Brunch Ideas

We love the idea of brunch, but the most popular brunch spots in our neighborhood are always crazy busy. So I like the idea of enjoying a leisurely brunch from the comfort of our own home. Here’s some pictures of some of our past homemade brunches to inspire your own brunch creations.

Figs, bacon, and goat cheese make for a savory combination

Bagels paired with egg salad, pickles and onions and lox, cream cheese, tomatoes and capers

onions, cheese, ham, bacon and eggs make up this savory play on a dessert standard.

Home cured corned beef and sweet potatoes makes a homey version of the diner staple.

Spanish tortilla of eggs, potatoes, cheese, onions and chorizo baked to a golden brown.

 

Easy dessert options

Here is curd used to add a sour element to cut the richness of marscapone cream.

I’m frequently asked to bring dessert when we attend gatherings. When I don’t have time to prepare something fancy or extravagant, I make citrus curd because they’re easy, don’t require special equipment and only have 5 ingredients that I usually have around the house. You can swap out different types of citrus to change the flavor. Here’s the recipe for basic Lemon Curd. I especially like to use Meyer Lemons or Kalamansi which is a small citrus fruit similar to a kumquat.

Here’s the traditional application for lemon curd as a pairing with scones.

Recipe

3 LG Eggs
1 TBS of Lemon Zest
1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup sugar
4 TBS room temp butter cut into small cubes

In a heat resistant bowl over the simmering water whisk the eggs, lemon juice and sugar until it thickens. Takes about 10 to 12 minutes. You do need to whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. Once it thickens. Remove it from the heat and run through a strainer, add in the lemon zest and then slowly stir in the butter. Thoroughly incorporate the butter before each addition. Once all the butter is incorporated cover directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and chill. It can be chilled for up to 5 days.

For me the real fun is finding interesting ways to dress up a simple curd.

The lemon curd is cut with whipped cream to make a creamy and sour filling for eclairs.

And finally, the most simple application. Lemon Curd paired with store bought pound cake and fresh seasonal fruit.

Seasonal fruit and store bought pound cake make for an easy dessert.

Give this recipe a try and let me know how you liked it.

The real breakfast of champions…after they’ve gone off their training diet

chilaquiles with fried egg, cilantro, scallions, and avocado.

chilaquiles with fried egg, cilantro, scallions, and avocado.

I love Latin American cuisines particularly Mexican food. One of my favorite dishes and one that’s a bit obscure here in the states is called Chilaquiles. Chilaquiles is a perfect dish for using up leftovers like chicken, salsa (I’ve included my green salsa recipe below) and corn tortillas. Its also a great dish for a buffet or brunch and can easily be extended by adding more tortillas and more vegetables.

The concept of chilaquiles is pretty simple, its just designed to be a filling dish to get you through the work day. It starts out with onions, chilies and garlic sautéed in a frying pan. Once the vegetables have softened add fried corn tortillas, they can be in the form of chips or leftover taco shells, whatever you have around. Add meat like shredded chicken or pork and then the salsa of your choice. Cook until the tortillas have softened up and the salsa is heated through.

Popular serving options are to top with cheese like cotija or queso fresco, crumbled feta is a good substitution for both, mexican crema which is similar to sour cream or creme fraiche, diced onions, cilantro, fried or scrambled eggs, and avocado slices.

Recipe
1 medium onion diced
1 diced jalapeño (optional)
1 small can of diced green chilies (drained)
3 diced cloves of garlic
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips per person
1/2 cup shredded meat per person
1 egg per person
1/2 cup cheese
3/4 cup salsa per person
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, heat 1 TBS of cooking oil add the onions, garlic, jalapeños and green chilies and cook until the onions are soften. Then add the meat, tortillas and cook for 3 minutes until the meat is heated, add the salsa turn down to medium and simmer. In a separate pan, heat up 1 TBS of oil and cook the eggs. If you’re serving this for a lot of folks, I’d suggest scrambling the eggs and having them on the side.

Sam’s Salsa Verde
6 Large Tomatillos, peeled rinsed and cut into quarters
4 Jalapeños stems removed and cut in half
2 Medium onions peeled and cut into quarters
1 head of garlic, with the cloves peeled
2 limes (juiced)
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of scallions greens and whites chopped
2 TBS olive oil
Salt to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 400Fº, place the tomatillos, jalapeños, onions and garlic on a foil lined cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast the veggies in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for an hour. Once the veggies have cooled, blend all the ingredients in a blender until everything is incorporated.

There’s a similar dish called Migas that’s popular in the Southwest, its basically the same ingredients, but they’re all incorporated into scrambled eggs. I’ll cover that at some other time.