Breakfast of Champions

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This past weekend my family came to visit my husband and I to celebrate our recent nuptials with his parent’s close friends.  So of course, as a new couple, we wanted to host my family at our house and entertain them with drinks and a delicious meal!  Entertaining and cooking for other people (especially those who are phenomenal cooks – like my mom) can be slightly intimidating.  Choosing a meal and a theme that is a bit easier and more relaxing can make the whole thing much less stressful to throw together.  That’s why I choose to do a late Sunday brunch.  The food is generally simple to make, its a more relaxed setting, and you really don’t have to worry about having wine or cocktails prepared for your guests.

The menu I choose was pretty simple – even generic – but really good.  And that’s what counts!  The first thing for brunch that is a must, is a giant pot of coffee.  I picked out a nice pumpkin spice blend from Trader Joe’s that went nicely with the cool weather outside.  I also wanted to do mimosas – orange juice with sparkling wine – but I forgot to buy the orange juice, so coffee and hot apple cider did the trick.  For the main event, I prepared an asparagus, roasted red pepper and goat cheese frittata, peppered bacon, croissants with softened butter and homemade strawberry jam, and rosemary roasted potatoes.  You may think that’s a lot to make by 10 am on a Sunday, but here’s the thing…I actually only made the frittata and potatoes from “scratch.”  Bacon is bacon…a few minutes in the pan and its done.  Just keep it warm by tenting it with foil or another plate.  The croissants?  Ha – no way I made those by hand.  That takes all day – really.  But Trader Joe’s sells frozen, un-baked croissants.  You leave them out the night before on a baking sheet, and pop them in the oven at 350 F for 15 minutes and you got the BEST “homemade” croissants ever.  Super simple so far.

Now for the frittata.  If you’re not familiar with a frittata, its basically an an omelet that’s not folded and cooked completely in the pan.  You start on the stove top, add your filling and then finish it up in the oven.  It stays in a circle shape and you slice it up like a pie.  Its just a bit more fancy than your every day omelet.  And just as you would with a regular omelet you can choose any type of filling you like – meat, potatoes, veggies, cheese, etc.  The choice is yours.  I wanted to choose a bunch of veggies and a sharp tasting cheese – so I went with the asparagus and roasted red peppers and a nice tangy goat cheese.  I like that the veggies are different colors and both were bright and the tanginess of the goat cheese went really well with the sweetness of the roasted peppers.  For the prep, the only thing I did the night before, and only because I cherish every minute of sleep in the mornings, is cook and chop up the asparagus and roasted red peppers.  But you can really do that day of.

The rosemary roasted potatoes are such a good side for breakfast.  It’s almost a staple in the breakfast meal for Americans – some type of fried or roasted potatoes.  But these are a bit more elegant than the traditional shredded hash browns – but just as easy to prepare and just as delicious.  If you’re not a fan of rosemary, you can switch out for thyme or garlic, or just plain old salt and pepper.  They’re good just about any way.  I add a bit of onion to my roasted potatoes just for another subtle hit of flavor and texture.  But again, you can leave those out if you’re not an onion fan.

I think these recipes are super easy and are good eats for breakfast or brunch any day of the week.  I hope you try either of these recipes or some of the Trader Joe’s products I mentioned!  Here are the recipes for the frittata and roasted potatoes:

Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata:
Serves 4-6

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup steamed and chopped asparagus (get the pencil thin ones if possible)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (or more if you like!!)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
Preheat oven broiler to high.
Preheat a 10″ nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan – use a brush or paper towel to make sure everything is coated.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, salt and pepper until well combined.  When pan is hot, slowly pour in the egg mixture.  With a rubber spatula, move the egg slightly on the bottom of the pan to get more egg cooked.  When the edges have begun to set just a bit, sprinkle in the asparagus, pepper and goat cheese in an even layer.  Cook for 2 minutes.
Put entire pan in the oven on the top rack and continue to cook under the broiler until the top is slightly golden and the egg is no longer “wobbly” in the middle.  Be careful taking the pan out of the oven!  The handle is hot!!!  Slide frittata out onto a cutting board and slice into 6 wedges!  Serve warm.
Serves 4-6
  • 1 lb bag small multi-colored potatoes sliced in half or quarters (or plain red or yellow potatoes)
  • 2 medium springs rosemary chopped into large chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped into 1″ chunks
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 425.  Line a oven safe baking dish with tin foil.  Add the potatoes and onions and drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper over the top.  Toss well to make sure all the potatoes and onions are thoroughly coated with the oil and seasonings.  Toss the rosemary sprigs into the potato mixture.  Roast in the over for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  If you like a super crunchy crust – turn the broiler on high and put the pan on the top shelf.  Make sure you watch the potatoes or they’ll burn very quickly!  But broil until a nice deep golden crust forms!  Enjoy!

 

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