Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day Brunches Continued

Hello Everyone!
As promised, I am posting the second in the Mothers Day Brunches.  I have not included it in the menu, but a small bowl of fresh fruit would go perfect with the other elements of this brunch and would look so pretty.

I am loving these vintage Mother's Day Cards. 

With this particular brunch, you should start the Gourmet hash browns first. They are going to take the most prep and take the longest.

Gourmet Hash Browns

These hash browns are a more "genteel" version of the country hash browns I usually make.
I love this table setting.  In Friday's post, I'm going to show you how to lay out a pretty table without spending a pretty penny.

3 large Yukon gold potatoes  (You can also use russet potatoes.),  cleaned
kosher salt
1 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cheese, this can be a cheese of your choice.  I like asiago, mozzarella, or montasio but it is also very good with cheddar. 
1/4 tsp. - 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (if you don't have fresh nutmeg, you can use dried nutmeg.)
1/2 tsp. herb de provence  or you can use basil
1/2 tsp. dill
2 tbsp. canola oil, split  (You can also use olive oil or grape seed oil.)
1 small shallot or green onion, minced
1/2 - 1 tsp. sherry wine vinegar or white wine vinegar (to taste)

1.  In a medium pot, put the scrubbed potatoes and cover with water.  Put about 1 tsp. of salt into the water with the potatoes.
2.  Bring to a boil on medium high heat and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 45 to 50 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.
3.  While the potatoes are cooling, melt butter in a heavy bottomed 8-in. skillet (I like to use cast iron.).  Add the onions and garlic and cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent,  Make certain to stir constantly and make certain not to burn the garlic.  This will take about 6 to 8 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
4.  Peel the still-warm potatoes and crush them gently into small pieces with a fork in a medium sized bowl.  (The pieces should be about 1 inch, you are not make mashed potatoes.)
5.  Gently fold in the onion/garlic mixture, cheese, pinch of salt, nutmeg, herb de provence or basil, and dill.  Do not over mix.
6.  Wipe out the heavy 8-in. skillet and heat the pan until hot but not smoking.  Add one tbsp. of oil to the pan and heat oil. The oil will begin to shimmer when it is heated through.
7.  Add the potato mixture to the skillet in an even layer. 
8.  Let the mixture cook on one side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Run a spatula around the edge of the pan and underneath the potato mixture to loosen from the pan.  Give the pan a shake to loosen potatoes from the bottom completely.
9.  You can try flipping the potato mixture with the spatula or do the fancy flip move that you see chef's do on tv, but I prefer the plate method.  Place a plate over the top of the skillet and quickly turn the skillet so that the plate is on the bottom and the skillet on top.
10.  Put the skillet back on the burner and, using a spatula, carefully push the potato mixture, brown side up, back into the skillet.  Smooth the top if necessary.
11.  Let the potatoes brown on the bottom for another 3-4 minutes.  Using the spatula, loosen the sides and bottom of the potatoes again..
12.  Carefully slide onto a plate or serving platter. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. The potatoes will firm up as it cools. 
13.  In a small bowl mix together 1 tsp. olive oil,  the sherry vinegar and the shallots.  Salt to taste.

To Serve: Cut potatoes into wedges and drizzle the vinegar mixture over the potatoes.

Ham and Egg Cups

These look super fancy and will impress, but they are super easy to make and are so delicious!  This is one of my husband's favorite breakfast dishes of all time.

3-4 slices deli ham  (Although I have used the thin sliced prepackaged ham it worked just fine.)
3-4 eggs
1 tsp. Boursin cheese, per cup
basil, to taste
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  While oven is heating, spray muffin pan with non-stick spray or brush with melted butter.
3.  Place one slice of ham into each muffin cup.  I like to flute the edges so that the ham sort of looks like a rose.

All of my baking pans are pink.  They make me happy.

4.  Put one teaspoon of Boursin cheese into the bottom of each ham cup.

5.  Carefully break one egg and slide into the ham cup.  If it is easier for you, you can break the egg into a custard cup first and then slide the egg into the ham cup. Repeat the process for the remaining eggs.

6.  Top the eggs with basil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until the egg whites are set and the yolk has thickened.

8.  Let stand in muffin cups for 3-4 minutes to cool.
9.  Carefully remove from muffin pan and serve.  (I use silicone pans, so I just gently press from the bottom and it pops right out.)

Aren't these pretty?!?!?!

Variations:  You don't have to use Boursin cheese, any cheese that you like can be used.  Also, this dish goes up to another element if, before baking, you top each egg with 1 tsp. of pesto and place a   cherry tomato sliced in half over that.  So yummy and so pretty!

Tomorrow, we do our final dishes!

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