Monday, March 16, 2009

Brunchin it :)

While my parents were in town, I got to host a brunch with my mom's cousin and his wife. I did alot of the prep ahead of time so that the morning was very relaxed :) On the menu...

Sweet & Spicy Bacon


Sweet & Spicy Bacon
I've seen this everywhere, I think it originated from Gourmet

1 pkg bacon
2T turbinado sugar
1/8t cayenne pepper
1/4t fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350deg. Line two baking sheets with parchment, and place bacon in single layer. Bake 20min. While this is baking, mix spices. After 20min, I drained this and lined them with a fresh sheet of parchment, flipping them over in the process. Sprinkle spice mix over the bacon, and bake for another 20min or so until nice and crispy. Drain on paper towels before serving!



Monte Cristo Bake

The challah I recently posted was fabulous in a Monte Cristo Bake. As you all mentioned, it is a fabulous vehicle for french toast!! And this was a great savory take on the breakfast dish.Yes, I'm aware this defeats the purpose of a vegan challah, but it was the whole wheat and flax that appealed to me :)


Monte Cristo Bake
adapted from feelgood eats (blog no longer exists)
(serves 6-8)
  • 1 loaf of challah (or brioche)
  • 6 large eggs, beaten  (or a mix of eggs and whites)
  • 1 cup milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 pound sliced deli ham
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese and/or cave-aged gruyere
  • 1/4 cups maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Slice the bread into 1/4″-1/2″ slices. Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Dip the bread slices in the batter and then place them in the bottom of the casserole dish in a single layer - you can scrunch and tear to get a nice layer without gaps.

Layer all of the ham over the slices and then cover with cheese. Dip the remaining bread slices in the batter and arrange on top of the ham and cheese to cover. Drizzle over 1/4 cup maple syrup.

Loosely cover the casserole with foil and bake for 55 minutes. To finish, place the casserole directly under the broiler and broil on high for 3 minutes - you just want it to crisp up a bit, so keep your eye on it! Place the confectioners sugar in a fine mesh sieve and then lightly tap the sieve over the casserole for a nice dusting of sugar on top. Serve immediately with maple syrup as garnish.




Breakfast Casserole

To incorporate some veggies into the meal, I also made a Breakfast Casserole with asparagus, portabellos, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese. It was inspired by Kalyn's recipe, and I pretty much followed her lead! I added some sundried tomatoes, crumbled in some goat cheese (~2oz?), used thyme instead of Spike seasoning, and baked it in a 9"sq pan. Oh, I used a mix of eggs and egg whites here too.

My guests brought along a nice fresh fruit salad, completing the meal quite nicely :) Great food and great company, what more could you ask for??

34 comments:

Elina said...

Nice brunch! I'm sure your guests were very happy diners :D

Dawn said...

whoa! seriously, that looks better than the orignial--adding that bacon...oh man. you're bad.

Esi said...

Bacon makes it better. Looks like you had a good brunch!

Erica said...

Very nice! I'm sure everyone had a blast. What a great hostess you are!!

Elra said...

OMG Tff, this absolutely look scrumptious.
Cheers,
elra

Heather said...

mmmmm. that bacon looks so good! as does that casserole!

Lauren said...

I adore Monte Cristo sandwiches, so this brunch dish is right up my alley!

Ricki said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. And certainly, wonderful food!!

5 Star Foodie said...

What a yummy brunch! The monte cristo bake looks excellent!

Meg said...

What a great twist to add more flavor to the bacon.

Reeni♥ said...

That is some serious goodness! Everything is just off the charts! YUM!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

omg this looks SOOO GOOOOD. i am so hungry now.

-michelle

Kerstin said...

What an amazing brunch! I'm a huge fan of picking recipes that can be prepped ahead of time when we entertain. The Monte Cristo Bake looks especially delicious!

Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) said...

The food looks good!

Christina said...

Question: Am I seeing snowflakes falling on your pictures? I just want to make sure my mind isn't playing tricks on me. =P

The Monte Cristo bake sounds incredible. I'm definitely going to have to try that.

Nick said...

Sweet and spicy, genius. That must be why bacon chocolate is becoming so popular. Speaking of which I need to find some. And nice cass.

pigpigscorner said...

Nice brunch! The bacon looks and sounds so good!

Amy said...

mmm that bacon looks divine. Who doesn't love brunch!

lauren said...

great brunch! and that bacon..um..wow - I have never heard of that, but it sounds and looks incredible.

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

OH MY GOSH - you are amazing. This was not a good post to read an hour before lunch one I am already starving!

I bet your guests were in heaven. I want some of that Monte Cristo in my life. No, I NEED it right now. Yum my friend!

Meghann said...

I LOVE Brunch! Those dishes look incredible! :)

Lo said...

I'm completely sold. These look like fantastic options for brunch... especially that sweet/spicy bacon. LOVE me some bacon with caramelized sugars on top!

Erin of Care to Eat said...

That looks like a great brunch. Have you ever put maple syrup on your bacon before cooking it?

Emily said...

Looks like a killer brunch. My brother would have been all over that bacon!

Annie said...

Sounds like a pro planned it :) It all sounds and looks fantastic!

eatingbender said...

Great brunch, Shannon! I've never actually heard of sweet & spicy bacon but it sounds awesome. Plus challah bread and breakfast casserole? HEAVEN! My family has a breakfast casserole recipe for special occasions - I love it! But next time I am definitely adding sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese :o)

Joanne said...

That looks WOW good. Challah is one of my favorite breads, I will definitely try to make some soon.

lesley said...

Thanks!! : )

Yum, that breakfast casserole looks wonderful! I love brunch, it's fun : )

Diana said...

brunch is great! yours looks amazing!
diana

Pumpkin said...

Oooo! That Monte Cristo bake looks so crazy good!

(They do a similar bacon at work, but with maple sugar. It smells like heaven when it's baking- and after it comes out, everyone has a hard time keeping their hands off it!)

Jess said...

I love breakfast casseroles and have never made one. Everything looks delicious. You are quite the hostess!

Bec said...

i love bacon but your version sounds even yummier!

RhodeyGirl/Sabrina said...

i obviously have problems and overtired bc i thought that first picture was of a berry tart, until i read the title of the pic and went back to look at it.

time for bed...

Kevin said...

A monte cristo bake sounds so good!

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