My mother is in lockdown (words I never expected to say). Perhaps yours is, too, in this craziest of times.

That won’t stop me from celebrating her life and love. She may be too far away for me to cook her favorite meal, but I have a plan, in addition to the Zoom chat on Sunday: There will be a glass of something waiting, in the form of a bottle of sparkling wine and OJ (for a mimosa) or a white wine and club soda (for a wine spritzer). I still have time to decide (and am thankful stores deliver, especially since I’m 1,500 miles away). Perhaps your mother is nearby or the mom of your children is in the next room: We’ve got you covered, and not just for the drinks. Turn the page for several brunch-focused dishes from our recipe archive that are sure to please.

So here’s to you, Mom! Next year (and hopefully long before), we’ll celebrate with a hug.

 

 

Asparagus, Bacon and Gruyère Strata

Serves 6 as main dish, 8 as side dish.

Note: Strata is essentially a savory bread pudding that can be prepared the night before, a wonderful choice for entertaining. This cheesy version, loaded with fresh asparagus and flecks of bacon, could be a lovely light main dish, or an elegant side. Note: The recipe can easily be doubled and served in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish for a large crowd. From Meredith Deeds.

• 4 slices uncooked bacon, chopped

• 4 medium shallots, chopped (about 1 c.)

• 8 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces

• 5 eggs, beaten

• 1 1/2 c. milk

• 1/2 c. heavy cream

• 3/4 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 tsp. cayenne

• 1/2 loaf (about 8 oz.) rustic white bread (like Italian, ciabatta, French), cut into 1-in. cubes

• 1 1/2 c. shredded Gruyère cheese (about 6 oz.)

• 3 whole asparagus spears, trimmed, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until browned. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined dish. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet.

Add shallots to the skillet and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add asparagus and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until tender but still slightly crispy. Remove skillet from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add the bread cubes and asparagus mixture and toss to coat.

Spread half of the bread mixture in the prepared baking dish, making sure to distribute ingredients evenly. Top with 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat with remaining bread mixture and cheese. Place whole asparagus spears, decoratively, on top of the strata. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Bake until top is golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let strata rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 340 Fat 20 g

Sodium 650 mg Carbohydrates 23 g Saturated fat 10 g Added sugars 2 g

Protein 17 g Cholesterol 165 mg

Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, ½ carb, 2 medium-fat protein, 2 fat.

 

Crustless Quiche

Serves 4 to 8.

Note: This simple recipe is plenty rich but just a tad lighter than the classic version, thanks to the missing crust. From Beth Dooley.

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1 to 2 tbsp. flour for dusting the pan

• 1 small onion, chopped

• 4 eggs, lightly beaten

• About 1 c. half-and-half or whole milk

• 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• Shot of hot sauce

• 1 c. shredded Gruyère cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a 9-inch, deep pie-dish with some of the butter and sprinkle generously with the flour to coat the pan.

In a skillet set over medium heat, melt the remaining butter and sauté the chopped onion until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, onion mixture variation (see below), nutmeg, salt, pepper, hot sauce and cheese. Pour this into the prepared pan. Bake until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Variations include:

Spinach: Add 1 pound chopped fresh spinach to the pan with the onions. (You can skip this step by using 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained, no need to sauté.) Stir the spinach into the egg and cheese mixture and continue with the recipe. Serve slices of this quiche on a bed of fresh spinach and orange sections.

Denver-style: Add 1/4 cup diced green pepper and 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms to the pan with the onions and sauté until very tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Mix the sautéed vegetables into the eggs, cream and cheese along with 1/4 cup chopped cooked ham.

Bacon and onion: In a medium skillet set over medium heat, cook 4 thick slices of bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels, chop and set aside. Substitute Swiss cheese for the Cheddar. Stir the bacon with the onions into the cream and egg mixture. Continue with the recipe.

