You've got less than a week to plan your Mother's Day brunch menu! Fortunately, that's plenty of time if you're going to keep it simple. Here are some brunch recipes that are easy to make, but will also impress Mom.
Makes 6 eggs
Poached eggs mystify people, but they shouldn't. Prep ahead (yep you can do this) and reheat in a water bath in a low oven for the perfect ta-da! brunch dish that will make you look like a superstar.
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 6 eggs
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, season with salt and vinegar. Crack egg and place in a tiny ramekin.
- Slowly drop the egg into the water, getting the ramekin as close to the water as possible. Cover and allow the egg to boil for 2 minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to dry. Trim excess white and place on a baking sheet.
- These can be kept warm in a low heat oven until ready to serve.
- If you're not planning to serve immediately, remove eggs from the pot and place in an ice bath to stop cooking. Eggs can be made the night before, kept in an ice bath in the refrigerator and reheated in a low oven.
Tip: For a smaller pot, don't attempt more than 2 eggs per batch. This may seem tedious, but it'll prevent the egg whites from wrapping up in each other or breaking the egg.
Makes 1 cup
Hollandaise uses the same technique as homemade mayo but with butter, and is the ultimate breakfast sauce. The trick is fresh room-temperature eggs.
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- In a metal bowl place egg yolk, lemon juice and salt.
- Using a whisk and over a double boiler (tip: use the same saucepan you're doing the poached eggs in before you begin to poach) heat egg yolk for 1 minute until just warmed. Remove and slowly whisk in melted butter, a drop at a time, until an emulsified sauce forms and is thick and creamy. Add chives and season with salt if needed.
Citrus salad with pistachio dressing
This everyday citrus salad will make you look like Martha Stewart. It's all about cutting the citrus correctly.
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 cara cara orange
- 1 Florida orange
- 1 Meyer lemon
- 1 lime
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup toasted and chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup mint
- With a sharp knife cut both ends of each fruit off, giving yourself a flat surface. Working slowly, cut the skin off by cutting from top to bottom, and then slice in 1/2-inch rounds.
- Place citrus on a larger platter and drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with sugar, salt, pistachios and mint.
Shrimp and grits
Shrimp and grits is a staple in the South and everyone has their own recipe. I have a secret: Grits are polenta (I'm talking to you, Italians!) so the same principles apply; you can also substitute one for the other if you can't find grits at the store. Feel free to use whatever water-to-grits ratio you please, I found a good ratio for the home cook is 4:1, 4 cups liquid to 1 cup grits.
- 4-5 cups liquid (water, milk, heavy cream or a mix)
- 1 cup grits (not instant)
- 1-2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 - 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 15-20 medium shrimp, de-veined and peeled, tails left on
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 onion, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Heat liquid in a large pot. Bring to a boil and slowly pour in grits while whisking. Whisk off and on over medium low heat until grits absorb water. Season with salt, butter and cheese. Keep warm and fluid, adding more liquid if needed.
- Place shrimp in a bowl and season with salt and cayenne.
- Meanwhile, fry bacon over medium and cook until browned. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until just cooked. Add wine to deglaze the pan.
- Serve shrimp mixture over grits. Grate with extra cheddar if desired.
Scones are like biscuits with sugar. Using what's known as the "cut in butter method" you'll splinter cold butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal. If butter becomes too warm during the process, the refrigerator is your friend. The secret to flaky, light scones (and biscuits for that matter) is cold butter plus hot oven.
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick cold butter, cubed
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, white and yolk divided
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
- 1 tablespoon water
- Line a large, rimless baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until crumbly. Make a well and add yolk, buttermilk and chocolate chips. Using a fork, mix until a shaggy dough forms. It will not look like traditional dough; that's ideal!
- Place onto a floured surface and create a square with 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 8 scones and place on the sheet tray.
- To make egg wash whisk together the remaining yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush on scones and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes.
- Serve with jam.
Tip: Less is more for scones, don't over-knead, over-hydrate or over-bake.
Lemon & Salt: A Modern Girl's Guide to Culinary Revelry is available on Amazon, check it out!