A brunch can be as casual or formal as you make it. It can be informal dress or food, but served with glitzy touches. No special occasion necessary – just a free weekend.
Need meal ideas? Fear not!
Here are some of my ideas for a delicious spring brunch.
1. Limoncello Cocktails, Spinach Salad with Honey Bacon Dressing, Artichoke and Mushroom Quiche
Dress your table in white linen. Pull out the china and stemware, place small clear jars with white blossoms of your choice in water around your table and add white candles strategically placed. Simple and elegant for this simple, yet elegant meal.
1 1/2 ounces citrus vodka
1/2 ounce limoncello
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
2 sprigs of thyme
Pour vodka, limoncello, fresh lime juice and the leaves from one sprig of thyme into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the other sprig of thyme.
8 cups fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
2 1/2 cups thin sliced white button mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 medium tomato, chopped
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Honey Bacon Dressing
2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Serve immediately. Yields 8 to 10 servings.
Artichoke and Mushroom Quiche
1 piecrust, refrigerated or homemade
1 can whole artichokes
1 small can sliced mushrooms
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare piecrust according to directions for 10-inch glass pie plate. Drain the artichokes, lightly squeeze out liquid and roughly chop; then spread on bottom of piecrust. Drain mushrooms and roughly chop. Layer one half cup of the Swiss cheese over the artichokes and then layer the chopped mushrooms over that. Layer another half cup of cheese over mushrooms.
In medium bowl, mix the eggs, cream and 1/2 cup Swiss cheese together. Add spices and mix well. Gently pour egg mixture over all. Bake in center of oven for 45-50 minutes until quiche is risen and nicely browned. Half-way through cooking, put aluminum on top to prevent crust from burning. Remove from oven and let set 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
Garnish with sprigs of thyme or rosemary.Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes. Slice and serve. Garnish with fresh thyme or rosemary.
2. Maple Ham Steaks, Poached Eggs, Sour Cream Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Mimosas
Heres an informal, hearty brunch for your starving bunch!
Maple Ham Steak
1 bone-in fully cooked ham steak (about 2lbs, 3/4″ thick)
1/2 cup maple syrup, divided
Grill ham, uncovered, over medium-hot heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 140°, basting frequently with 1/4 cup syrup. Serve remaining syrup with the ham steaks. Serves 6
1 to 2 teaspoons vinegar (optional)
In a saucepan, heat water until boiling, then lower until it is no longer boiling. At this point, you can add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water if you want. The vinegar will help the egg whites to stiffen more easily.
Working with the eggs one by one, crack an egg into a small cup, then place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently drop the egg into the water. With a spoon, move the egg whites inward to their yolks. This helps the egg whites stay together. Turn off the heat. Cover. Let sit for 4 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked. Lift eggs out of pan with a slotted spoon. Make as many as your guests would like.
Sour Cream Pancakes
1 cup sour cream
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat griddle, iron skillet or frying pan. Place sour cream in a medium bowl. Combine dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Place in a sifter and sift over sour cream (or mix dry ingredients together in another bowl then add to sour cream). Very gently, stir ingredients till they are mixed together, but not completely combined. It’s best to have the batter with a little bit of a lumpy texture.
In separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add vanilla and mix well. Pour egg mixture into sour cream/flour mixture. Stir gently until all ingredients are mixed well.
Melt about a tablespoon of butter onto skillet/pan/griddle. Pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the pan. Cook each side of the pancake for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the pancakes turn brown. Remove from heat, stack ’em high and smother them in maple syrup!
1 1/2 cup chilled champagne
1/2 cup orange juice
Mix three parts of your favorite champagne to one part of your favorite orange juice. Enjoy!
Brunch can be whatever you would like it to be. Have friends over and make brunch together. The choice is yours – and there are so many choices.
Photo credit: megan.chromik