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Brunch Menu Ideas

What's on your Brunch Table? I always think the rule of Bunch is to offer both sweet and savory.  So,  how can you plan a brunch without a French Toast Casserole?   This sweet treats is a wonderful complement to the...

What's on your Brunch Table?
What's on your Brunch Table?

I always think the rule of Bunch is to offer both sweet and savory.  So,  how can you plan a brunch without a French Toast Casserole?   This sweet treats is a wonderful complement to the savory sides of a Brunch Table.  I remember an Aunt served this recipe and always had fresh fruit and maple syrup as the condiments.  This is much better made the evening before serving. We cannot rush some things and this custard must work it's magic overnight.

French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole
French Toast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 loaf crusty French Bread, cut into cubes (about 18 – 12 ounces) I have also opted for a rich egg bread as another bread choice
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar as top garnish

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9 x 12-inch baking dish (especially important for clean-up later)
  2. Stir 1 cup brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves into butter, 2 to 4 minutes. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread a 1 1/2- to 2-inch layer of bread pieces over the top.
  3. Beat milk, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a bowl; pour milk mixture over bread into the baking dish and move bread as necessary to ensure all bread is absorbing liquid. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Garnish with the final tablespoon of brown sugar.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and bubbling, about 30 – 40 minutes.

Then to add to sweet, what about a Bellini for a starting beverage?

Summer Berry Bellinis
Summer Berry Bellinis

I am opting for this Cherry Amaretto Bellini for our brunch from one of my favorite Chef’s and Partyologist’s in Mandy Landefeld. She is a lifestyle and entertaining expert who is often a Chef at our Cook’s Warehouse.  A Bellini is a smooth fruit mixture served with champagne or sparkling wine. Somewhat like a mimosa, but a bit richer and more flavorful. I think Mandy would agree this should be our Brunch Drink as we celebrate a morning party.

Cherry Amaretto Bellini

Original recipe shared by the one-and-only Mandy Landefeld

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • ½ cup Amaretto
  • Pink Champagne

Directions:

  1. Blend frozen cherries and Amaretto in blender until smooth.
  2. Fill champagne flute 1/3 full with cherry mixture.
  3. Top with pink champagne.

For the savory dish, we created Herb Baked Eggs.  Somehow creating these as individual servings made this Brunch Savory item stand on its own.  This is a very classic French treatment of eggs that is very special. The key to success is preparation and attention to some important details for success. These are often referred to as shirred or herb-baked eggs.

Herb Baked Eggs for Two

– a classic adapted from Ina Garten's recipe

Herb Baked Eggs
Herb Baked Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted French bread or brioche, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.
  2. Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or ramekins careful not to break the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)
  3. Place 2 individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
  5. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.  I would opt  for a savory bread.
  6. ***We were making these eggs for 8, so we arranged ramekins on a sheet tray to allow these to "broil" together.
  7. Another hint -- Create an assembly line to make this work efficient and effective.

For the second savory, we created oven roasted red potatoes finished with Rosemary.  These were a perfect compliment to the eggs.

Herb-Roasted Potatoes 

Oven Roasted Potatoes
Oven Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds Red potatoes, washed and then cubed.
  • 6- 8 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt / Pepper
  • About ¼ cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped – set aside as final step

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 395 degrees.
  2. Cut the potatoes in chucks, work at some consistency in cuts here. Small potatoes will create four chunks, larger potatoes 6 – 8 chunks. Rest, covered in water until ready to roast.
  3. Completely dry the potatoes in a kitchen towel.
  4. Add these to a large bowl and then add in the olive oil.
  5. With your hands, coat the potatoes in oil and then spread onto a sheet pan. Do not crowd the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven.
  6. After about 15-20 minutes, check to see if the potatoes should be turned onto another side.   Turning twice to ensure that all sides are browned. This should take 35 – 50 minutes. Rotate if you have two trays in one oven.
  7. In the final 5 minutes, sprinkle with the fresh rosemary and return to the ovens.
  8. Enjoy these warm.

And of course, there were breakfast meats served that included a smoked country sausage and Bacon prepared with a Maple Glaze and a Brown Sugar and Cayenne seasoning.   Again, the marriage of the savory and sweet.

It is a wonder I do not serve this meal more for dinner.  The comforts of Potatoes and Eggs and the Sweet endings of French Toast and Bellinis.