Alabama recipes: Brunch
When I was a kid in the late ’70s and early ’80s, brunch wasn’t really a thing. If we ate breakfast late on the weekends, we still called it breakfast. I don’t know who it was, or when it happened, but some genius simply smashed two words together, and created a new way for us to do some of our favorite morning-time foods. Bruch has become more than a meal for most; it’s an experience.
I was grown before I had my first “brunch,” and today, it’s something I relish. Meant to be enjoyed on lazy Saturday or Sunday mornings, brunch is best served to a group, and lingering around the table chatting and munching is a quintessential part of the fun.
It’s especially practical around the holidays, when you’ve got hungry friends or extended family in your home. It’s no harder than whipping up a large lunch and offers the comforting appeal that is the hallmark of many breakfast dishes.
The ideal brunch menu includes something savory, something sweet and something fresh (like fruit or even basic roasted veggies like asparagus or zucchini). And of course, copious amounts of good coffee. Our readers submitted a bounty of brunch recipes, so choose one or two from each category above, and you’ve got an impressive brunch spread that will wow your guests and leave them full and happy till dinner.
– Jennifer Kornegay
Cook of the month
Jacqueline Bonn, Covington EC
This is my own recipe which has undergone several changes over the 48 years that my husband and I have been married, during which he served many years in the Army. We love to have a special brunch-type breakfast once a week, so my husband started by making standard omelets. Recently, I decided to do a scrambled egg version, adding special ingredients that expressed my Italian heritage. This version would be perfect as a brunch entrée; it’s basically a one-pan meal.
Brunch, Italian Style
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 pound Italian sausage (hot or sweet), casings removed, crumbled
- 10 frozen hash brown patties
- 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 pound button or baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried basil
- 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with vegetable spray. Fry Italian crumbled sausage in olive oil until browned; remove from pan, drain on paper towels. Sautee bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic cloves, oregano and crushed red pepper in same pan, set aside. Fry frozen hash brown patties until soft (4-5 minutes) in same pan, cut into chunks, set aside. In same pan, melt margarine or butter; add scrambled eggs, parsley, basil, salt and pepper to taste.
Cook until eggs are still soft and fluffy; remove from pan. Layer 1/3 egg mixture in bottom of sprayed casserole dish. Add 1/3 pepper, onion, mushroom layer. Add 1/3 hash brown patties and sprinkle with 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat these layers 2 more times, finishing with mozzarella cheese layer. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve with biscuits or warm Italian bread slices and a fresh fruit salad. Casserole serves 6 -8.
Praline French Toast Casserole
- 8 eggs
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 10 to 12 slices soft bread
- 1 stick butter
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 cups pecans, chopped
Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Mix eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup and brown sugar in a large bowl. Place bread slices in greased baking dish and cover with egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove from refrigerator. For the topping, melt butter in a saucepan and add the sugar and maple syrup. Cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in pecans. Pour over the bread and bake 45-55 minutes. Allow 10 minutes before serving.
Mrs. Harold Batchelor, Covington EC
Strawberry Yogurt Crunch
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans, roasted
- 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 2 cartons (6 ounces each) strawberry custard-style yogurt
Toast coconut and roast pecans. Use food chopper and process oats about 30 seconds. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Combine the flour, cinnamon and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in the oats, coconut and nuts. Remove 1 cup for topping and place in a small pan. Press remaining oat mixture in an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake this along with the mixture in the small pan at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack. In a large bowl, fold whipped topping into yogurt. Spread over crust. Crumble oat mixture, which was baked in the small pan, over the top. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Yield 12 servings.
Elaine P. Brooks, Southern Pine EC
Southern Scalloped Tomatoes
- 2 ½ cups tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
- 1 cup bread cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- A few drops of Tabasco
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dash of sweet basil
- A couple slices bacon, cooked and broken into small pieces
- 1 cup shredded cheese for topping
- Crushed crackers for topping
Using a 10-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Add bread cubes and brown lightly. Remove from skillet and add remaining butter or margarine. Melt and add onions, browning lightly. Mix all other ingredients except cheese and crushed crackers and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with crushed crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Add cheese and cook 10-15 minutes longer.
Paul Barton, Black Warrior EMC
Breakfast Egg Rolls
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 small knob ginger, peeled and diced
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 green onions or shallots, finely sliced
- ¼ bunch fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup crisp fried garlic
In a small saucepan, cook the onion and ginger in the olive oil until translucent. Add the cabbage and 1/3 cup of water. Cover with lid. Cook for 5–8 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, crack the 3 eggs. Add salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons water. Beat with a fork until eggs are well mixed. Heat a 10-inch nonstick pan with a little oil in the bottom. When the pan is hot, add in a little of the egg, swirling the pan at the same time to cover the base. Place the pan back over the heat and continue to cook until the egg has solidified. Gently flip, using a spatula. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture. Lay out the cooked egg sheets on a chopping board or clean flat surface. In the center of each, lay a couple of spoons of the cabbage, place on top a few cilantro leaves, sliced green onions, a little sprinkling of dried chili and crisp fried garlic.
Roll up and serve immediately.
Robin O’Sullivan, Wiregrass EC
Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Pecan Scones
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1/3 cup brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup of EACH dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- enough water to reach right consistency
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, xanthan gum, and salt. Add cranberries, pecans, and chocolate chips; fold in whipping cream and almond extract. On lightly floured surface (use gluten free flour), knead dough three times. Divide in half and pat each into 6-inch round circles. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and place each wedge 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes or untilgolden brown. Cool 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough water to bring to drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm scones.
Esther Briddick, Joe Wheeler EMC
- 6 strips ready-to-serve bacon or 6 strips regular sliced bacon, cooked crisp
- 6 heat-and-serve sausage patties
- 4 small mushrooms, diced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (use white and green parts of the onions)
- ¼ cup finely diced red, green, yellow or orange pepper
- 6 extra large or jumbo eggs
- ¾ cup whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Fresh fruit for garnish – sliced cantaloupe, strawberries, etc.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside a 6-cup non-stick jumbo muffin pan. In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage, remove from heat, drain and then crumble into a small bowl. Crumble bacon. Reserve. Return skillet to medium heat, add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. With a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms to a small bowl and reserve. Add onions and peppers to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat. In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl, beat eggs, then add cream, salt and pepper. Add 6 ounces grated cheese. Add bacon, sausage, mushrooms, onions and peppers. Mix well. Pour egg mixture into muffin pan and prick with a fork to settle the mixture and remove air bubbles. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until set. Test by inserting a knife in the middle of one of the frittatas. If set, the knife will come out clean. Garnish with fresh fruit and serve.
Karen Harrison, Cullman EC
Make as much of your menu as you can the day or night before. Egg-based casseroles (like several of the recipes here) can be made ahead and refrigerated. In the morning, take them out and let them come to room temperature, cover with foil and then pop them in a 325-degree oven for about 30 minutes to warm them through.
Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines:
- January Chili: – November 15
- February: Quick & Easy – December 15
- March Garlic January 15
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