Help yourself brunch for a crowd

With Christmas holidays looming, you may well find yourself with lots of family and friends around and having to be prepared not only for dinners and lunches, but breakfasts too. Personally, I’m quite happy with any excuse for a brunch! These recipes are perfect for a no-fuss brunch were everyone can just help themselves to breakfast. It can be quite ‘stress-free’ too as you can prepare most of the dishes the evening before and just put in the oven for the final step on the day.

We have three recipes today:

  • Mini Omelette Cups;
  • Breakfast Sliders;
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus.

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As I mentioned, you can prepare everything the night before and leave covered in the fridge. I have highlighted in each recipe where you should do this if you are planning to prepare stuff in advance. Click below for each recipe or do them all for a perfect breakfast menu. The only thing that’s missing as a Bloody Mary…

More menus to try: Christmas Eve, the Bulgarian WayNew Year’s Eve Potluck | Entertaining: Spring Menu for 10 – Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more

Click through for each recipe below:

[expand title=”Healthy Egg Omelette Cups”]

Healthy Egg Omelette Cups

Makes 12 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 35 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten & dairy free

You’ll need:

  • sunflower or vegetable oil cooking spray;
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil;
  • 1 red pepper, chopped;
  • 1 green pepper, chopped;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped;
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped;
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped;
  • salt to taste
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • Optional: hot sauce for serving.

Heat oven to 180C | 160C fan |gas mark 4. (If making ahead, preheat oven about 15 mins on the day of cooking).

Grease a standard non stick 12-slot muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the chopped peppers and onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Add in the spinach and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add in the garlic. Season with salt and remove from heat.

Whisk the eggs and egg whites. Once the veggies have cooled slightly, whisk them in the egg mixture. Pour the egg/veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan.

At this point you can cover and leave them in the fridge over night, until ready to cook the following day.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked. Cool slightly and serve immediately. You can use a knife to help you carefully take the egg cups from the muffin tin.

Tip: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. These may also be frozen. To reheat, pop them in the microwave until warm.

Original recipe from Show Me The Yummy, available online here.[/expand]

[expand title=”Breakfast Sliders”]

Breakfast Sliders

Makes 12-16 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins
Easy

You’ll need

  • 12 eggs;
  • 2 tablespoon butter + 1/4 cup butter for the topping;
  • 12-16 slider rolls or mini burger buns
  • 1 packet pre-sliced Gouda or Cheddar cheese (or so) or 12-16 slices of cheese;
  • 12-16 slices deli ham (or so);
  • 1 1/5 tbsp brown sugar;
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard.

Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper together in a bowl until frothy. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan over medium-low heat. Pour eggs into the pan and scramble them: cook and stir with spatula until set, 3 to 6 minutes . Remove from heat.

Cut rolls in half horizontally. Lay bottoms in a single layer in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of cheese, then scrambled eggs, then a layer of ham, then provolone cheese, then ham, then provolone cheese again. Cover with roll tops. Cut through ham and provolone cheese layers to make individual sandwiches.

You can cover and put in the fridge at this point for up to 1 day. Proceed with the final steps on the day.

Melt 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar, and mustard together in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Spread mixture over roll tops. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and let stand, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove aluminum foil from baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven until tops are golden brown and cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

Original recipe from All Recipes, available online here. [/expand]

[expand title=”Bacon wrapped asparagus”]

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Makes 12-16 | Prep 10 mins + soaking | Cook 10 mins
Easy | Dairy and Gluten free

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 150g asparagus;
  • 150g streaky bacon;
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges.

First prepare the skewers. Soak 4-5 wooden skewers in cold water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus and bacon. Cut the asparagus in two or three pieces, depending on their size, you want them a little bigger than bite size. Take bacon pieces and halve them horizontally. Wrap a slice of bacon around each asparagus bite and set aside.

When the skewers have finished soaking, skewer around 5 bacon wrapped asparagus per skewer. At this point you can cover and leave them to chill in the fridge until needed – up to 1 day.

When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in griddle pan. When hot, carefully place the skewers in the pan. You might have to cut the skewer if they are too large – I usually cut down the unnecessary wooden bits in the bottom if needed. Cook until the bacon and asparagus have cooked through – about 10 minutes, rotating regularly. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side. [/expand]

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Bon Apetit!

~Em

Pork Terrine

This pork terrine was insanely tasty. This is definitely one of the best starters I’ve ever made and eaten and the Olive magazine recipe was really easy to follow as well. We hosted a dinner party for 11 last weekend and this kind of starter was just perfect for the occasion – it’s made in advance and therefore doesn’t require any time at all on the day!

Pork Terrine

Serves 8-10 | Prep 30 minutes + marinading and chilling (1-2 days) | Cook 1 hr
A little effort

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You’ll need:

  • 300g pork tenderloin, trimmed of all fat and finely diced;
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed;
  • 2 sprigs thyme;
  • 1 tbsp brandy;
  • 20-22 slices dry-cured smoked streaky bacon, any rinds removed;
  • 600g herby pork sausage meat;
  • a small bunch sage, finely chopped;
  • a small bunch chives, finely chopped;
  • 100g green olives, pitted and chopped;
  • cornichons (approx 20),  plus more to serve.

The day before or a few hours ahead of cooking. Put the pork, garlic, thyme and brandy in a bowl, cover and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4 and butter a terrine mould or loaf tin.

Starting with the base and sides, line the mould with strips of bacon making sure they are slightly overlapping and leave the ends hanging over the edge. This will be the top when you turn it out so do it as neatly as you can. Line the ends of the mould.

Pork Terrine 1

 

Break up the sausage meat with a fork then put it in the bowl with the marinated pork, sage, chives and olives and season well. Mix thoroughly. Fry a small piece of the mix and check seasoning. Adjust seasoning as required.

Pork Terrine 3

Fill the lined dish with half of the pork mixture, pressing it down into the corners.  Arrange the cornichons in 3 rows down the centre.

Pork Terrine 4

Pack the remaining pork on top and then flatten and stretch the bacon over so the top is neatly covered. Trim any ends. cover with buttered foil and wrap the whole terrine in a double layer of clingfilm.

Pork Terrine 5

Put the terrine in a roasting tin, half fill with boiling water and bake for 1 hour. Leave to cool completely then chill overnight. For a firmer texture press the terrine as it chills using a board with some tins stacked on top.

Release the terrine by unwrapping then dipping the dish briefly in hot water and turning it out onto a plate or board. Serve with more cornichons and toasted sourdough.

Original recipe from Olive magazine, issue February 2014, available online here.