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easter brunch... already brainstorming...

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planning an easter brunch this year, and am direly in need of some new ideas!
was hoping to be a bit more creative than the typical ham, eggs benedict, etc...
any thoughts/ideas/recipes that you care to share?
Thanks in advance!

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  1. How about a quiche, maybe with seafood. Or a pasta with spring things like asparagus.

    1. I've made this torte many times and everyone has always enjoyed it.

      1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package), room temperature
      1 teaspoon olive oil
      4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
      2/3 cup whipping cream
      1/2 cup whole milk
      3 large eggs
      3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
      2/3 cup shredded Parmesan

      Position the rack on the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

      Press the crust into a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the edges; set aside.

      Heat the oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels and drain. Beat the cream, milk, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and pancetta. Pour the cream mixture into the crust.
      Bake the torte until the filling puffs and is golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Let the torte cool for 15 minutes. Cut the torte into 12 thin wedges and serve.

      1. What about a torta espagnole, with eggs and potatoes? Often served room temp as tapas, so you could make ahead. Maybe as part of a buffet with mini ham biscuits, roasted asparagus vinaigrette, and fresh fruit salad or a cheese/fruit platter.

        I have an old recipe from the New York Times for a very grown-up "sweet" roll that I like as a brunch item. Yeast rolls with pistachios, scented with cardamom, and stuffed with a knob of bleu or roquefort cheese. After they're baked, they get drizzled with honey.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Old Spice

          do you have a recipe for torta espagnole that you recommend? It sounds perfect.

          1. re: alex8alot

            I've had very nice results with this recipe I'm paraphrasing from "Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone" by Deborah Madison. And the correct title is Tortilla Espanol. Sorry about that.

            Serves 6 - 8

            Equipment: Madison recommends a "very wide" skillet, either non-stick or cast iron for the whole production. I use two skillets. A wider one to cook the potatoes in a single layer, and the onions. Then I make the tortilla in a 10" non-stick skillet.
            Slotted spoon.

            1/2 cup olive oil (she specifies fruity)
            2 lbs. potatoes, peeled, very thinl sliced (red or white potatoes)
            1 large onion, sliced thinly or diced (I slice)
            Salt & fresh ground black pepper
            6 - 8 eggs, beaten

            In wide skillet, heat 5 Tablespoons olive oil. Add potatoes. Using medium heat, saute until they're golden and cooked through. Not browned, though. Madison advises to stir now and then to keep the potatoes separate and not let them glom together. This should take about 20 minutes. When done, use slotted spoon to remove potatotes into a bowl.

            If the potatoes have absorbed all the olive oil, add 1 Tablespoon more to the skillet, and add onions. Cook until light brown. When done, add them to the bowl with the potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the potato and onion mixture.

            Wipe down skillet and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add egg/potato/onion mixture to skillet. Poke any potatoes that are sticking up down into the eggs for a smooth surface. Cook on low until bottom of tortilla is golden...about 10 minutes. Madison gives no tips on how the top should look at this point, but it will need to be pretty close to set, but not done, 'cause you're going to invert it onto a plate. (Main reason I like the 10" skillet...don't think I could manage that maneuver if the pan was any bigger.)

            Then slip the tortilla back into the skillet, with the former top side on the bottom. Continue cooking, on low, until tortilla is set, just a few minutes.

            Slice into wedges to serve. Also nice as bite-sized hors d'ouevres.

            I usually use less oil than chefs specify, but she's pretty clear here that cooking the potatoes in those 5 Tbsp. olive oil is important to their end texture, which is nice.

            Funny that this recipe was on my mind already. It's been a while since I made it and I was mentioning to a friend recently that we should make it one weekend soon.

            1. re: Old Spice

              thank you very much. I will try it out this weekend.

        2. When I was a teacher, a student gave me a recipe for a Jaiva, or crab salad.

          It uses about 2 cups of cooked crab meat, I prefer leg for this, but lump is good.
          or, if you want, use fake Krab.

          2 cups crab or Krab, cooked
          zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon
          1/4 cup lime juice
          1/4 cup lemon juice
          1 onion, chopped (white or yellow)
          2 roma tomatoes, seed and diced
          3 cloves garlic, minced or squished through pressed
          good handful cilantro, chopped
          salt, pepper and cholula or tapatio hot sauce to taste

          Mix it all together and let it sit refrigerated for a few hours (or make a day ahead)

          To serve, put out corn tostadas, a bowl of cilantro, salsa, more hot sauce, and mayo. People spread the mayo on the tostada, top with the crab, and add more cilantro, salsa and hot sauce to their taste.

          I served this at an easter bruch and it was a hit. People liked omething different. Also, since Eater is close to Cinco De Mayo this year, you can double up on themes!

          1. Thanks for all the ideas!
            getting hungry already...

            1. I make Bloody Angel cake, but I'm irreverent, so on Easter it's Bloody Jesus cake...

              It's very easy and light and best made the night before:
              1. Start with a store-bought angel food cake and your choice of frozen berries--I like to use about 1/2 a bag of mixed berries and half a bag of strawberries.
              2. Put the berries in a saucepan over low heat with enough water to almost cover, a pat of butter, and about a tablespoon of sugar.
              3. Reduce, squishing the berries as you go to continue to get juice out of them--I like to keep mine as low sugar as possible, but if you buy the strawberries in sugar syrup, it makes this step quicker and the resulting reduction thicker. You're looking for a very thin syrup consistency--the more sugar, the more syrupy it will be. You can add a sprinkle of cornstarch to help thicken if you like as well.
              4. Remove from heat. Add an optional splash of vanilla or almond extract, or a couple tablespoons of sweet wine or amaretto.
              4. Using a slotted spoon, press the berries as firmly as you can to remove all reamining juice and remove the berries remains. Save for later use (great pancake or ice cream topping later!)
              5. Remove the angel food cake from the plastic bundt dish without tearing the dish. Pour about a third of the berry reduction into the bottom (you may want to let it cool first) and put the angel cake back in to soak. Spoon most of the remaining reduction along the sides and bottom of the cake,being sure to cover all surface area.
              6. Let it soak for an hour or more, and then turn the cake onto a plate,spooning any remaining juice from the saucepan and what's left in the bundt dish back onto the cake, especially along the sides. Don't soak it overnight or the cake will fall apart when you flip it.
              7. Serve with fresh fruit, whip cream,or ice cream.