The Brunch Bunch

Recipes for a mid-morning gathering

What happens when the ladies who lunch hanker for eggs and a cup a joe? They brunch, of course.

Two meals in one, brunch is perfect for a Southern-belle get-together, such as a bridal shower or garden party. Where else could waffles and salad share the same table?

The following recipes from these recent cookbooks can help you present a prim-and-proper brunch for spring occasions or just give you a reason to catch up with girlfriends and drink Bloody Marys over the weekend.

Belgian Waffles With Berries and Whipped Cream
Classic Buttermilk Pancakes Web Extra!
Sausage Cheese Dip
Light Buttermilk Biscuits Web Extra!
Eggs Benedict
Cucumber Sandwiches Web Extra!
Coffee Jellies With Amaretti Cream Web Extra!
Cheese and Chive Scones Web Extra!
Molded Tuna Salad With Fresh Dill and Lime Web Extra!
Upside-Down Breakfast Sausage Loaf Web Extra!

“Pancakes & Waffles”

By Lou Seibert Pappas
Published by Chronicle Books


Belgian Waffles With Berries and Whipped Cream


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups mixed, fresh raspberries and sliced strawberries for topping
1 cup whipped cream, plain yogurt or sour cream, for topping
3 tablespoons raw sugar, for topping


Preheat a Belgian waffle iron.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft, glossy peaks form.
In another bowl, beat or whisk together the egg yolks, milk, butter and vanilla.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the egg whites.

Spoon or pour about 1 cup batter onto the hot iron. Close the lid. Bake until the waffle is golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Remove with a fork to a warm plate. Serve at once or keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven.

Repeat with the remaining batter. Top with berries, whipped cream and raw sugar.


Makes about 6 waffles.


Classic Buttermilk Pancakes


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or canola oil, plus extra for greasing
Butter and maple syrup


In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small, deep bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft, glossy peaks form.

In another bowl, beat or whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk and butter. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the egg whites.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly.

For each pancake, spoon or pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges look dry, about 2 minutes.

Turn over and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute more.

Serve immediately or transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200-degree oven.

Bake the remaining batter as directed.

Top with butter and maple syrup.


“Deep South Staples”

By Robert St. John
Published by Hyperion


Sausage Cheese Dip


1 pound spicy breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoon diced onion
2 tablespoons diced bell pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound cream cheese, softened


In a large skillet, brown the sausage. Drain the grease and add the garlic, onion and bell pepper.

Continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes. Place the sausage into a mixing bowl and, while still hot, add the remaining ingredients.

Use an electric mixer and combine until everything is well incorporated.

Serve warm with chips, French bread or crackers.


Makes 8 servings.

Light Buttermilk Biscuits


2 cups self-rising flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted, for brushing the tops


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients. Add shortening and use a pastry cutter or fork to blend it in. The mixture should look like coarse meal.

Knead in the buttermilk; the mixture will be slightly sticky. (Adding more flour will result in a denser biscuit.)

Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness.

Cut out biscuits and place them on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with butter.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until golden brown.


Makes 12 to 14 biscuits.


“Breakfasts & Brunches”

By the Culinary Institute of America
Published by Lebhar-Friedman Books


Eggs Benedict


16 slices Canadian bacon
16 poached eggs (see recipe below)
8 English muffins, split
2 cups Hollandaise Sauce (see recipe below), warm


Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the Canadian bacon, working in batches, and sauté on both sides until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

If the eggs have been poached in advance, reheat them in simmering water until warmed through. Blot them on paper towels and shape them if necessary.

Top each English muffin half with a slice of Canadian bacon and a poached egg. Spoon 2 tablespoons warm hollandaise over each egg. Serve immediately.


Makes 8 servings.


Poached Eggs


3 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons distilled white
16 large eggs


Combine the water, salt and vinegar in a deep pan and bring to a bare simmer.

Break each egg into a clean cup, reserving any with broken yolks for another use.

Carefully slide each egg into the poaching water. Cook about 3 minutes, or until the whites are set and opaque.

Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, blot them on paper towels, and trim the edges if desired.

