“Life’s a party, dress like it.”
Wise words from Lilly Pulitzer, the Palm Beach hostess with the mostess.
We love nearly everything Lilly, including her party recipes.
Perfect for a spring brunch are her marvelous muffins and Bloody Marys.
LEMON BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining
by Lilly Pulitzer and Jay Mulvaney
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced lemon zest
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups fresh blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter standard-size muffin tin. Using electric mixer, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add eggs one at a time; beating between additions.
2. Whisk floue, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture in three additions, beating well between additions. Add lemon juice and zest and beat to combine. Gently fold in sour cream, then blueberries.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each about 3/4 full (bake any leftover batter in custard cups of ramekins). Sprinkle tops of muffins with coarse or additional regular sugar, using about 1/4 teaspoon of sugar for each. Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean and tops of muffins are golden, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly; turn out of muffin tin and serve warm or at room temperature.
JALAPENO BLOODY MARYS
This spicy and fresh-tasting take on the classic brunch cocktail makes it ideal for warm-weather entertaining. Garnish with skewered vodka-soaked grape tomatos and lime wedges dipped in paprika.
6 to 8 servings
5 cups tomato juice
1 jalapeno, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 cup vodka
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestshire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1. In a large blender, combine tomato juice and jalapeno, blend until pureed.
2. Pour tomato mixture into large pitcher. Add vodka, lime juice, horseradish, Worcestshire sauce, hot pepper sauce and ground black pepper; stir until combined well. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least three hours.
3. Fill glasses with ice. Pour Bloody Marys over ice. Serve, passing additional hot pepper sauce and vodka.
WHITE SANGRIA WITH ORANGES AND RASPBERRIES
Make sangria a day before brunch so flavors have time to blend.
One 750-ml bottle dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 cup of orange-flavored liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
2 cups red or green seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 pint raspberries
Orange slices for garnish
Mix wine, liqueur, grapes and raspberries in a large covered container or nonreactive bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
To serve, divide sangria and fruit between wine glasses. Garnish with orange slices. Serve chilled.
SEAFOOD AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH LIME VINAIGRETTE
Lobster and crab may be substituted with mussels, in or out of the shell, grilled diced swordfish or cooked calamari. Acids in the vinaigrette will keep the avocados from turning brown so the salad may be made a few hours ahead of time.
1 cup dry white wine
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
1 pound large (21 to 25) count shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound lobster or crabmeat
2 ripe Florida (or 2 Hass) avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise into halves
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 large head green leaf lettuce, separated into individual leaves, washed and dried
Lime vinaigrette (recipe follows)
To prepare seafood, bring 2 quarts water, wine, onion, thyme, salt and peppercorns to a boil over high heat in a large nonreactive (stainless steel) saucepan. Add scallops and cook just until they turn opague, about 3 minutes. Using a large skimmer or wire strainer, transfer scallops to a rimmed baking sheet. Add shrimp to same liquid and cook until they turn opague, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to baking sheet and cool completely. Cut shrimp in halves lengthwise. Cover and refrigerate until seafood is chilled, at least two hours. The seafood can be prepared 1 day ahead and then covered and refrigerated.
Check lobster and/or crabmeat for pieces of shell or cartilage and cut into bite-size pieces. Combine lobster and/or crabmeat, avocados, tomatoes, scallions and jalapeno in a large glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl. Drizzle with 1/3 cup Lime Vinaigrette and mix gently. (The salad can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead and then covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated.)
Line a large platter with lettuce leaves. Heap salad in center of platter. Drizzle a few tablespoons of Lime Vinaigrette over lettuce and pour remaining Lime Vinaigrette into a small sauceboat. Serve salad chilled with Lime Vinaigrette passed on side.
In a small bowl, whisk together grated zest of 2 limes, 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled. Gradually whisk in 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, then 2 tablespoons minced shallot. Season with salt and peper to taste. (The vinaigrette can be prepared 1 day ahead and then covered and refrigerated. If vinaigrette separates, whisk well to recombine.)