By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum
Is your mom always the one in the kitchen? You’ll usually find her cooking up a storm for family dinners, holiday gatherings and everything in between. This Mother’s Day, give mom a break by surprising her with a homemade brunch menu fit for a queen.
Strawberry and Ginger Champagne Spritzers
1 pound fresh or thawed frozen strawberries, roughly chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 bottle (750ml) semi-dry champagne, sparkling wine, or 24 fluid ounces of ginger ale
In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, ginger and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are broken down and softened, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove and discard the ginger. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as you can.
Add the lemon juice and allow the mixture to come to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill.
Just before serving, add about 1 ounce each of the strawberry syrup to six champagne flutes.
Slowly fill each glass partially with the champagne. Once the champagne has stopped fizzing, continue to fill each glass to the top.
Tater Tot Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
1 1/2 teaspoons oil
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1 pound (16 ounces) country ham, diced
8 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 (32-ounce) package of frozen tater tots
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat oil over medium heat.
Add the bell peppers and green onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender.
Add the diced ham and cook until the ham is light pink, about 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.
Add 1 cup of shredded cheese and the entire ham mixture. Stir to combine.
Arrange the tater tots in a single layer on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole dish.
Pour the egg mixture over the top.
Bake for 45 minutes until the eggs are set.
Southern Tomato Pie
For the buttermilk biscuit crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, grated
3/4 cup cold buttermilk, more if needed
For the tomato pie:
2-3 small to medium ripe tomatoes sliced ¼-inch thick
2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup finely chopped herbs such as basil, parsley, and oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
To make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Position the rack in the middle of the oven.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter and stir until pieces of butter are mixed evenly throughout the flour mixture.
Add ¾ cup of buttermilk and stir until dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the bowl, adding additional milk if necessary.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead 10 times.
Form the dough into a 5-inch round. Then, using a flour rolling pin, roll the dough out into a round measuring at least 13-inches wide and about ½-inch thick.
Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie plate or quiche pan.
Using the tines of a fork, prick about a dozen holes into the bottom of the crust. This will prevent any bubbles from forming in the crust as it’s baking.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the crust is just starting to turn brown.
For the tomato pie:
Arrange the tomato slices on a layer of paper towels. Pat the tops dry with another paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, herbs and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spread the herb cheese mixture over the top of the biscuit crust.
Arrange the tomato slices over the cheese.
Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted.
Allow the pie to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Cut into slices and serve warm.