Holiday Brunch
  Re: (...)
I am hosting Christmas Eve brunch for my family and my sisters and spouses, and my mom. There will be 10 of us. I have made the sausage strata for some holiday brunch for the last 5 years or so. I love it. Often just make it, cut it up in serving sizes and freeze it for a quick micro egg breakfast.

BUT, because I have made it so many years now, I was wanting something a little different. Anyone have any great ideas for a Holiday brunch for 10? My sister suggested the Eggs Benedict cups in issue 80. Anyone make them? Any ideas would be appreciated.
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
  Re: Holiday Brunch by esgunn (I am hosting Christm...)
Erin, I think I've mentioned this dish before - when I was catering, I had one family (of a group of friends) of tennis players that would rotate having brunch after playing. She & her friends wanted this one whenever I catered. It is wonderful!

* Exported from MasterCook *


2 C milk
1/4 c EVO
8 c 1" cubes sourdough bread, crusts removed
1 1/2 c heavy cream
5 lg eggs
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsps salt
3/4 tsp black. pepper
1/2 tsp grd. nutmeg
12 ozs soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (~3 cups)
2 Tbsps chopped fresh sage
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp herbes de Provence
12 ozs smoked ham, chopped
3 6 1/2-oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained, halved lengthwise (~ 2 1/2 cup)
1 c packed grated Fontina cheese
1 1/2 c packed grated Parmesan, 6 oz.

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter a 13X9X2" glass baking dish. Whisk milk and oil i a large bowl.
Stir in bread; let stand till liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Whisk cream and next 5 ingredients in another bowl to blend.
Add goat cheese.
Mix herbs in small bowl to blend.

Pace half bread mixture in prepared dish.
Top with half the ham, artichoke hearts, herbs and cheeses.
Pour half of cream mixture over.
Repeat layering with remaining bread, ham, artichoke hearts, herbs, cheeses and cream mixture;
(Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.)

Bake uncovered until firm in center and brown around edges, about 1 hour.

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Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by cjs (Erin, I think I've m...)
Wow, that sounds delicious, Jean. Erin, do you always take just one dish? I haven't made this yet, but it sure sounds tasty if you don't mind making two things, since this is more of a dessert.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Buttery Cinnabun Cake

3 Cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ Cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Stick real butter, melted
2 sticks real butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2/3 Cups nuts, optional
2 Cups powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center.

4. Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by Mare749 (Wow, that sounds del...)
Oh me, that sounds like something to make, Maryann.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by cjs (Oh me, that sounds l...)
Both sound very yummy!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by Gourmet_Mom (Both sound very yumm...)
Jean, remember that breakfast torte from the other forum - was it Chef Tom's? I know I copied it into my save file on my home computer but knowing you I'll bet you have it in MC! I never made it but it sounded so good and I thought was a put togerher the night before thing.
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by iBcookin (Jean, remember that ...)
Yes, Chez Tom's - forgot about it. And, yes, I do happen to have it. We've made it 2 or 3 times and it's wonderful! Here it is notes and all.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Grand Rapids First Joseph's Torte - ChezTom

12 Lg Eggs
1 Tbsp Chives -- chopped
1 Tbsp Parsley -- chopped
3 Tbsps Butter
3 Clove Garlic -- minced
1 1/2 Lbs Spinach
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Sheets Puff Pastry -- prepared
24 Ounces Swiss Cheese -- grated
1 Pound Ham -- diced
5 Whole Roasted Red Pepper -- seeded
Egg Wash -- as needed
Salt And Pepper -- as needed

In a bowl. whisk eggs, chives, parsley and a pinch each salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a skillet and cook eggs to a loose scramble. Cool and reserve.

Spray 9" springform pan with non-stick pan spray. Fit a puff pastry sheet on the bottom and up the sides.

Layer the filling - half portions of each: eggs, spinach, ham, cheese, peppers and repeat.

Fold over any over-hanging pastry then cover the top with a second sheet of pastry. Brush with egg wash.

