Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Brunch

Friday, December 23, 2011 12:40

Colorful Ideas for Your Out of Towners

by: Casey Pukl

As of five o’clock tonight, the holidays will be in full swing! Being the procrastinator that I am, I of course saved my grocery shopping until the very last minute. Having a house full of people this weekend, the only thing left to plan is breakfast. I know many of you will find yourselves in the same position. I’ve got an amazing Christmas Eve dinner planned complete with appetizers and desserts, cocktails, cookies galore, but what happens when eight people wake up in my house following the festivities?

Chef Todd to the rescue! For this week’s article, it’s all about breakfast, and things are going to be a little bit different this week. Instead of just one farm fresh ingredient, we’ll actually be using several. Beverage manager Marc Canzoneri and Executive Chef Todd Allison have teamed up this week to give you two easy brunch menus that are sure to please everyone!

Menu #1: Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast & Strawberry Lemonadas

This is a great recipe to make in large quantities, and since you can bake it in the oven, it requires minimal oversight. Start with a sweet Hawaiian bread sliced into 1 inch slices. You can either further slice the bread halfway to stuff it, or just cut it entirely in half and make it like a sandwich— either way, it will still taste fantastic. To make the stuffing, first make a strawberry puree. Then use a mixer to mix the cream cheese, granulated sugar, milk, and cinnamon together. Spread the strawberry puree and the cream cheese filling on the bread, dip the bread into an egg and cream batter, and place into a 9×13 baking dish. Continue with the rest of the bread and filling until the dish is filled, and then bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Serve the french toast with a rum maple syrup and butter. You can save a little strawberry puree for the end to drizzle on top as well.

To make the strawberry lemonadas, you’ll need vodka, fresh mint, simple syrup, strawberry puree, and fresh lemon juice. Simply combine, shake with ice, and serve.

Menu #2: Mexican Breakfast Scramble & Ramos Gin Fizz

This is a southern California favorite, and fortunately it’s also super simple. Get yourself a carton of eggs (depending on how many guests you have, plan for 2 eggs per person), crack them into a large bowl, and scramble them up. Chop up a little chorizo, spinach, bell peppers, and shred a little white cheddar cheese. Sautee the vegetables and chorizo first, then add the eggs. Sprinkle the cheese on top at the end, and serve the scramble in a flour tortilla with some salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. It’s that simple!

If you’re ready for a little more labor intensive beverage option, the Ramos Gin Fizz is well worth the effort. This citrusy concoction is a winner all around.  You’ll need a little fresh lemon juice, lime juice, cream, egg whites, simple syrup, gin, and soda water. For a sample recipe, check out this one. I will warn you, the Ramos is best when shaken for a few minutes, so you might want to get everyone involved in the shaking (hey, it’ll burn off some of those cookie calories).  Garnish with a lime wheel, and prepare to enjoy!

Be sure to come in and try our brand new Sunday brunch menu for 2012! Brunch starts Sunday, January 1, 2012 with our kick off “Hangover Brunch”. You can try both of the cocktails featured in this article there— and note that the Ramos is a labor of love, so sometimes it takes a few extra minutes.