Living in the city that never sleeps, there’s no surprise that we have events like Midnight Brunch. Midnight Brunch is a rogue dinner party that happens in the middle of the night, featuring exotic food and craft cocktails, and hosted by the lovely Emily Cavalier.
Last week’s particular edition was sponsored by KitchenAid for Cooks for the Cure, which is an initiative that brings folks across the country together to host potlucks, in order to raise money to fund breast cancer research.
The Midnight Brunch menu was French-inspired and featured hors d’oeuvres, main course, dessert and specialty cocktails, two of them bright pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. One of the drinks was “Low Tide” which consisted of hibiscus-infused Tito’s Vodka, homemade lemongrass syrup, fresh lime juice and tonic.
As for the hors d’oeuvres, there were cream cheese deviled eggs and pissaladiere nicoises, which I helped make (mini caramelized onion tarts with nicoise olives). Both were savory, tasty and delightful in their own way.
The amuse bouche mini parfaits in shot glasses, full of organic French Vanilla yogurt, granola and strawberry jam. The parfaits were simply delicious and temptingly sweet.
The main course was french toast bread pudding, with spiced pear sauce and a side of spinach salad with strawberry slices. The french toast was so thick and delectable, and the sauce warm, gooey and the perfect companion.
For dessert, we had lemon bars with thyme, which were so yummy! It was perfect for a warm summer day- Light, fresh, full of flavor and just the right amount of sweetness.
Below is the recipe for the delightful lemon bars, by Cathy Erway :
Lemon Thyme Bars
(makes about 24)
for the crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
for the custard
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
finely grated zest from the 3 lemons
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1-2 tablespoons thyme leaves for garnish
To make the crust, combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (or cut in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press mixture into a slightly greased 9 x 13″ casserole. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs and flour and gently beat with a fork until there are no lumps. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Pour mixture on top of the baked crust and return to the oven to bake at 350 degrees for another 15 minutes, or until the top has just set. Let cool completely. For neatest results when cutting, cover and chill at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle tops with thyme for garnish.