A Fabulous Holiday Brunch Dish

One of the challenges for many cooks (myself included!) during the Christmas holidays is figuring out what to serve overnight company for breakfast or brunch. A dish that is simple to prepare, that can be mostly assembled in advance, and that delivers a bit of dazzle is what we all want. This casserole of baked French toast topped with a glorious mélange of fresh and dried fruits will definitely fit the bill.

All you have to do is to arrange slices from a good peasant or country loaf in a baking dish, cover them with purchased eggnog, then refrigerate overnight. At baking time, you spoon apple wedges, diced dried apricots, and dried cherries that have been sautéed in butter and brown sugar atop the soaked bread, and add a sprinkle of walnuts. Then this breakfast gratin goes into the oven to bake unattended for about 40 minutes. Oh, did I mention that the fruits can be sautéed a day ahead? Continue reading

A Great New Dish for Holiday Brunches

Hash, that old breakfast standby of sautéed corned beef and potatoes, is having a come back, but in the newest versions, corned beef is not always de rigeur. Sautéed apples and smoked sausage or a sweet potato, red onion, and bacon mélange are typical examples of today’s inventive selections. Recently, I created the recipe featured here for Smoked Salmon, Fennel, and Potato Hash— a colorful, fresh, and delicious alternative to traditional corned beef versions, and a perfect addition to holiday brunches.

This one pairs flaked hot-smoked salmon with sautéed bits of fennel, chopped onions, and diced potatoes. Crushed fennel seeds and chopped lacy fennel fronds add a mild anise flavor. You can use this delectable hash as a side to serve with scrambled eggs, or for a little more visual drama, simply slid a poached or fried egg on top of each serving.

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