Mom deserves luxury, especially on Mother’s Day, so why not give it to her? The Kitchen Bitch is here with an impressive but easy brunch menu for the woman we all hold dear to our hearts.
Whip up a Quiche Lorraine for mom, and she’ll completely forget that you trampled her garden last week. A Quiche Lorraine is a French open-faced tart. Traditionally, it’s made with eggs, lots of heavy cream and bacon. To retain its luxurious feel while dropping a few calories, I’ve replaced some of the heavy cream with fat-free half-and-half, and added some nutty and delicious shredded Gruyere to give it a cheesy bite. A frozen piecrust makes putting this together as easy as … well, pie.
Pair the quiche with my Cranberry-Spinach Salad with Honeyed White Balsamic Vinaigrette and a crusty French baguette, and mom might even gloss over the fact that you never sent her a Mother’s Day card. Serve her my Limoncello Mimosas, and she’ll forgive you just about anything. Careful, they’re a bit stronger than traditional mimosas, and they’ll catch up to you when you’re not paying attention—just ask my ma. Happy Mother’s Day!
The KB’s Quiche Lorraine
Frozen piecrusts are available in 2-packs in the fridge or freezer section of the supermarket. Gruyere is a hard, yellow cow’s milk cheese made in the town of Gruyeres, Switzerland. It’s usually nutty and sweet, with a hint of saltiness. It can be found in the specialty cheese section of most markets. This can be served for breakfast, brunch or dinner. Serves 4 to 6. For a print copy of this recipe, click here.
1 (9 in.) frozen piecrust, thawed according to package directions
½ onion, diced
2/3 c. Gruyere or other Swiss-type cheese, shredded
3 slices good-quality, thick-cut bacon
¾ c. fat-free half-and-half
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Heavy pinch of nutmeg
Fresh chopped parsley
Special equipment: pie weights, or a bag of dried beans; 1 10-in. tart pan with a removable bottom or a 9-in. springform pan.
Prepare & blind bake the crust. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. On a lightly floured surface, unroll the thawed piecrust and roll out an extra ½ in. on all sides. Move piecrust to pan and press and form dough to mold. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Line the dough with parchment or tin foil, letting the excess hang over the edge. Fill center of piecrust with pie weights or dried beans. The weights and the holes in the crust prevent it from puffing up on the bottom. Bake the crust for 8 to 9 min. (This is called blind baking.) Remove pan from oven, remove pie weights or beans and foil and bake for 2-3 minutes more, until the crust is very light golden. Unmold the crust from the pan and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If the crust looks like it might break in areas, leave the crust in the pan until after its been filled and baked. Drop the oven to 375˚F.
Prepare the filling. While the crust bakes, heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a pat of butter, the chopped onion, and a pinch of salt, and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Heat another skillet over medium-high heat. Using scissors, snip the bacon into pieces into the hot skillet. Cook until brown and crispy. Remove from pan onto a paper towel to drain.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper together. Add half-and-half and Gruyere, mix well. Set aside.
Fill the quiche. Sprinkle the onion evenly over the baked crust, followed by the bacon. Pour the egg mixture over top. Bake in the upper third of a 375˚F oven for 25-30 minutes, until the quiche is puffy and brown. Let cool for 3-5 minutes, sprinkle with chopped parsley, cut into wedges, and serve.
Cranberry Spinach Salad with Honeyed White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4. Regular balsamic can be substituted if white balsamic can’t be found. For a print copy of this recipe, click here.
¼ c. chopped pecans, toasted in a dry skillet for 3-5 minutes
4 c. packed spinach leaves, stemmed and washed
½ tsp. salt
Fresh ground black pepper
¼ c. good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1.5 tsp. honey
1/3 c. dried cranberries
¼ c. crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
Make dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice and honey. Slowly pour EVOO into vinegar mixture, whisking vigorously and tasting periodically for desired oil-vinegar ratio. I like my salad dressings on the acidic side, so I stop short of the full ¼ cup of oil.
Arrange salad. Toss spinach with dressing. Top salad with pecans, cranberries and Gorgonzola. Serve immediately.
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liquor made mostly in the south of Italy. You can find it in most liquor stores. Serves 6-12. For a print version of this recipe, click here.
1 bottle of chilled Limoncello
1 to 2 bottles of chilled Champagne or sparkling wine, like Prosecco
Fill champagne glass one-third of the way with Limoncello. Fill remaining two-thirds of glass with champagne. Serve immediately.