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Spring Brunch

I love Spring. The best part of living in New England is the seasons and after a snowy, slushy winter, I am ready to celebrate crocuses peeping up from the ground and asparagus leading the parade of spring vegetables. Plus, who doesn’t like brunch foods?

 

On the menu was:

Roasted salmon and asparagus    

Baked eggs in ham

Mini spinach and mushroom frittatas

Potato and sausage casserole

Orange and olive salad

Sausage

Bacon

 

Croissant bread pudding with chocolate

Blueberry boy bait

Coffee toffee crunch bars

 

I think the most interesting dish was the orange and olive salad. It was from a Mark Bittman article in the NYT a few weeks ago. I would never think to pair oranges and olives, but the combination of the sweet acid of the orange, the briny olive and the crunch and licorice hints from the fennel seeds created quite a flavor profile. I really enjoyed it.


Baked eggs in ham

I over cooked these a little, I usually like the egg a bit runny.

Oven at 400. Line 12 muffin cups with ham slices. Crack egg in to each cup. Pour a touch of heavy cream in each. Salt and Pepper. Bake 12-14 minutes.

Mini spinach and mushroom frittatas


This is the recipe I took my inspiration from. But I decided to do a spinach, onion and mushroom mixture, put it on the bottom of 12 lined muffin cups and poured a mixture of 5 eggs beaten with 1.5 cups of cream. I topped it with cheddar cheese and baked for 15 minutes.  


Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms Gourmet | June 2004

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 40 min

Yield: Makes 4 servings

 

10 oz baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Bring 1/2 inch water to a boil in a 10- to 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet (not cast-iron), then add half of spinach and cook, turning with tongs, until wilted, about 30 seconds. Add remaining spinach and wilt in same manner, then cook, covered, over moderately high heat until spinach is tender, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Gently squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop.

Wipe skillet dry, then cook onion and garlic in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and increase heat to moderate, then cook, stirring, until mushrooms are softened and have exuded liquid, about 3 minutes. Stir in cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and chopped spinach and bring to a simmer. Remove skillet from heat and make 4 large indentations in spinach mixture. Break an egg into each indentation and bake, uncovered, until egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, 7 to 10 minutes. Lightly season eggs with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with cheese.

Potato and sausage casserole

 

I just doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9X13. I thought turned out really well.

 

Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole Bon Appétit | November 1997

1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)

1 1-pound package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until brown, breaking into small pieces with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Mix in flour, then milk. Cook until mixture thickens and comes to boil, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Arrange potatoes in prepared dish. Top with 1/3 of green onions, 1 cup cheese, 1/3 of green onions, sausage mixture and remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake casserole until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining green onions and serve.

Orange and olive salad

 

Time: 20 minutes

1 cup good oil-cured black olives, pitted

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed

4 navel oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds

Fennel seeds.

1. In a food processor, combine olives and thyme, if using, with a bit of olive oil. Pulse machine once or twice, then turn it on and add remaining olive oil rather quickly; you want this purée on the rough side. Thin with more olive oil if necessary. (You can refrigerate this for up to a month.)

2. Layer 3 or 4 orange slices on each plate, drizzle with a little more olive oil, top with a tablespoon of olive purée, and sprinkle with a few fennel seeds. Serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

Croissant bread pudding with chocolate

I just made this one up. I used a basic custard ratio and topped it with chocolate. So easy and yummy.

 

10 Plain Croissants

10 eggs

4 cups of heavy cream

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1 Cup of sugar

1 ½ cups Bittersweet Chocolate chunks

 

Preheat oven to 350.

 

Butter a 10x15 pan (you can just reduce the ingredients if you are using a more standard 9x13 pan). Cut the croissants in to 1-inch pieces, put in prepared pan. Beat eggs, cream, vanilla and sugar together. Pour mixture over croissants, top with chocolate. Bake till custard is set, but still soft.

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