This one is a real show stopper! It comes from my fave Canadian cook – Ricardo Larrrivee, again. When I say exquisite, I really mean it. It’s not one of those thrown together jobs. Not that those aren’t good, come on, I love pizza. This one is just wow! Plus it makes you look like you know what you’re doing in the kitchen, but it’s all pretty easy. I must warn you, like most of Ricardo’s recipes, we’ll be getting a few pots dirty and there are a few steps, but when this baby comes together you won’t be looking at the kitchen sink. Trust me.
My respect and love for brunch has been brewing over the years of my life. When I was young, my mom would yell down the stairwell, to us kids watching cartoons, “Anyone want an egger?” Ah….yeah! A fried egg, a slice of back bacon and a cheese slice sandwiched between an english muffin. Sound familiar? We didn’t have a MacDonald’s in my small town in Saskatchewan, so my mom would be creative.
Now that I am older I go attend Brunch. My friend Shannon, aka Sibs, began holding brunches on Sunday mornings. That was the only day we had off from training and people wanted to just relax, hangout for hours and eat some great food. We dubbed ourselves “the brunchers” and had a solid group going that would show every Sunday. THis is where the “respect” part comes in. There are rules – no bringing random dates, one must bring something even if you are hungover, mamosa’s count, juice doesn’t, you can’t opt out if you are in town or you get booted, etc. We’re so mean official. We even did some themed brunches: Christmas, Olympics send-off, well you get the idea.
After a while the same old stuff was getting boring. That is where this pizza comes in. Thank you Ricardo! I had people requesting this every weekend. Not only does it look good, it tastes rich and delicious.
Last weekend I attended one of my last Brunches (it deserves a capital letter I think!) before I am off to the Netherlands for 4 years. I am excited to share new recipes with all you food lovas out there. I’ll probably be cookin’ all things Canadian once I get home sick, though. It may be a while until my next post, but I might sneak one in while visiting my mom and dad. They have some good ones that I should really let you in on…
Quilt Breakfast Pizza – adapted from Ricardo Larrivee
400 g box of puff pastry dough
1 big onion, thinly sliced
200 g Black Forest ham, chopped
0.5 cup sour cream
1/4 cup hot mustard (Dijon or grainy is good)
2 bunches of asparagus (try to get them thin. you can get both green or one green and one white)
salt and pepper
Line a 12×17 pan with parchement paper. I invested in parchement paper on the advice of my friend Andrea and I will forever be using it now. If you are not sure – just buy it, you will love it!
Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface. There will probably be 2 squares. Do not separate them and roll them out together. They will merge and make a large sheet. Roll it out until it is a bit larger than the pan. Transfer it to the pan and fold over the edges to make a crust.
For the “sauce,” saute up the onion in some oil. When they are translucent and slightly browned, in a medium bowl, mix the onion, chopped ham, sour cream, mustard and salt and pepper. Spread on the pastry with a spatula.
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. We are going to blanch the asparagus. Trim the woody ends off and try to make them all the same length. Drop into the boiling water for a few minute. I just wait until they turn a very brilliant green. Remove and cover with cold water to stop the cooking process. No one wants brown asparagus!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit.
Now, do some math…don’t worry it’s easy! Separate the asparagus in to 6 groups. Now lay them in alternating ways on the pastry. I like to point the tips out. It’s a little hard to explain so just check out the pics for a map of how to lay them out.
Place in the oven for 25 minute, remove and crack one egg on each “square” of the quilt and then return to the oven for 10 minutes. This will leave the eggs runny. If you are into harder eggs (like me) just subtract 5 minutes from the first part and add it to the second. Whoa – more math! In other words – 20 minutes – crack eggs – 15 minutes.