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Mixing Dinner and Business (the most recently completed dk menu) is arguably more common than Mixing Breakfast and Business, but breakfast may also be an occasion for business meetings.  With that consideration in mind, this menu is meant to serve a group of ten with a minimum of service activity and interruption–the idea being that guests who have come to talk business want to get down to it.  Before everyone sits down, the first course is already set out on the table:  fresh clementine juice and verrines of fresh fruit.  And, for anyone who wants them, there is vanilla yoghurt and homemade granola to add to the fruit.

The second idea underlying this menu is that it is preferable to do business over good food than indifferent food, and the menu strives to offer the former.

The third consideration, which is really a firmly-held personal prejudice is….that a couple of large cups of fresh ground, French roast coffee in the early morning hours is the elixir of life and salutary for getting anything done at that time of day.

Homemade Granola (for about 1 and 1/2 cups, which is enough for 10 servings when the granola is offered as an option to add to verrines of fresh fruit)

Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quick-cooking (not instant) Oats
  • 1/2 cup of thin-sliced Almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup

Equipment:

  • a Mixing Bowl and a small Bowl
  • a rimmed Baking Sheet
  • a Spatula or Wooden Spoon

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 F.

2.  In the mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.

3.  Mix together the sunflower oil and maple syrup in a small bowl and add it to the oat and almond mixture.  Blend everything together well.

4.  Spread the granola out on the baking sheet.  Bake it for 8 minutes….stir it around once…and bake it for about 7 more minutes or until it is crisp and golden.

5.  Cool it in a bowl.  Offer it, and a bowl of vanilla yogurt, to add to Verrines of Fresh Fruit.

Verrines of Fresh Fruit (for 10 1-cup size verrines)

Note about verrines:  Verrines are savoury or sweet combinations of ingredients layered in clear glasses.  This breakfast menu uses 1-cup size glasses for the fruit.  Smaller glasses would also be fine.  And…the choice of fruits depends on personal taste, what is available where you live, and what looks good on the day you shop.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or more different fresh Fruits:  The photographed verrines include kiwis, papaya, nectarine and pineapple.
  • 1 glass of homemade Lemonade:  The recipe appears below.
  • 1 recipe of Homemade Granola:  See the recipe above.
  • 2 cups of Vanilla Yoghurt
  • An optional decoration is sprigs of fresh Mint

Equipment:

  • 10 clear glasses:  The ones in the photos hold 1 cup.
  • Bowls to hold each fruit included in the verrines

1.  Cut each kind of fruit in cubes and place each kind in a separate bowl.  If any of the fruits are of the sort that discolor once they are cut (nectarines or peaches, for example), stir a Tablespoon or two of lemonade into them.

2.  Fill two small serving bowls–one with homemade granola and the other with vanilla yoghurt.

3.  Assemble the verrines just before placing them on the table by layering the different fruits in the glasses, leaving some room at the top for yoghurt and granola.  Pour a teaspoon of lemonade into each verrine.  Place a sprig of fresh mint on the plate beside each glass if you like.  Offer the granola and vanilla yoghurt to add to the verrines.

Homemade Lemonade (1 glass)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons of homemade Simple Syrup, made with 1 cup of Water and 1 cup of Sugar.  See Step 1 of this Lemonade recipe
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup of Ice Water

Equipment:

  • a small, heavy-bottomed pot

1.  Make Simple Syrup by mixing 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a pot.  Bring the sugar water to a boil over medium heat and continue boiling it for 4 minutes.  Cool it.  Simple Syrup will keep a long, long while, stored in the refrigerator.

2.  Mix 4 Tablespoons of cooled simple syrup and 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice in a glass.  Add a cup of ice water and stir well.  (The verrines require only a portion of the glass of lemonade.)

Making Fresh Clementine Juice

There is no exact science to making Fresh Clementine Juice.  10 juice glasses will require about 4 and 1/2 cups of juice.  Here is a suggested recipe which is only a starting point for mixing the juice according to your taste.

Ingredients:

  • 15 – 20 Clementines: The number depends on their size and quality.
  • Cold Water
  • Simple Syrup

Equipment:

  • a Juicer or a Fork
  • a Strainer and a Bowl

1.  Cut the clementines in half and juice them.  (One method of doing this which doesn’t use a juicer is to press the juice out with the tines of a fork while squeezing the fruit.)

2.  Strain the juice.  There should be a little less than 3 cups of juice.  (This is an approximation.)

3.  Add about 1 cup of cold water to the juice and sweeten it with some simple syrup to suit your taste.  There should be something over 4 cups, which will be enough for 10 juice glasses.

Note: Verrines of Fresh Fruit with Homemade Granola and Vanilla Yoghurt is the First Course of the Occasional Menu:  Mixing Breakfast and BusinessThe granola recipe is based on one from the food blog Ezra Pound Cake.

© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012

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