Cooking within the bay: brunch on deck

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Cooling melon and cucumber are paired with feta and mint to make an extraordinary salad. Karen Schneider / For the forecaster

Omelets are often served here on the bay because I’m lucky enough to have plenty of fresh eggs thanks to my big chickens.

This omelette is just one of many varieties that are enjoyed in summer, mainly for Sunday brunch, but occasionally for dinner as well. When corn on the cob is on the menu, I try to remember to roast a few more ears of corn at such times. I’ve also found this recipe to be a great way to experiment with different varieties of mushrooms and goat cheese that can be found at the weekly farmers markets.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundys Harbor. You can reach them at [email protected]

The summer season has so many fresh ingredients that it’s almost impossible to fit it all in, but I try. This unusual melon and cucumber salad, for example, can be prepared in many different ways, but we like the addition of mint and lime. If you have the time and inclination, you can stick the refreshing cucumber and melon pieces together with the cheese on skewers or place them on a plate in a checkerboard design.

The strawberry and rhubarb season is such a favorite time of the year for me. This is a pleasure in itself, but I particularly like these two summer wonders when they are combined in muffin batter and baked to perfection.

Also, I’ve found that adding yogurt or sour cream to a muffin recipe makes all the difference. You’ll never have a dry muffin again.

Enjoy all of the summer goodness while you can. It’s all going too fast!

Toasted corn and mushroom omelette

6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 pound mushrooms, diced
4 shallots, diced
2 jalapeños, diced
2 ear corn, roasted and pitted
8 ounces goat cheese
12 eggs, well beaten

In a 10 inch skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the mushrooms, shallots and jalapeños. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the shallots are translucent.

Stir in corn and goat cheese. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and set aside, keeping warm. Wipe the pan with a paper towel.

For each omelette, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Add a quarter of the beaten eggs and cook for 1 minute until the bottom of the eggs begins to set.

Using a rubber spatula, carefully lift the edges of the eggs and tilt the pan so that the eggs that are still runny can flow underneath until they are cooked through. The omelette looks like a pancake. Turn carefully and cook for another 30 seconds. Place a quarter of the vegetable and cheese filling in the center of the omelette and fold in the edges and turn again if necessary to ensure that the egg is fully cooked. Let slide onto a warm plate. Yield: 4 servings

Melon and cucumber salad with feta

3 cups of watermelon cubes
1 1/2 cups cantaloupe cubes
1 cup of blackberries, optional
1 1/2 cups diced English cucumber
2 tablespoons of mint leaves, julienned
1/3 cup feta cheese, diced

dressing

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of lime juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Put the melon, berries (if used), and cheese in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over everything and toss to coat. Sprinkle with mint. Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup neutral oil
1 egg
1 1/3 cups of flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of strawberries, diced
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin pan or use muffin liners. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then add the strawberries and rhubarb. Mix just enough to bring the batter together.

Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full. Depending on the size, you have 12-15 muffins.

Spread the crumble topping evenly on each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the muffins test is done. Yield: 12-15 muffins

Crumble topping

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of kosher salt
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Mix the flour, sugar, spices and salt in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and maple syrup. Mix until crumbs form.

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