Tasty tidbits for New Year’s gatherings

A perfect dish for a New Year’s Day brunch

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The late-night revelry of New Year’s Eve has made New Year’s Day brunch a go-to tradition for millions of people. Staying up until the calendar officially turns from one year to the next at the stroke of midnight can make it harder to get out of bed on the morning of Jan. 1, so there may be no better day to plan a brunch than the first day of the calendar year. 

Many restaurants offer brunch specials on New Year’s Day, but people need not leave home to ensure their first meal of the new year is delicious. This recipe for pan-fried eggs and mixed mushroom sauté on toasted sourdough slices, from “Sunday Brunch,” by Betty Rosbottom, could be just the dish to begin a new year. 

Pan-fried eggs and mixed mushroom sauté on toasted sourdough slices 

Serves 4 

Mushroom sauté 

1 1⁄4 ounces mixed dried mushrooms 

1 1⁄2 cups boiling water 

3 tablespoons olive oil 

8 ounces sliced brown mushrooms 

2 teaspoons minced garlic 

1 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary (see tip) 

Kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper 

 

Toast and eggs 

4 1⁄2-inch-thick sourdough slices 

Olive oil 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

4 eggs 

Kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper 

Rosemary sprigs for garnish 

(optional) 

1. For the mushroom sauté: Place the dried mushrooms in a medium-sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand until softened, 20 minutes. Strain in a sieve with a double-thick lining of paper towels and reserve the soaking liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. 

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy frying pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the brown mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, for 6 minutes. Add the reserved mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; stir for 1 minute. Add the mushroom liquid and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated, 4 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and several grinds of pepper. Remove the frying pan from the heat and cover with foil to keep warm. (The mushrooms can be prepared one day ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat, stirring, over medium heat.) 

3. For the toast and eggs: Brush both sides of the bread slices generously with olive oil. Set a 10- to 11-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the bread and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the toast and cover loosely with foil. When the pan is cool enough to handle, wipe it out with clean paper towels. 

4. Add the butter to the frying pan and set it over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, break an egg into a saucer, being careful to remove any shell fragments, and gently slide it into the frying pan. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Immediately reduce the heat to low and cook, basting the eggs with some of the butter in the pan frequently, until the whites are firm and the yolks are still soft and runny, 3 minutes. 

5. While the eggs are cooking, arrange a toasted bread slice on each of four plates. Mound the mushrooms evenly over the toast. 

6. Remove each egg with a spatula and arrange on top of the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and, if desired, garnish each serving with a rosemary sprig. Serve immediately. 

Tip: If you can’t find dried, crushed rosemary, crush regular dried rosemary in an electric spice mill or place it in a self-sealing plastic bag and roll over it with a rolling pin. 

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