Mushroom: Add 8 ounces of sliced fresh mushrooms to the skillet with the onions and sauté until they’ve released their liquid and are very tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir into the egg and cheese mixture and continue with the recipe.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 170 Fat 13 g

Sodium 230 mg Carbohydrates 3 g

Saturated fat 7 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 130 mg

Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 medium-fat protein, 1 ½ fat.

 

Shakshuka

Serves 4.

Note: Adapted from “Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking,” by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook.

• 1/4 c. olive oil, divided

• 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)

• 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped into 1/4-in. dice

• 3 garlic cloves, sliced

• 3 tbsp. sweet paprika

• 1 tsp. ground cumin

• 1 tsp. ground coriander

• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

• 4 c. crushed tomatoes

• 2 tsp. sugar

• 8 eggs

• Serrano chiles, thinly sliced

• Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes and sugar and simmer until reduced by about one-third, 10 to 12 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Crack the eggs in the skillet, spacing them evenly in the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks remain runny, about 5 minutes. Top with serrano chiles and cilantro and serve immediately, right from the pan.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 400 Fat 26 g

Sodium 680 mg Carbohydrates 28 g

Saturated fat 5 g Added sugars 2 g

Protein 18 g Cholesterol 370 mg

Dietary fiber 9 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1 carb, 2 medium-fat protein, 3 fat.

 

Easy Overnight Monkey Bread

Serves 10 to 12.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. Adapted from Rhodes Bread. To toast pecans, place the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, and cook, stirring (or shaking the pan frequently) until they just begin to release their fragrance, about 3 to 4 minutes. Alternately, preheat oven to 325 degrees, spread the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake, stirring often, for 4 to 6 minutes.

• 24 frozen Rhodes brand White Yeast Dinner Rolls

• 2/3 c. dark brown sugar, packed

• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 c. chopped pecans, toasted (see Note)

• 10 tbsp. (1 stick plus 2 tbsp.) butter, melted, plus extra butter for pan

Directions

Spread rolls about an inch apart on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and thaw until slightly soft, about 45 to 60 minutes. Using a scissors, cut rolls in half (or at least cut half of the rolls in half; this step will insert more cinnamon and caramel flavor into the loaf).

Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.

Dip cut rolls in the melted butter to coat, then roll them in the brown sugar mixture until thoroughly coated. Place dough in prepared Bundt pan. Continue with remaining rolls, arranging coated dough to evenly fill Bundt pan. Pour any remaining butter and brown sugar mixture over the top of dough.

Cover pan with a light cloth, set in a warm place and allow dough to rise, doubling in size (until it’s at the top or just over the Bundt pan’s edges), about 8 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove cloth, place Bundt pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cover Bundt pan with aluminum foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the pan’s edges to loosen the bread, then carefully invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 12:

Calories 395 Fat 20 g Sodium 380 mg Carbohydrates 47 g

Saturated fat 8 g Added sugars 15 g

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 30 mg

Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 carb, 3 ½ fat.

Huevos Rancheros

Serves 4.

Note: When it comes to salsa, unless the tomatoes are in season and fresh, don’t bother making your own. Instead, rely on the small-batch prepared salsas from local makers found at farmers markets, and co-op and grocery store shelves. From Beth Dooley.

• 2 avocados

• 1 to 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste

• Sunflower or vegetable oil

• 8 (5-in.) corn or flour tortillas

•8 eggs, divided

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 c. prepared corn or tomato salsa of your choice (see Note)

• Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Stack 4 ovenproof plates on the oven rack to warm them up.

Peel and pit the avocado. Spoon the avocado interior into a medium bowl and smash with the lime juice, set aside.

Film a medium skillet with a little oil and set over medium heat. Working quickly, cook each of the tortillas about 20 to 30 seconds per side and stack them on a sheet of aluminum foil as you go. Film the pan with the oil as needed. Wrap the toasted tortillas in the foil and hold in the oven to keep them warn.

