great is that with just a little imagination, we too can party like rock stars, but on a roadie’s budget.
The first fabulous tip I will share with you is an amazing recipe website called Food52.com.
The creators of Food52.com wanted to give home cooks from all over the world a way to exchange ideas and to celebrate and share each other’s talents.  They started small with a single project: creating the first “crowd-sourced cookbook” in 52 weeks. (That’s where the 52 in Food 52 came from.)
Here are three, out-of-this-world, heavenly brunch dishes that I think will put the OMG back in you Sunday:
Crabcake Eggs Benedict with Arvgolemono Sauce — No that sauce isn’t spelled wrong, but let’s face it, it’s a garbled mouthful; so let’s all just agree to call it “lemon sauce.” Basically, it has a lighter brighter lemonier taste than hollandaise. Since the most delicious fresh crab meat is available in abundance here, this really makes the dish worth the cholesterol!  Now this I would definitely serve to guests with mimosas but instead of missing a mortgage payment to get a case of Don Perignon, might I suggest one of my absolute favorites? Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut. A sparkling wine from Washington’s

Spinach and potato tortilla

Columbia Valley that has a climate that is quite close to that of the champagne region in France.  The price is around $12 dollars a bottle and it’s fantastic alone or of course mixed with you favorite orange juice like superstar Mariah Carey prefers it. With the money you’ve saved, you might be able to buy good seats at her next live concert.
Spanish Tortilla with Spinach and Potatoes — This egg-traordinary savory Spanish omelette is a guaranteed crowd- pleaser and yet so easy to prepare, well except when it’s time to flip it … that may take a little practice.  But don’t feel bad if you screw it up, your dog will love you for the ones you drop! Pair it with a sparkling Spanish Cava. My new favorite is Casteller Cava. With its fresh aroma of apples on the nose and its dry refreshing taste with just a hint of sweetness, it’s the perfect Spanish brunch wine for under $13 dollars. Just add some flamenco … music that is; although you may want to stomp around and wave castanets after eating this scrumptious baby!

Japanese shrimp pancakes: okonomiyak

Okonomiyaki: Japanese Shrimp Pancakes — It’s cooked in canola oil like an everyday pancake but there’s nothing else everyday about these beauties. Exotic, mouth-watering and savory, they are unforgettable. Sesame oil, sprouts, cabbage, fresh local shrimp and soy sauce make this one of the most palate- pleasing breakfast dishes I have prepared. Great for a hangover, these are just what the Japanese doc ordered.  And what to drink with this tangy salty Sunday morning masterpiece? A riesling from Germany called “Polka DÖt’.” Vat else? With its strong minerality, essences of peaches and flowers and a good cleansing acidity, this German wine is the perfect ally with this spicy Japanese dish.  Hold on: the Germans and the Japanese?? The Axis of Evil back together again?  Yes!  But this time to do good! Cheers!
P.S.: All the recipes for these brunch items can be found at Food52.com

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