The gospel brunch menu

The gospel brunch menu  – This past week we did a gospel brunch inspired by House of Blues. It’s prime rib, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, a sweet potato souffle and a flourless chocolate torte. Since it is a brunch menu, I used a mild Italian sausage instead of a breakfast sausage for the biscuits and gravy. Here are the easy recipes you can make at home. You could try Nathalie Dupree’s recipe for biscuits, if you are biscuit-challenged like me. That recipe is HERE.

The gospel brunch menu

Ingredients – biscuits
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup lard, very cold
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
Method – biscuits
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Put dry ingredients in a food processor and buzz for ten seconds. Add lard and buzz until the mix resembles small peas. Put mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in milk with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Put mixture on a cutting board dusted with flour. Dust the top of the mixture. Cut with a sharp knife into four large biscuits. Brush with butter. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven. Brush with butter again. Serve with sausage gravy (see below).
biscuitgravy ead
Ingredients – sausage gravy
2 TB butter
1 large, mild Italian sausage, casing removed
2 TB flour
1/4 cup beef stock
pinch of thyme
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp Exotic Peppercorn Blend
1/3 cup half and half
Method – sausage gravy
In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sausage and break it up well. When it is well-browned, add the flour and stir to make a roux. Let it cook for a minute and stir in the stock and spices. When it thickens add the half and half. Check for consistency and seasoning. Serve over biscuits.
prime rib
Ingredients – prime rib
2 ribs of prime rib, not separated (or increase by one rib per person)
2 tsp garlic hot sauce
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Exotic Peppercorn Blend
1 cup beef stock
2 TB horseradish
2 TB country mustard
Method – prime rib
Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Rub hot sauce over the fat portion of the prime rib. Mix thyme, salt, and pepper together and rub over the fat portion. Place in an oven safe frying pan, fat side up and roast for 20 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium. Let rest for five minutes (out of the pan) while you mix the horseradish and mustard together to serve on the side. Put stock in the empty pan on high and reduce by half. Test for seasoning and ladle over the prime rib. Serve with collard greens (see below).
Ingredients – collard greens
1/4 lb Black Forest ham, diced
2 TB olive oil
2 lb collards, pre-washed and chopped
2 TB salt
Method – collard greens
In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil and ham. Saute ham until lightly browned. Add collards. Saute for two minutes. Add 4 quarts of water and salt. Allow to simmer and reduce until tender. Serve with prime rib or fried chicken (see chicken below).
collard ead
Ingredients – fried chicken
1 frying chicken
1/3 cup half and half
1 TB lemon juice
2 TB hot sauce
2 cups flour
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp baking powder
enough peanut oil to go halfway up a cast iron pan
Method – fried chicken
Cut up the chicken by taking off the wings at the joint closest to the chicken, then the thighs/legs. Cut the thigh from the leg at the natural separation. (You can feel it.) Take off each breast cutting down to the bone (making sure you don’t get any of the rib bones). Cut each breast in half across. You should have ten pieces. Place them in a bowl with the half and half, lemon juice and hot sauce. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for an hour.
Combine flour, spices and baking powder on a large plate. Heat the oil using a candy thermometer to 375 degrees F. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Add the dark meat to the cast iron pan and fry for 15 minutes, turning every couple of minutes. Remove to paper towels. Add the white meat and wings and fry for 12 minutes, again turning frequently. Use a thermometer to ensure internal temp of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F.
Ingredients – sweet potato souffle (casserole)
1 lb sweet potatoes, boiled whole until soft
1/2 cup half and half
1 stick of butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup crushed pecans
Method – sweet potato souffle
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel the sweet potatoes and place in a mixer with half and half, butter, beaten eggs and sea salt. Mix until combined. Spray a 9 x 13 glass dish with cooking spray and add the mixture. Combine sugar, allspice and pecans in a bowl. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for 45 minutes.
Ingredients – flourless chocolate torte
6 oz semisweet chocolate
2/3 stick of butter
4 eggs
orange marmalade for garnish
choc ead
Method – flourless chocolate torte
Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 6 inch round baking pan with cooking spray and cut a round of parchment to cover the bottom of the pan. Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler until melted. Stir to combine. Allow to cool slightly. Add beaten eggs and stir to combine thoroughly. Pour into the parchment lined pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the torte no longer moves when shaken. Allow to cool and serve in wedges with a spoonful of orange marmalade.

About Elizabeth Dougherty

Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations. Food And Travel Nation has won two news awards for content. Broadcasting LIVE each week, nationwide, on and on stations around the country.

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