Film the skillet with oil, return to moderate heat and break 4 of the eggs into the skillet. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks and longer for firmer eggs. Slide the eggs onto a platter and cover to keep warm. Film the pan with oil, and cook the remaining eggs.

Remove the plates and the tortillas from the oven and set 2 tortillas on each plate. Smear the tortillas with the smashed avocado and place 2 eggs on each tortilla. Spoon the salsa over the eggs and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 420 Fat 28 g

Sodium 280 mg Carbohydrates 28 g

Saturated fat 6 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 17 g Cholesterol 370 mg

Dietary fiber 8 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 carb, 2 medium-fat protein, 3 ½ fat.

 

German Puffed Pancake

Serves 4.

Note: The recipe is for a 10-inch ovenproof skillet or round cake pan, but can easily be doubled and baked in a 9-by-13-inch pan (metal or Pyrex.) This recipe, often also called Dutch Baby, is adapted from “The Joy of Cooking,” although we halved the amount of butter. (Don’t worry; there’s still plenty.)

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1/2 c. milk

• 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1/2 c. flour

• 1/4 c. sugar

• Pinch of salt

• Sautéed apples (see recipe)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place rack in the middle position. When the oven is at the proper temperature, put the butter in the baking pan and place in oven to melt the butter and preheat the pan.

In the meantime, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until batter is smooth and only a few lumps remain. It’s OK to have a few; you don’t want to overbeat the batter or the pancake could become tough. You also can combine all the ingredients in a blender, processing until just smooth.

Once the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, carefully pour the batter into the hot pan. The butter will disperse to the edges. Do not stir.

Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, bring the puffed pancake out for people to see, then slice and serve with sautéed apples and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Nutrition information per serving without apples:

Calories 210 Fat 9 g Sodium 130 mg

Carbohydrates 26 g Saturated fat 5 g Added sugars 12 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 110 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 ½ fat.

 

 

Sautéed Apples

Serves 4.

• 2 large baking apples such as Cortland or Haralson

• 3 tbsp. butter

• 3 tbsp. sugar

• Cinnamon for garnish

Directions

Peel and core the apples, then slice each into about 12 slices, thick enough that they’ll hold their shape and not melt into applesauce.

Melt butter over medium heat in a shallow saucepan, then add apples and sugar, stirring gently to coat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until apples soften and begin to color a bit. Set aside on lowest heat to keep them warm until the pancake is done.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 165 Fat 9 g Sodium 70 mg

Carbohydrates 23 g Saturated fat 5 g Added sugars 9 g

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 25 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 fruit, ½ carb, 2 fat.

 

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict With Potato Pancakes and Avocado Hollandaise

Serves 4.

Note: From “Great Tastes,” by Danielle Kosann and Laura Kosann.

• Lemon-Dill Mash Potato Cakes (see recipe)

• 2 small Haas avocados

• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• Kosher salt

• 8 eggs

• 8 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon

• Chopped dill, for garnish

• Freshly cracked black pepper, for garnish

Directions

To prepare Avocado Hollandaise: In a blender, combine avocados, lemon juice and 3/4 cup water, and pulse until the avocado is finely chopped. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes to purée, scraping down the sides as needed. With motor running, stream in olive oil. Season with salt. If making ahead, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

To poach eggs: Bring large pot of water to a very slight simmer over medium heat (reduce heat as needed to maintain slight simmer). Arrange paper towels on plate and place nearby. Crack 1 egg into fine-mesh strainer set over bowl and shake gently to remove excess liquid. Transfer egg to small bowl or ramekin. Repeat with second egg and place it in separate bowl.

Stir the pot of water to create a vortex, then quickly slip in the 2 eggs, 1 egg at a time, and poach until the whites are opaque throughout and the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the paper towels. Repeat process with remaining eggs until you have poached all the eggs.

