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Brunch trio bursts with flavor

By: Gary Gilligan
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Well with Easter and Passover long gone for this year, we have officially licked off the season of brunch! The weather is starting to warm up, the trees and garden is bursting with butterflies and hummingbirds. We have a few weeks before out next big events come. These are a few of my favorite recipes I make for my brunch cooking shows. If you check out the local farmers’ market the first of the season, asparagus, has started making an appearance. This fresh local asparagus is hands down so good and nothing compares. You can even try them out for dinner.  Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook Grazing with Gary.

Chicken & Waffle Brunch Bake

Ingredients

  • Canola oil for spraying baker
  • 1 package (10.9 ounces or 248 grams) frozen mini waffles
  • 8 ounces (250 grams) fully cooked, breakfast-style chicken or turkey sausage
  • 3 green onions
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a shallow baker with oil.
  2. Break each waffle into four pieces and place in the baker, overlapping slightly.
  3. Cut the chicken sausage and green onions into chunks, then coarsely chop them. 
  4. Combine the sausage, onions, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well and pour over the waffles.
  5. Bake for 16–18 minutes or until it’s set, and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Microwave the maple syrup and hot sauce
  7. Remove the baker from the oven; let it cool slightly before cutting it into 16 squares. Drizzle each square with warm syrup.

 

Berry Streusel Coffee Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Korintje cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • topping
  • 1 container (6 ounces) fresh blueberries (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Korintje cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees . Lightly brush a small baker dish with oil. For cake, in a bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; mix well.
  2. In small bowl, microwave butter, uncovered, on hight 30 seconds or until almost melted. Whisk until smooth. Add milk and egg; whisk until well blended. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; mix until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Pour batter into baker; top with blueberries. Combine remaining topping ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Sprinkle topping evenly over blueberries. 
  4. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and cake is set. Remove baker from oven to cooling rack; let cool 30 minutes. 
  5. For glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk in small bowl. Spoon into small resealable plastic bag. Trim a small corner off the bag; drizzle over cake. Cut into 12 squares; serve warm.

 

Asparagus & Roasted Red Pepper Tart

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red bell peppers, drained, patted dry
  • 3 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (about ¾ cup)
  • 2  eggs
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon bell pepper herb rub
  • 8 ounces  thin, fresh asparagus (26-28 spears), trimmed to 6 inches.
  • Black pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees . Unfold pastry onto generously floured large cutting board. Using a rolling pin, roll pastry into 16-by-12-inch rectangle. Fold pastry in half from short end; gently lift and place in shallow baker dish. 
  2. Unfold and stretch pastry into and partially up sides of baker. generously prick the pastry. Bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. 
  3. Thinly slice bell peppers, grate cheddar cheese; set aside. 
  4. In small bowl, whisk eggs. Add cheddar, ricotta and rub; whisk gently until well blended.
  5. Remove baker from oven to cooling rack. Spread ricotta mixture over crust, leaving edges exposed. Arrange asparagus in two rows over ricotta, with tips facing out. Top with bell pepper. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired. 
  6. Return baker to oven; bake 10-12 minutes or until ricotta mixture is set. Remove baker from oven; cool 10 minutes. Cut into 9 squares and serve warm.