Easter allows us the opportunity to invite friends and family for brunch. Brunch, perhaps the most versatile meal of all – allows us to serve breakfast foods, lunch foods, appetizer foods, dessert foods or all of the above – anything goes! What better time of year than Easter when we welcome spring and fresh tastes. With that in mind, here are two make-ahead recipes that are good any time of the day, and what’s more, they’re made with the versatile egg. Happy Easter!
Make-ahead French toast
The vibrant taste of orange is a welcome taste at breakfast. The fact that it can be assembled the night before makes it ideal for a special morning of entertaining.
6 slices (1 inch/2.5 cm thick) French bread, crusts removed (If bread is already cut, stack slices on top of each other to reach 1 inch thickness)
1 cup (250 mL) orange juice or milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) each, grated orange rind & granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) favourite orange liqueur
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
Orange Marmalade Sauce:
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange marmalade
1/4 cup (60 mL) orange juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) orange liqueur
In mixing bowl, beat together eggs, orange juice, grated rind, sugar, liqueur (if using) and vanilla. Arrange bread, cutting to fit, in single layer in 13 by 9-inch (3 L) baking dish sprayed with baking spray. Pour orange juice mixture evenly over bread; cover and refrigerate.
The next morning, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until no longer soggy but firm to the touch.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together marmalade, orange juice and honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Serve with French toast. Makes six servings.
‘Anything goes’ frittata
A frittata is the Italian version of the French quiche without the crust (which adds to its simplicity). You could also describe it as baked scrambled eggs. Keeping this in mind, coupled with the fact that you can make it with all your favourite foods, it is bound to be a winner. Serve with assorted warm breads and a salad – it’s especially good with a baby kale, orange and almond salad!
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter or vegetable oil
2 cups (500 mL) prepared sliced vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers, broccoli florets, spinach or sliced asparagus – a 2 cup mixture of mushrooms, peppers and spinach is colourful and particularly tasty
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each, salt, thyme and tarragon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) fresh black pepper and ground nutmeg
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
2 cups (500 mL) shredded old cheddar or Swiss cheese
1 cup (250 mL) freshly made bread crumbs (about 1 slice of bread)
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped fresh parsley and sliced green onions (about 3)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 10- or deep 9-inch pie plate with baking spray. Heat butter or oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups vegetables of choice, sprinkle with salt, thyme, tarragon, pepper and nutmeg. Cook covered until vegetables are softened, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cheese and bread crumbs. Stir in prepared vegetables, parsley and green onions and immediately pour them into the prepared pie dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until just set. Frittata ingredients may be prepared the night before, covered and refrigerated, then baked the next day.
Let frittata stand for at least 15 minutes after baking before cutting into six to eight wedges to serve. Frittata may be served hot or at room temperature. Makes six to eight servings.