A long time ago I posted a foolproof guide to brunch part one. I didn’t mean to wait so long before following up, but I recently hosted a birthday brunch for a friend, and made a few new dishes that were so delicious I couldn’t wait to share them with you.
For this brunch I relied entirely on Smitten Kitchen, which you all know is my favorite food blog. I decided to have an egg component, a carb component (or two) and an fruit component for the perfect balance.
baked ranchero eggs with blistered jack cheese and lime crema
i was told by a close friend that this was “the best thing i’ve ever made”, so i think that speaks for itself. this recipe is outstanding. it would make an amazing dinner too. the eggs, cheese, lime scented sour cream and the crispy tortilla strips…YUM.
Recipe from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,” by Deb Perelman
For the ranchero sauce:
1 jalapeño, or to taste
1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cups cooked black beans, drained
For the tortilla strips:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 small corn tortillas
Salt, to taste
12 large eggs
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded jack cheese
For the crema:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
To make the ranchero sauce, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Quarter and seed the jalapeño, if desired, and toss into a blender. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and several pinches of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Pour into a 12-inch oven proof skillet, add the black beans and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until sauce has reduced slightly.
Meanwhile, make the tortilla strips. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cut the tortillas into 1/2-inch wide strips and arrange them on the oiled tray. Brush the tops of the strips with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 3 to 6 minutes, or until they are brown and crisp.
Make the crema by stirring together the lime juice, crema and a pinch of salt.
Once the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pan from the heat and break the eggs across the surface of the sauce, distributing them as evenly as possible. Return to heat, cover the pan and simmer eggs gently in sauce for 10-12 minutes, or until the whites are nearly but not completely opaque. Sprinkle surface of the tomato and egg mixture with the cheese and broil until the cheese is bubbly and a bit blistered – just a few minutes. Garnish with dollops of lime crema, broken pieces of tortilla strips and cilantro.
cinnamon toast french toast
because this can be assembled ahead of time it is a hostess’ dream. it’s rich and eggy with an amazing crunch, and it was great with vanilla greek yogurt dolloped on top.
recipe from Smiten Kitchen
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
16 slices (from a 1-pound or 450 gram loaf) white sandwich bread
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (710 ml) whole milk
6 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place the bread slices on the baking sheets in one layer. Spread each slice of bread with 1 teaspoon of butter, then sprinkle each slice with one teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Toast the trays of bread in the oven until the bread is golden, and until the cinnamon-sugar makes a caramelized crunch on top, for about 7 to10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and let the toast cool slightly.
Generously butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. (You might have a little butter leftover but I wanted to build in some leeway in case, understandably, you weren’t buttering your bread with precise teaspoon measurements!) Cut two slices of the cinnamon toast in half horizontally. Arrange the cinnamon toast down in two rows along the width of the pan. Begin with the bottom half of one slice of toast, then fan 7 more slices in a row, finishing with the top half of the slice. This ensures that those served the end pieces of the baked French toast are not stiffed with thin slices! Repeat with another 7 full slices and 1 halved slice of cinnamon toast in the second row.
Whisk the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl and pour evenly over cinnamon toast in baking dish. Let sit for 15 minutes (or overnight, if you’re preparing this ahead of time) so that the custard absorbs a bit.
Before baking, if you’ve got any extra cinnamon-sugar (you’ll likely have a tablespoon or two), sprinkle it over the French toast. Bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden and until no liquid seeps out of the toasts when they are nudged about in the pan. Cut into squares and serve plain, or with a dollop of plain yogurt and fresh berries, or maple syrup.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
¾ cup sour cream or a rich, full- fat plain yogurt
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all- purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 cups pitted and diced plums, from about ¾ pound Italian prune plums (though any plum variety will do)
Whisk the egg with both sugars in the bottom of a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then the sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds, and then stir them into the sour- cream mixture until it is just combined and still a bit lumpy. Fold in the plums.
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
3 pounds of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly.
Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.
i know this was a long one, but now you have all of my favorite brunch recipes in one place!