Tuesday 12th April 2022.
April 12, 2022
Firstly a big welcome back to Panama to our co-producer Neil after two years absence in the UK. It is Tuesday and that means we go cooking
with our Feisty Foodie Sara! “With Easter coming up this weekend and brunch being my favourite meal off the week, I thought what’s better than to enjoy Easter brunch with family! When you’ve got family over you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen, so one of the best solutions is a frittata! My favourite combination is a Frittata with Smoked Salmon, Feta and Asparagus. Other than a frittata, another great do-before recipe is a Baked French Toast Casserole with Vanilla & Cinnamon. You can actually prepare most of this the night before, so that the bread soaks up the custard completely. The brown sugar crumble on top makes it just delicious! The perfect side dish is Maple Glazed Bacon! Since it cooks at the same temperature as the frittata, you can do them at the same time! I saw Yazmin’s post yesterday about mongos, and it made me think that the perfect cocktail to go with this brunch is a refreshing Mango Daiquiri! It can be made with or without the rum depending on who’s there!”
Frittata with Smoked Salmon, Feta and Asparagus
½ medium onion chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 large eggs
½ cup half and half
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
5 oz smoked salmon flaked into large pieces
⅓ cup chopped roasted red peppers
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried dill
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sauté the onion and asparagus in olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, add the half and half, salt, pepper and combine. Add feta cheese, smoked salmon, roasted red peppers, and basil to the mixture and ensure good distribution. Pour the mixture over the onions and asparagus and place the skillet in the center of the oven.
Bake the frittata for about 35-40 minutes, until it puffs up and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm. Frittata should have a slight giggle and be fluffy. It will continue to cook after you take it out, so be careful note to overcook.
Baked French Toast Casserole with Vanilla & Cinnamon
One 15 oz loaf French bread, cut into cubes (preferably a day or two old)
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half and half
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
⅔ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Maple syrup, for serving
Place the bread cubes in a greased 8 x 11 casserole. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, half and half, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread cubes. Lightly press down on the top of the bread to allow the top layer of bread to absorb some of the custard mixture, or gently stir it to distribute the custard throughout the bread. Cover, and refrigerate overnight (If you want to bake the same day, allow it to soak for at least 4 hours).
Topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add butter, and using your fingers or a fork, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture resembles wet, clumpy sand. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake the French toast.
Baking: Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the French toast from the refrigerator (the bread will have absorbed most of the custard). Crumble the topping over the top of the French toast. Bake uncovered for 40-55 minutes, until puffed, golden brown, and set (check that the center is not too wet).
Note: Baking time will depend on how deep your casserole dish is and whether you prefer your french toast more well done. Serve immediately with maple syrup. Leftovers can be refrigerated.
Maple Glazed Bacon
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a large cooling rack in the pan and brush a little vegetable oil over the rack or spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Lay the bacon strips over the rack. Combine the brown sugar and maple syrup in a bowl or small saucepan. Heat just until warm (stovetop or microwave). Brush the warmed sugar mixture over the bacon strips. Bake the bacon in the preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until nicely browned and slightly crisp. Serve while hot.
Tip: You can even sprinkle this with a little Montreal Steak Spice, if you like!
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)
1 teaspoon sugar syrup
3/4 cup white rum
Mint for garnish
Place the mango, lime juice, sugar syrup and rum in a blender and process until smooth.
Tip: Rim the glass with chili and sugar, if desired