Refridgerate for at least one hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush pastry once more with egg wash and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until golden brown and crisp.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes after removing from the oven then cut and serve.

Tom: Be sure to let those guys rest a bit out of the oven before you unmold. Helps to recongeal the cheese and prevent pancaking. Last, week I got in a hurry, turned a couple out too early and they went flat. Client still ate them and thought they were delicious. Around here you can't miss with cheese, meat and buttery pastry.

I have a question, it might be obvious to the pro, but for me it is not. The recipe call out for 1 cup of heavy cream. When should the heavy cream be incorporated?

1. What should I do with the garlic?
2. What about the heavy cream?
3. Should I saute the peppers and blanch the spinach first or just layer it raw and the veggies will cook while baking.

Ruth: I can't speak for Tom, but I would saute the garlic in the butter, then add the eggs. The cream I would whisk into the 12 eggs before cooking, and the red peppers are already cooked by the roasting process. The spinach I would leave raw. If you cook the spinach first, 1 1/2 pounds will reduce to about a largish cup, enough for 1 layer.

Tom: Ruth's right - incorporate the cream into the egg and leave the spinach raw (although, at times, I have wilted it with a touch of truffle oil for a bigger flavor, but only one layer). This is one of those recipes that actually holds up well to some tinkering. Switch the cheese, leave out the spinach, add bacon and leave out the ham, leave out the meat and add in artichokes or eggplant, etc. When I have to make a huge amount of these (150 serv.or more) I use canned roasted red peppers - I see no reason why you can't.

Good questions 2win - I made assumptions in the recipe that maybe I shouldn't have. I'm not the best recipe writer - typical chef, I have a lot of them committed to memory in my head and when it comes to writing them down well... The thing to remember is when you see a recipe like this and don't know what to do with ingredients because the instructions are vague or non-existant just focus upon what will give that particular ingredient the greatest chance at producing maximum flavor in the context of the dish. In this case, slightly saute the garlic to boost its flavor by taming the raw bitterness with heat, roast the raw pepper to enhance its natural flavor and mellow out the acid notes, combine the egg and cream to fully incorporate the fats to add body and cohesiveness.

As to freezing, I haven't done it. Freezing is not friendly to puff dough. The only way I might freeze it is as a raw product. But then that would miss the point of what you are trying to do and it would still be fairly gnarly.

Tom: Exactly right Ethyl....The one hour chill time as stated in the recipe is the minimum amount of time to chill the torte. Overnight is perfectly fine.

Making ahead of time -
Give a stab thermometer as a present along with the torte.

Initially, when you bake it...
When it comes out of the oven, let it rest and cool for about 15 to 20 minutes then place in the cooler/fridge towards the back. Let it cool to under 45 degrees. Monitor with a thermometer :

To cool down in safety: You must go from 135 or above down to 70 within the first 2 hours. Then from 70 to 41 or lower in the next 4 hours.
To re-heat -

Pre-heat oven to 325. Cover the top of the dish with foil and bake until you reach an internal temp of 145 when checked in the middle of the dish with a thermometer. Approximately 45 - 60 minutes baking time.

Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes then mark the time. Serve the dish. You can have it out for four hours without being on heat or in a chafer before you have to throw it away. Hence, mark the time when you took it out of the oven at 145 degrees. Four hours after that - pitch it.

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Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by cjs (Yes, Chez Tom's - fo...)
Another one that sounds fabulous, Jean!

Erin, did you see the recipe that Jean posted in the What's new for the Holidays post for stuffed french toast. Now, that sounds pretty darn amazing!

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by Mare749 (Another one that sou...)
Oh Man. Now I have some decisions to make. Thanks alot!

No I hadn't seen it Maryann, thanks for the tip. I may have to do a sweet and a savory dish.
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
  Re: Re: Holiday Brunch by esgunn (Oh Man. Now I have ...)
I have so wanted to make Tom's recipe, but I don't have the right size pan and can't find one.
Erin, I don't envy your decision. I'm having trouble picking now, too....LOL!
Keep your mind wide open.

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