March 23rd 2013

Four festive Easter Brunch recipes

With Easter around the corner, it is the perfect time to start planning your menu. And although it doesn’t feel like spring is in the air when celebrating in March, you can still come up with a delicious menu for the perfect springtime brunch.

These four recipes are a snap to put together, loaded with springtime produce, and all deliver that satisfaction for a hankering for comfort food.

And, of course, you will have to have some chocolate to go alongside it, too.

Classic Hash Browns

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 large sweet onion
3 tablespoons chopped green onions, plus more for garnish
7 slices bacon, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, divided

Grate the potatoes and onion using a box grater or the grater attachment on the food processor. Put inside a kitchen towel and, overtop of the sink or in a bowl, squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Put the potatoes and onion in a medium bowl, along with the green onions and bacon. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large 10 to 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once it starts to foam, add the mixture and, using a spatula, press the potatoes firmly into the bottom of the pan. Reduce to low heat and let cook about 8 minutes, until brown and crisp.

Carefully invert the potato mixture onto a large plate. Add the remaining butter. Let it melt, then add the potato mixture back to the pan. Cook about 6 minutes, until crisp. Slide onto a plate. Garnish with green onions.

Baked French Toast Casserole with Candied Nut-Oat Topping

Casserole:

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups cream
1 cup 2 percent milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Nut-Oat Topping:

1 cup butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Additional maple syrup, for serving

Slice the French bread into 1-inch thick slices. Arrange them in a buttered 9×13 baking dish in two rows, with overlapping. Put the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Beat until well blended. Pour the mixture over the slices, making sure they are completely covered. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the dish the next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the butter, brown sugar, pecans, oats, syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the soaked bread and egg mixture. Bake for 40 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Fruit Salad with Spiced Greek Yogurt

2 cups plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Juice from 1 orange
1/2 melon, cut into chunks
1/2 canteloupe, cut into chunks
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 bunch seedless green grapes, halved

Mix the yogurt, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom together. Put the orange juice, melon, cantaloupe, blueberries, raspes, strawberries, and grapes in a large bowl. Mix well. Let stand at least 30 minutes. Serve with the yogurt mixture.

Scrambled Eggs with Avocado

10 eggs
1/4 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks.
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add the milk and whisk until foamy and light, about 3 minutes. Out the butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet heated over medium heat. Once the butter is foamy, turn the temperature to medium low. Pour in the eggs. Using a spatula, slowly stir the eggs, in large circles, as the mixture sets. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once set, remove from heat and stir in the avocado and cilantro.Serve warm.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.