“Why would anyone ever eat anything but breakfast foods?” asked the fictional Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation
. We whole-heartedly agree.
The concept of brunch — breakfast meets lunch — has inspired many a think piece, with reasons why gay brunch matters, the meal’s history and why brunch is the absolute worst. Since its first whispers in the late 1800s, brunch has brought people together whether after church with the fam to break fast or after a crazy night out with friends to relive the evening’s debauchery.
And while there’s a plethora of brunches to discover in San Antonio, there are ways to brunch at home without breaking a sweat. Don’t let this stop you from venturing out in search of the city’s best hollandaise or crispiest bacon or sweetest French toast. But perhaps brunch in the wild will taste sweeter if you step into a cook’s shoes and groggily wake up to prepare a feast at home.
We kept things simple enough to follow, while sprinkling a few winners and a surprise from Tots! (Workman, $12.95), a handy guide to all things tater by author Dan Whalen. Have your guests BYOB (bubbly), and give them a noon arrival time. You can’t mess this up.
The Shopping List
- Vanilla extract
- Milk of choice
- Bread for toast
- Bacon, two packages
- Provolone (1 cup)
- Tots (45 of them)
- Strawberries, without stems
- Orange juice
- Cranberry juice
The Night Before
Prepare a Compote
In a medium sauce pan, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons sugar and three cups worth of mixed berries. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer to thicken. Reserve in mason jar.
Bake Your Bacon
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay an oven-proof baking rack over aluminum and place bacon in a single layer. Bake for 15. Refrigerate in airtight container.
Make a Playful Quiche Tot Crust Quiche with Bacon and Caramelized Onion
- 1 pound frozen tots (about 45 tots), defrosted
- 8 large eggs
- Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing the pan
- 1/2 pound bacon (about 10 strips)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 ounces arugula
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°. Mash up the tots in a large bowl, add 1 of the eggs, and stir to incorporate.
Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray and press your tot mixture into it and up the sides to form a crust (try to make the crust even throughout). Bake the crust until it starts to brown on the edges, about 20 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool (keep the oven on). Chop the bacon crosswise into ½-inch pieces and cook in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow it to drain on a paper towel. Drain the bacon fat from the pan, reserving about 2 tablespoons in the pan.
Heat the reserved bacon fat over low heat, add the onion, and cook until it is medium-brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in the arugula and cook until wilted. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the 7 remaining eggs, the milk, and the cheese. Stir in the bacon mixture.
Set the pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet and pour the egg mixture into the crust, using a spoon to spread the fillings evenly. Bake until the filling is set and the center doesn’t wobble, about 40 minutes.
Allow the quiche to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Tot crust quiche will keep in the pie pan covered in aluminum foil in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. To reheat it, pop it in the oven at 350° for 10 minutes.
From Tots! by Dan Whalen.
Set Up Your Mimosa Bar
No one’s going to come over for brunch unless you’re bringing it with a mimosa bar. Using small carafes, display your juice of choice: orange, cranberry, guava, what have you. Fill a small washtub (or your sink) with ice and keep juices and bubbles cool.
Prepare Your Dutch Baby
Dutch babies were a staple at Folc, but they’re wildly easy to make at home.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cups milk of choice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat; set aside.
In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar. Blend until foamy, about 1 minute. Pour batter into skillet; bake until pancake is puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Working quickly, dot pancake with 1 tablespoon butter, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon juice. Slice into wedges, and serve immediately.
Modified from marthastewart.com.
Toast Your Bread
Like it or not, toast is still having a moment. Buy a good loaf, and go to town with the toppings. We used smashed avocados with sea salt, mascarpone and the compote.
Heat oven to 200. Heat your griddle to medium. Brush olive oil or melted butter lightly on bread and heat until grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep toast warm in heated oven.
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