The eggs are ready to serve, or they may be chilled and held for later.


Makes 8 servings.


Hollandaise Sauce


1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/4 cup white-wine or cider vinegar
1/4 cup water, or as needed
4 large egg yolks, fresh or pasteurized
1-1/2 cups melted or clarified butter, warm
2 teaspoons lemon juice, or as needed
2 teaspoons salt, or as needed
Pinch ground white pepper
Pinch cayenne (optional)


Combine the peppercorns and the vinegar in a small pan and reduce over medium heat until nearly dry, about 5 minutes. Add the water to the vinegar reduction. Strain this liquid into a stainless-steel bowl.

Add the egg yolks to the reduction and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water.

Whisking constantly, cook the mixture until the yolks triple in volume and fall in ribbons from the whisk. Remove the bowl from the simmering water and set it on a clean kitchen towel to keep the bowl stationary.

Gradually ladle the warm butter into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. As the butter is blended into the yolks, the sauce will thicken. If it becomes too thick and the butter is not blending in easily, add a little water or lemon juice to thin the egg mixture enough to whisk in the remaining butter.

Season the sauce with lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne.

The sauce is ready to serve, or it may be warmed over a hot-water bath or held sealed in a thermos.


Makes 2 cups.


Cucumber Sandwiches


1 tablespoon minced red onion
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
5 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons minced chives
2 teaspoons minced dill
3 tablespoons heavy cream, or as needed
Pinch freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
16 slices fine-grain, white sandwich bread
2 cups thinly sliced cucumber, about 1 medium


Combine the red onion, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, the sugar and vinegar in a bowl and marinate at room temperature at least 30 minutes.

Blend the cream cheese, chives and dill. Add the heavy cream gradually, using just enough to get a smooth spreading consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the cream-cheese mixture on the bread slices.

Evenly divide the cucumber slices among 8 of the bread slices and lay them evenly on top of the cream cheese mixture, overlapping them slightly.

Sprikle a little additional salt over the cucumber slices and top them with the red onion mixture.

Top each sandwich with the remaining slices of bread. Trim the crusts, cut into shapes, and serve.

Sandwiches can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 hours.


Makes 8 servings.


“1000 Recipe Cookbook”

By Martha Day
Published by Lorenz Books


Coffee Jellies With Amaretti Cream




1/4 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups hot, strong coffee
3 tablespoons dark rum or coffee liqueur
4 teaspoons gelatin
1 tablespoon powdered sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in 4 tablespoons hot water
6 large amaretti biscuits, crushed
2/3 cup heavy cream


Put the sugar in a saucepan with 5 tablespoons water and stir over gentle heat until dissolved. Increase the heat and allow the syrup to boil steadily, without stirring, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir the hot coffee and rum or coffee liqueur into the syrup, and then sprinkle the gelatin over the top and stir the mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Carefully pour the coffee jelly mixture into four wetted 2/3-cup molds and allow them to cool. Refrigerate the jellies several hours, or until set.

To make the amaretti cream, lightly whip the cream with the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Stir in the coffee, and then gently fold in all but 2 tablespoons of the crushed amaretti biscuits.

Unmold the jellies onto four individual serving plates and spoon a little of the cream to one side. Dust with the reserved crumbs and serve at once.


Makes 4 servings.


Cheese and Chive Scones


1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup wholemeal self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces feta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chives
2/3 cup milk, plus extra to glaze
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift the flours and salt into a mixing owl. Add any bran left in the sieve.

Crumble the feta cheese and rub it into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chives, and then add the milk and mix to a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly knead until smooth. Roll out to 3/4 inch thickness and stamp out scones with a 2-1/2-inch biscuit cutter.

Transfer the scones to a non-stick baking sheet. Brush them with milk, and then sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.


Makes 9 scones.


