Make-Ahead Brunch - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Make-Ahead Brunch

© BH&G © BH&G
© BH&G © BH&G

Start the day with presents, followed by brunch that's special and easygoing. All the prep work is done ahead of time—just pop the strata in the oven when you wake up. As it bakes, toss the salad and glaze the steamed pudding.

The Plan

The Day Before

• Assemble the strata in a baking dish. The eggs on top are added as the strata bakes.
• For the salad, slice the citrus fruits, wash the lettuce, toast the coconut, and prepare the dressing. Store ingredients in the refrigerator in separate covered containers.
• Prepare the steamed pudding. Cool, wrap in plastic or foil, and store in the refrigerator.

An Hour Before

• Bake the strata and assemble the salad.
• Bring the steamed pudding to room temperature or reheat it if you prefer. Glaze and sprinkle with the candied fruits.

Citrus Salad

Oranges and coconuts from the classic holiday dessert, ambrosia, are tossed with crisp lettuce for a light brunch salad.
Start to finish 20 min.

3    oranges
1     tbsp. Dijon mustard
1    tbsp. Snipped fresh tarragon
¼    cup olive oil
2    heads bibb lettuce, torn
1    pink grapefruit, peeled and thinly sliced
2    clementines, peeled and separated into segments
½    cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

1. For the dressing, squeeze juice from one orange; transfer to a small bowl. Whisk in mustard, tarragon, and the oil. Peel and slice remaining oranges.
2. Toss lettuce with dressing; gently toss in citrus slices and segments. Arrange on platter. Top with toasted coconut. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Each serving 211 cal, 15 g fat, 0 mg chol, 67 mg sodium, 19 g carb, 5 g fiber, 3 g pro.

Ham-Asparagus Strata

Prep 30 min. Bake 50 min. Oven 325°f

8 oz. Asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
5 cups french bread cubes
2 cups shredded gruyère or white cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped chives or green onions
8 oz. Cooked ham, diced
10 eggs
1½ cups milk

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add asparagus; cook 5 minutes or until bright green. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water to cool; drain.
  2. In a greased 3-quart baking dish spread half the bread cubes. Top with cheese, onion, chives, and half the ham and asparagus. Top with remaining bread.
  3. In a bowl whisk together four of the eggs and the milk. Evenly pour over layers in dish. Press down bread pieces into the egg-milk mixture with the back of a spoon. Top with remaining ham and asparagus. Cover; refrigerate until ready to bake.
  4. Bake, uncovered, in a 325°f oven for 30 minutes. With the back of a wooden spoon, press 6 indentations in top of strata. Pour a whole egg into each indentation. Bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of strata registers 170°f and eggs are set. Let stand 15 minutes.
  5. Cut into squares to serve. If desired, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Each serving 454 cal, 26 g fat, 421 mg chol, 936 mg sodium, 22 g carb, 2 g fiber, 34 g pro.

Sugar & Spice Steamed Pudding

steamed pudding, basically a stove-top cake cooked in a dutch oven over simmering water, comes out moist and tender. With spices and candied fruit it's the perfect holiday stand-in for coffee cake. Serve it at room temperature or reheated.
Prep 30 min. Cook 1 hr. 45 min. Cool 40 min.

2    cups all-purpose flour
1½    tsp. Baking powder
1     tsp. Ground ginger
1    tsp. Ground cinnamon
½    tsp. Ground nutmeg
½    tsp. Salt
½    cup butter, softened
1    cup sugar
2    eggs
1¼    cups milks
2½    cups diced mixed candied fruits and peels
1    recipe powdered sugar icing

  1. Grease and flour a 2½-quart heatproof bowl; set aside. In a small bowl stir together 1¾ cups of the flour, the baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low after each. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beating on low after each. Toss together 2 cups of the candied fruit with remaining ¼ cup flour. Stir into beaten mixture. Pour into prepared bowl. Cover with greased foil, folding the foil over the edge and pressing against side of bowl.
  3. Place bowl on rack* in dutch oven; add water 1 inch up sides of bowl. Cover, bring water to boiling. Reduce to simmering. Steam 1¾ to 2 hours or until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Check water level every 30 minutes or so and add boiling water as needed.
  4. Carefully remove bowl from dutch oven; remove foil. Let stand for 10 minutes; unmold onto a serving plate. Cool 30 minutes. (see make-ahead instructions, below.) drizzle with powdered sugar icing and top with remaining candied fruit and peels. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 servings.

*if you do not have a rack to fit inside your dutch oven, place a few canning lid rings in the bottom, then stand the bowl on top of them.

Powdered Sugar Icing In a small bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar and enough milk (4 to 5 teaspoons) to make a drizzling consistency.

Make Ahead Wrap and store cooled, unfrosted pudding in the refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, wrap unfrosted pudding in foil and place on a baking sheet. Reheat in a 325°f oven for 30 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, glaze the pudding and top with candied fruit.

Each serving 211 cal, 15 g fat, 0 mg chol, 67 mg sodium, 19 g carb, 5 g fiber, 3 g pro.