Hair Of The Dog Brunch

I sometimes have friends over for brunch on New Year’s Day. I call it a “hair of the dog” brunch because in addition to having hot tea or coffee on offer I also make mimosas in champagne flutes with orange juice and leftover champagne. It’s a great way to finish off any open bottles from the night before or any bottles liberated from parties the night before. 😉

My current favorite sparkling wine for Mimosas is Barefoot’s Moscato Spumante. It’s sweet citrusy flavor make it the best OJ enhancer I’ve found so far.

The idea behind the brunch is to make it fast and easy, and invite just a few people who live close. Nobody wants to get up and drive across town just for breakfast if they’ve only had a few hours sleep. Likewise the cook may not be particularly sharp on New Year’s morning so what little prep there is should be done the day (or night) before.

The menu options from my past Hair of the Dog brunches go something like this:

Muffins or scones, baked the day before (or Every Day Muffins which can be popped into the oven at any time). Hot tea, cinnamon stick coffee, orange juice and sparkling wine for mimosas, Dog Party Eggs which are used for DIY taquitos with cheese and salsa. Friends often show up bearing baked goods, so between my various baked things and their various baked things, the only staple from year to year are the Dog Party Eggs and beverages.

On New Year’s Eve grate the cheese for the taquitos, saute the pepper, and bake any baked goods you want. (Or alternately, hit a bakery, keeping in mind that businesses close early on New Year’s Eve.)

Dog Party Eggs

6 eggs
1 chili pepper (poblano or Anaheim, depending on your preference and what’s available)
Chili oil (optional), otherwise cooking oil of your choice
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
Cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas
Your favorite salsa or hot sauce

These taquitos are sort of a Mexican-Indian fusion. I didn’t set out to create a fusion food; I just wanted something that didn’t look nasty after I converted it to be a vegetarian dish. The original recipe came in the cookbook which came with my first microwave, back in the late ’70s. I made it a few times on the weekend. It was not vegetarian. It had bacon and cream of chicken soup in it. Leaving out the bacon was no problem, but the obvious (to me) choice of cream of mushroom soup as a substitute for chicken was a bit problematic. It tasted fine, but it turned the eggs gray. 😦 (I’ve often thought of trying cream of potato soup, but without fail whenever I go to the store — any store– they’re out of cream of potato soup! There’s always a slot for it, but it’s never there!) Then one day I had an ephiphany; tumeric would restore the yellow to the eggs! Granted, it’s a mustard-yellow, but it looks good amd tastes great with the other spicy ingredients.

Saute the chile in cooking oil. For extra flavor try a flavored cooking oil, such as chili oil. Cool somewhat. Mix 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup, 6 eggs, and 1/2 tsp tumeric in a 1 1/2 qt casserole. Beat well with a fork until homogenous and well blended. Fold in the sauted chili pepper. Microwave 2.5 minutes. Stir, then microwave 2.5 minutes more. Stir. If the mixture isn’t done microwave for a bit longer, but be careful not to overcook the eggs! Your microwave may vary from mine so adjust cooking times accordingly. If you would like to double the recipe I’d recommend you mix up two batches and put the second one in after you’ve heated the tortillas. (I tried doubling the recipe and cooking in a bigger dish longer and wasn’t happy with the result.)

While the eggs are cooking, grate the cheese — if you didn’t do it the day before —and put a stack of flour tortillas between 2 plates (one upside down over the other). Pop these into the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm them up.

Muffins, scones, coffee, hot tea, orange juice and mimosas can be on the table and distributed while the eggs cook. The taquitos are best with the egg dish hot and fresh from the microwave.

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