Magazine article Sunset

Easter Brunch, Reinvented: The Pastry Chef and Owner of Maurice, in Portland, Updates a Childhood Tradition

Magazine article Sunset

Easter Brunch, Reinvented: The Pastry Chef and Owner of Maurice, in Portland, Updates a Childhood Tradition

Article excerpt

WHEN KRISTEN MURRAY was growing up in Southern California, her family celebrated Easter brunch with a sunny blend of local citrus and ingredients that honored their Norwegian heritage--salmon, dill, and coriander.

At Maurice, Murray's jewel box of a cafe in Portland, you'll find the flavors of her childhood along with French-inspired goodies (like brioche and tarte tatin) that she's learned to make as a pastry chef in San Francisco, France, and beyond. You'll also find a touch of quirkiness. (For starters, Maurice is named after her pet rabbit.) But you won't find brunch. "We are a modern pastry luncheonette, wine bar, dessert spot, oyster-loving petit cafe ... somewhere between France and Norway," reads a sign at the counter.

We get it. Still, we begged Murray to share some off-the-menu childhood brunch favorites, plus recipes for a couple of the pastries that have made Maurice a top Portland destination since it opened about two years ago.

She graciously gave in.

In keeping with Murray's cooking at Maurice, the menu is elegant and satisfying, yet light--with plenty of room for dessert.

GREEN OLIVE CHEESE PUFFS

MAKES 44/ 1 HOUR

The memory of olives on a crudites plate
prompted Murray to add them to classic
gougeres for a delicious twist.

WINE PAIRING Chilled Valdespino "Inocente"
Fino Jerez ($15), clean and elegant with
classic almond and green-olive notes and a
long, intense finish.

6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1 cup flour
5 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup shredded emmenthal or gruyere
cheese, or a combination
1/2 cup chopped Castelvetrano olives

1. Preheat oven to 425[degrees]. In a medium saucepan
over medium-high heat, bring 1 cup
water to a low simmer. Add butter, salt,
and nutmeg; cook, stirring, until butter
melts. Remove from heat, add flour, and
stir well to remove any lumps. Return
to heat. Cook, stirring vigorously, until
dough pulls cleanly from sides of pan
and forms a smooth ball, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Transfer dough to bowl of a stand mixer
fitted with the paddle attachment. One
at a time, add 4 eggs, beating on medium
speed until each is absorbed before adding
the next. Blend in cheese and olives.

3. Drop 1-tbsp. portions of dough 1 1/2 in.
apart onto two greased baking sheets to
make 44 total. Whisk remaining egg to
blend and brush a little over dough.

4. Bake cheese puffs 20 minutes, switching
pan positions halfway through. Reduce
oven to 375[degrees] and bake until deep golden
brown and crisp, 5 more minutes. Loosen
from pan and serve immediately.

MAKE AHEAD The baked puffs, up to
1 month, frozen airtight; reheat frozen on
baking sheets in a 375[degrees] oven until hot, about
5 minutes.

PER 3-PUFF SERVING 124 Cal., 63% (78 Cal.) from fat;
4.5 g protein; 8.7 g fat (4.6 g sat.); 7.1 g carbo
(0.4 g fiber); 211 mg sodium; 93 mg chol. LC/LS/V

POACHED ORANGE-FENNEL
SALMON WITH DILL CREME

SERVES 6 TO 8 / 45 MINUTES

Murray's grandmother taught her the easy technique of oven-poaching
fish in a foil pouch (you'll need wide, heavy-duty foil). The
salmon works beautifully made a day ahead and served at room
temperature. For a bit of green, top with tom fennel fronds, carrot
tops, or chervil.

WINE PAIRING A Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend, such as
Chateau Villa Bel-Air 2013 (Graves, France; $23). Elegant and
floral, with the right balance of richness, body, and acidity to
match the salmon.--S.S.

1 king salmon fillet with skin (2 to 2 1/2 lbs.
and about 1 in. thick; cut from tail end),
pin bones removed *

Zest and juice of 1 large orange

1 small shallot, thinly sliced crosswise,
separated into rings

1 small, tender fennel bulb, trimmed
and very thinly sliced on a diagonal,
a few feathery leaves reserved
(or use torn carrot tops)

1/4 to 1/2 cup dry white vermouth,
such as Dolin

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

About 1 tsp. flake sea salt, such as
Maldon, divided

1 tsp. each white pepper
and ground coriander

5 juniper berries, crushed with fingers

Paper-thin radish slices (2 or 3 radishes)

Dill Creme (recipe follows)

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