Did you know that Stamford’s motto is “Stamford: the city that works?” It’s kind of prosaic until you realize how many companies have offices here: from international banks to cosmetic giants to The Maury Povich Show. (Seriously–the studio where it, Jerry Springer and the show starring one of Jerry Springer’s security guys is on the next street over from us, a factoid that delighted my father-in-law to no end when we took him on a tour of our neighborhood.) It’s a good thing because all of those workers help support the local restaurant scene, but since most of them are commuting from other places, there seems to be a dearth of weekend brunch options around here. Even though we were never big brunch people when we lived in New York, it was oddly comforting to see all of those people out and about on a Saturday or Sunday diving into steak and eggs and sipping mimosas.
Here, not so much. Maybe when spring comes I’ll do a little more research, but for now we’re on our own if we have a craving for brunch food.
This is why I am so glad that we have ‘wichcraft in our lives now: while all of the sandwiches we’ve tried from it are delicious and make for simple meals, the breakfast sandwiches in particular are just enough to feel satisfied without that post-brunch sensation of having eaten too much. (As people who make Big Deals out of our dinners on the weekends, this is an important consideration.) So when I suggested making brunch on New Year’s last month, Michael made it clear that he didn’t want anything too filling because he would be making cocido later in the day. An open-faced sandwich of goat cheese and marmalade seemed like it wouldn’t interfere with those plans, and so off to work I went.
The only mildly annoying part of making this sandwich is slicing through 25 kumquats. The instructions have you remove the seeds as well, but I gave up on that two kumquats in and frankly, neither Michael nor I really noticed any errant pips. Slicing aside, everything else comes together easily–you mix 1/4 cup each water and sugar to dissolve, add in the fruit, some black pepper, and a rosemary sprig, let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, let it cool, and then spoon over toast that’s been given a generous layer of goat cheese. It wasn’t quite as translucent as the photo in the book, but it was tart and not too sweet and overall really tasty.
It may not be steak and eggs (and eggs and steak), but it made for a pretty satisfying brunch meal that didn’t require a dizzying amount of work to accomplish. That said, there is a steak-and-egg sandwich listed with the other breakfast sandwiches—that might be the key to get Michael to fully embrace making brunch at home more often.