“Quick Loaves”

By Jean Anderson
Published by William Morrow


Molded Tuna Salad With Fresh Dill and Lime


2 (12-ounce) cans water-packed, solid, white tuna, drained and flaked (reserve
all liquid)
Tuna liquid, plus enough chicken, vegetable or clam broth to total 2 cups
1 envelope plain (unflavored) gelatin
6 medium scallions, trimmed and moderately finely chopped (include some green tops)
1 medium celery rib, trimmed and finely diced
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons well-drained, small capers
2 teaspoons Basic Herb Mix (see recipe below)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise (measure firmly packed)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


Lightly spritz a 6-cup ring mold with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Empty the flaked tuna into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the tuna-liquid mixture in a large, heavy, nonreactive saucepan and sprinkle in the gelatin. Stir well, then set over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin dissolves completely, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the scallions, celery, dill, capers, herb mix and pepper to the bowl with the tuna and toss well to mix.

As soon as the gelatin has dissolved, remove from the heat and whisk in the mayonnaise and lime juice.

Quick-chill by setting the pan in an ice bath (or in the freezer) until the liquid is syrupy. Add to the tuna mixture and mix well.

Pour into the ring mold, cover with wax paper, and set in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to serve, dip the mold quickly in hot water and invert on a colorful round platter. Garnish with sprigs of radicchio, watercress and/or arugula, as well as lime slices.


Makes 6 servings.


Basic Herb Mix


1/2 cup dried leaf basil
1/3 cup dried leaf marjoram
2 tablespoons dried leaf thyme


Place the three herbs in a small bowl and whisk until blended.

Spoon half the herb mix into an 8-ounce preserving jar and rap against the counter until the mixture compacts a bit. Add the remaining herb mixture and compact as before.

Screw the lid down tight, label and date the jar, then store on a cool, dark, dry shelf.


Makes about 1 cup.


Upside-Down Breakfast Sausage Loaf


1 pound bulk sausage meat
1-1/4 cups unsifted stone-ground cornmeal
1-1/2 cups Quick Bread Mix (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon crumbled leaf oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup coarsely shredded, sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (mild, medium or hot), drained (reserved the liquid) and patted very dry on several paper towels
Tomato-green chili liquid plus enough buttermilk to total 1-1/2 cups
1 extra-large egg


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Crumble the sausage into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and brown about 5 minutes over moderately high heat, breaking up clumps until the texture of coarse meal.

Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and keep the sausage warm while you prepare the cornbread.

Using a whisk, combine 1 cup of the cornmeal, the bread mix, sugar, soda, oregano and cumin in a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, toss well and make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Whisk the tomato liquid-buttermilk mixture and egg in a 1-quart measure until will blended, stir in the diced tomatoes and green chilies, and pour into the well in the dry ingredients.

With a large, rubber spatula, fold (do not beat) the wet and dry ingredients together. The batter will be very thick and lumpy - and a few floury streaks should show.

Give the sausage a good stir and pour off any excess drippings. Blend the remaining 1/4 cup cornmeal into the sausage, and then spoon the cornbread batter over the sausage, smoothing to the edge so that the meat is completely covered.

Bake in the lower third of the oven until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool the sausage loaf in the skillet 10 minutes, loosen around the edge with a thin-blade, metal spatula, and invert on a large round platter.

If any bits of sausage stick to the skillet, simple lift them out with a pancake turner and set in place on the loaf.

Cut the sausage loaf into wedges and serve hot.


Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Quick Bread Mix


4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) ice-cold butter, diced


Churn the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade a couple seconds until well blended. Tap half the mixture onto a large piece of wax paper and reserve.

Scatter half the butter evenly over the dry ingredients in the processor and pulse 6 to 8 times. Scrape the work bowl and stir, pushing larger pieces of butter to the bottom. Pulse quickly 3 to 5 times more until the mixture is about the texture of lentils.

Empty the mixture into a large bowl.

Return the reserved dry mixture to the food processor, scatter the remaining butter evenly on top, and cut in as before. Add to the mixture in the bowl.

Toss the two batches together well (along with any leftovers you may have from a previous batch) and spoon into a large zipper freezer bag. Press out all air and seal.

Label, date and store the package n the refrigerator of freezer.

This bread mix will last at least two months in the freezer and a week to ten days in the refrigerator.

Scoop out the cold or frozen mix (no need to thaw) and use as individual recipes direct.


Makes about 5 cups.