(If you feel comfortable, poach more than 2 eggs at a time. If working ahead, transfer poached eggs to a bowl of ice water and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, fill a clean pot with water and heat until very warm. Submerge eggs in the water for about 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water.)

To assemble: Divide potato cakes among 4 plates. Top with smoked salmon, followed by poached eggs. Drizzle each with the hollandaise, garnish with dill, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

Nutrition information with 2 potato cakes per serving:

Calories 780 Fat 49 g Sodium 1,750 mg

Carbohydrates 55 g Saturated fat 10 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 31 g Cholesterol 440 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 ½ carb, 3 ½ medium-fat protein, 6 fat.

 

 

Lemon-Dill Mashed Potato Cakes

Makes 8 cakes.

Note: These take the place of the muffin in the Eggs Benedict. From “Great Tastes,” by Danielle Kosann and Laura Kosann.

• 2 lb. potatoes (any kind), peeled and cut into 1- to 2-in. pieces

• 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

• 1/4 c. grated onion

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 1/4 c. plain yogurt (whole milk or 2%)

• 3 tbsp. flour

• 1/4 c. finely chopped dill

• Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 2 tbsp. neutral oil

Directions

In large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pan. Cook over medium heat until dry, about 1 minute. Mash potatoes and let cool to room temperature or refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, add onion, egg, yogurt, flour, dill, lemon zest, pepper to taste and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to the mashed potatoes. Stir until incorporated, adding a little more flour if the mixture seems wet or a little more yogurt if the mixture seems dry.

In large skillet, melt butter in the oil over medium-high heat. Scoop 4 heaping 1/3 cups of the mixture into the skillet and cook until the cakes are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook until bottoms are a deep golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high, flip the cakes, and cook for 2 minutes followed by another 4 minutes on medium-low heat. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with the reminding mixture, adding more oil if necessary to make 8 cakes total. Serve hot or warm.

Nutrition information per 1 potato cake:

Calories 160 Fat 6 g Sodium 620 mg

Carbohydrates 24 g Saturated fat 2 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 ½ starch, 1 fat.

 

 

Egg Roulade

Serves 6.

Note: This calls for a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan (a baking sheet with edges). If you have a different size, just shape the batter on the pan accordingly. For filling variations, these must be prepared and hot (except for cheese) before it’s placed on the cooked egg surface. Make sure any moisture in the vegetables is gone; heat in a sauté pan to assure it. Variations include diced tomatoes or roasted red peppers and grated Cheddar cheese; diced sautéed mushrooms and Gruyère cheese; cooked, chopped spinach (make sure it’s thoroughly dry) and Parmesan cheese; slices of prosciutto and any grated cheese; black beans and diced roasted red peppers; diced ham and grated Cheddar cheese; smoked salmon (lox), whipped cream cheese (so it’s easy to spread), chives or capers; and cooked and crumbled bacon or sausage. Topping variations include grated cheese or fresh, minced herbs; salsa; green chile sauce and hollandaise sauce. Adapted from Sara Moulton.

• 5 tbsp. butter

• 6 tbsp. flour

• 1 1/4 c. milk

• 4 eggs, separated

• Freshly ground black pepper

• Filling (see Note)

• Topping (see Note)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper; either butter or spray it with cooking oil.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Increase heat to high, whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks 1 at a time. Season with pepper.

Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into yolk mixture and fold in the rest.

Pour the batter onto the parchment paper and smooth it out. Bake for 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, prepare any filling that needs to be warmed. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Cover the egg surface with another oiled or buttered piece of parchment. Invert onto the counter, and peel off the parchment on the top.

Sprinkle the egg surface with whatever filling is to be used. Starting on the long side of the egg surface, and using the parchment on the bottom to help, roll up the egg, jellyroll fashion. Place the roulade back on the jellyroll pan, with parchment underneath, and return it to the oven. Bake until any cheese in the filling has melted, about 10 minutes. To serve, cut into 1/2-inch slices and garnish with topping.