A bountiful 5-dish Christmas Brunch that takes 45 minutes from start to finish.
As a non-native Detroiter, I just love seeing new and exciting things popping up in Detroit. Though I’ve only lived here for 6 months, it’s been clear since Day 1 that this city is full of vibrant creatives doing some pretty amazing things.
Detroit’s fall has caused the city’s subsequent rebirth to be chalk full of possibilities not otherwise available in oversaturated cities like New York or Chicago. Young, talented people from all over the country are contributing to once again making Detroit a truly world-class city.
Case in point: The Williamson House, a new historical house slash Airbnb spot located in downtown Detroit. Once dilapidated and neglected, this gorgeous 3-unit house has been restored to its former glory thanks to a two-year renovation project. The house is just gorgeous, and the renovation done in impeccable taste. Think: original turn-of-the-century details, modern amenities, and a neutral color palette. Swoon!!
So a few weeks ago, my dear friend Motor City Mangia invited me to spend a day with her at The Williamson House for a staycation.
I want to stress: we were not paid for this day nor asked to write anything about our experiences. I am simply writing this post because of how much I love and believe in the revival of Detroit, and want to share a personal experience (and recipes!) with you all.
For brunch, the name of the game was easy entertaining. We wanted a variety of dishes and flavors, but also didn’t want to slave over the stove for an hour.
So we chose a mixture of foods we could easily prepare (like a baked frittata) and those that we could get at the grocery store (like chicken breakfast sausage). Here was our menu:
-A delish Gorgonzola, Leek, and Marinated Mushroom Frittata (recipe below!)
-The most flavorful White Wine and Cardamom Poached Pears over greek yogurt (recipe below!)
-A Mixed Berry Salad (recipe below!)
-Chicken Breakfast Sausages (get it from the ‘sto)
-Toast and Jam (get it from the ‘sto)
So essentially, all we had to do was whip up the frittata, poach the pears, and toss the salad.
It took us just 45 minutes to create our brunch spread, a fantastic feat if you ask me. Along with matching striped pajamas and some champagne, it was a perfect Christmas Day Brunch.
To keep to that 45 minute mark, you should do things in this order:
- Preheat oven, make the poached pears, put it in the oven.
- Make the frittata skillet, put it in the oven.
- Mix together the berry salad.
- Toast the toast and set it on a serving platter with some jams (I love a combo of blueberry, orange marmalade, and lemon curd).
- Heat up the sausages and plate them.
- Remove pears and frittata from oven.
Of course the table should also include some champagne and coffee. Duh.
- 12 small pears, cut in half with pits removed
- 1½ cups white wine
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 12 cardamom pods (keep them whole)
- 1 quart greek yogurt
- 2 leek stalks, finely sliced
- 2 cups marinated mushrooms (you can find these at Whole Foods in the prepared section)
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup whole milk or half and half
- pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles
- fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 quart strawberries, cut in half with stems removed
- 1 pint blackberries
- 1 pint raspberries
- squeeze of lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a 9x13 baking dish, combine the white wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, and whole cardamom pods.
- Place the cut pears facing down into the mixture. Use a large spoon to ladle the liquid on top of the pears to keep them moist. Place in the top rack of an oven and cook for 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until the pears have shrunk and are tender to the touch. Allow to cool slightly before serving over a bed of greek yogurt.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (if you're cooking everything together, the pears should already be in the oven!)
- Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook the leeks until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in marinated mushrooms, cooking until hot. Remove from heat.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, whole milk/half and half, and salt and pepper. Pour into skillet. Sprinkle in gorgonzola crumbles.
- Place skillet into oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until the eggs puff up and cook all the way through. Optionally top with fresh herbs (I suggest thyme)
- Wash all berries thoroughly, then place into a large serving bowl. Squeeze lemon juice on top (about 2 tablespoons) for a fresh and vibrant zing.