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A formula for the perfect brunch

I’m sure I’ll come across as a complainer here, but I’m not the biggest fan of restaurant brunch …

The main reason for this is because I think I’m still scarred by Sundays in my twenties when I spent half the day waiting in line with my friends to get a table in a popular New York location get hold of it and then spend $ 30 on a plate of scrambled eggs. And I’ve never really recovered from reading Kitchen Confidential by then-restaurant chef Anthony Bourdain, in which he admitted his disgust for food and called it a “terrible, cynical way of unloading leftovers,” the out of “old, bad.” Little things ”were made. ”

But home brunches are a different story. Over the years I’ve had to host my share of bridal and baby showers, and of course, Mother’s Day brunch, and unlike dinner party menus, I’ve come up with a formula for perfect selections. This is how it works:

Egg-based main course + bagels & smoked salmon spread + fruit salad

If I’m ambitious, I throw in a baked good or ask one of the patrons to look for muffins or a decadent coffee cake at the local bakery.

For the egg-based main course, you can use a classic quiche (like spinach and sweet onion below), a frittata (as shown above), or a simple casserole (like this leek, ham and cheese from Smitten Kitchen). . For the bagels and salmon, make sure you have all the ingredients (cream cheese, chopped red onions, capers, lemon wedges) and the fruit should be whatever the season: a large bowl of strawberries at this time of year would be nice. In winter I would go with pineapples, oranges, and pomegranates. Simple, cute and brand new.

Spinach and sweet onion quiche
You can think of this as a basic quiche formula by swapping kale, broccoli, or Swiss chard for spinach, and feta or gruyère for cheddar. Makes a 9 inch cake.

Store-bought pie batter like Pillsbury for a 9 inch cake pan (you may need to roll it out slightly).
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach (or 1/2 cup thawed frozen spinach, dry-pressed)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup half and half or light cream
4 large eggs
3 ounces cheddar cheese, crushed (about 3/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375 ° F. Put an oven rack in the middle position.

Place the batter in a 9-inch cake pan, then use a fork to prick the bottom all the way. Bake for 8 minutes.

While the crust parbakes, combine the olive oil, onion, salt, and pepper in a pan over medium heat. Cook the onion for as long as possible, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes to make it as caramelized as possible.

Transfer the onion to a cutting board and spread it on one side of the board to cool slightly. Add the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted. (Skip this step if using frozen spinach.) Place on the same cutting board as the onion and allow to cool a little, then roughly chop both the onion and spinach.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, half and half, eggs, and more salt and pepper.

Take the cake pan out of the oven and pour the egg mixture into it. Carefully add the onion and spinach. Cover the whole thing with the cheese and bake until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean (approx. 30 to 35 minutes). Let cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.

Tips for Planning Ahead: If you do this beforehand, let it cool completely, then cover it with foil and let it cool down. Place in the oven to heat up and set the heat to 350 ° F to warm up (if you put the dish in a cold oven it can be heated gradually with the oven) until a knife inserted in the center takes about 25 minutes comes out hot for a long time. I also think quiche works at room temperature. So if you can make it in the morning just leave it on the counter until brunch.

PS Simple breakfast for guests and a raspberry and almond coffee cake.

(Photo by Jeff Wasserman / Stocksy.)


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