As Easter approaches this weekend, thoughts turn to family dinners highlighted by potato salad, spring vegetable dishes, and the piece de resistance, a glistening ham as the centerpiece. Easter 2020 will be altered for most of us. Reading online comments illustrates many are simply too sad about canceled church services and festive family gatherings to try to recreate a scaled-down dinner. One suggestion shared among my friends, and heartily approved of by all, was serving Easter brunch while the family gathered around the computer to watch their church’s service via livestream.
My friend’s idea caused me to think about biscuits, bacon, and other brunch or breakfast items. Most of us are too busy with our hectic lives to spend a lot of time preparing an early or mid-morning meal, but hey, most of us have plenty of time on our hands right now.
When it comes to biscuits, I can honestly say I’ve never met one I didn’t like. Big and fluffy, small and crispy, made with buttermilk, shortening, whipping cream, or even new-fangled versions made of sour cream, they’re all delicious in their own way.
My favorite biscuit recipe is for Shirley Corrihor’s Touch-Of-Grace Biscuits. I’ve shared the recipe in my column after learning to make them in a cooking class based on recipes used in the movie, “The Help.” If you have time (and who doesn’t these days?), look up Shirley’s story and how she came up with the recipe. It’s an interesting read that’ll help you as you make them–and believe me, you will want to do just that after reading how unbelievably moist, light, and tasty they are.
Back to brunch–there are plenty of items that can create a satisfying Easter repast. Good ones that come to mind are coffee cake made with traditional cinnamon and sugar or filled with berries, omelets filled with chopped meat and cheeses, pancakes with maple syrup, crispy bacon, and muffins and scones.
If you prefer a one-dish brunch, here’s an easy breakfast casserole that has a somewhat long list of ingredients but that actually comes together very quickly. With a pot of hot coffee or pitcher of fresh juice on the side, your Easter meal will be different but almost as delicious as in years past.
Easter ’20 Bacon & Eggs Brunch Casserole
9 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 cups frozen country-style shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed and patted dry
8 ounces of shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped onions (optional)
2 ounces of shredded Parmesan cheese
1 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Beat eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper in large bowl with whisk until blended. Set aside.
Place flour in a separate bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk. Stir just until dough leaves sides of bowl. Dust hands lightly with flour, then pour and press dough mixture into bottom of the prepared dish.
Stir potatoes and cheeses into egg mixture until blended. (Add 1/2 cup of chopped onions if you like). Pour over dough. Spread evenly. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until lightly browned, then sprinkle with bacon. Cool 10 minutes before serving. [endif]