Let's Do Brunch!
Chef Rob Newton and Kerry Diamond, his girlfriend and business partner, sip bourbon at Seersucker, their Southern- inspired restaurant that's a Brooklyn brunch favorite. (And, yes, that's a wall of pickles behind them!)
Classics with a Kick
Chef Newton's brunch features updated Southern classics, like bourbon-spiked country ham, fluffy biscuits, rich sweet potato gratin and collard greens with toasted pecans. Click on to get the recipes!
Secrets to Success
"Keep the food simple. It doesn't have to be fancy to be good," Chef Newton says.
Easy Décor Tips
"Mixing herbs into flower arrangements is a great way to add some extra greenery -- and they smell amazing," Diamond suggests.
Rob Newton's Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
If biscuits were taken off the menu at Seersucker, regulars would riot. They're light, super-tender -- and the ideal vehicle for butter, jam or ham. With Newton's tips, you'll be turning out perfect ones of your own in no time!
Break it Down
Newton sifts the flours, baking powder and soda, and salt to get rid of lumps and make sure the ingredients are evenly mixed.
Buttermilk adds a tangy flavor and reacts with the baking soda to help the biscuits rise nice and high.
The biscuits' texture comes from folding and rolling the dough, which builds flaky layers similar to a croissant.
As Newton rolls, he pushes down with light, even pressure. Biscuits that are all the same thickness will cook evenly.
Newton likes square biscuits because you don't have to re-roll the scraps, which can make the dough tough.
The finishing touch? A sprinkling of flaky salt, which intensifies the rich flavor and adds a bit of crunch.
Butter 'Em Up
Dress up your biscuits with Seersucker's signature Salted Molasses Butter. To make it, mix 2 sticks room-temperature butter with 1 1/2 tbsp. mild molasses and 3/4 tsp. kosher salt. Makes about 1 cup.
Country Ham with Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glaze
Newton is a big fan of country ham, a traditional, dry-cured Southern style that's saltier and more intensely flavored than the typical smoked ham you'll find at most grocery stores. Country ham is easy to find in the South and online -- Rob's favorite comes from Burgers' Smokehouse in Missouri (smokehouse.com). No matter which type you choose, both are delicious with his brown sugar & bourbon glaze.
Quick-Cooked Collards with Pecans & Lemons
Steaming the collard greens in chicken broth allows for quick cooking and a ton of flavor.
Sweet Potato Gratin with Black Pepper Panko
With ingredients like garlic, white cheddar cheese and black pepper, this sweet potato gratin is on the savory side.
Sweet Tea Punch
Classic Southern sweet tea is made with white sugar, but the combination of honey and brown sugar gives this version a richer flavor. Spike the punch with as much whiskey as you'd like.
Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes
End brunch on a sweet note with these individual treats.