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  • Breakfasts For Christmas Morning

    From fluffy festive pancakes to a merry mimosa with a twist, enjoy one of these decadent Christmas breakfasts from Brunch Life to start the big day off right...
    Something Special: Brunch Oysters Rockefeller

    Brunch Oysters Rockefeller

    Serves 2

    I N G R E D I E N T S 

    3 thin slices prosciutto
    ½ cup (125 ml) parsley leaves
    ¼ cup (60 ml) arugula
    ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1 clove garlic, peeled 1 shallot, peeled
    3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) hot sauce
    Juice of ½ lemon
    6 Malpeque or other large oysters
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) panko
    breadcrumbs
    ½ cup (125 ml) white vinegar
    6 quail eggs
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh chives
    Salt and black pepper

    M E T H O D

    Heat a medium frying pan over high heat. Place the prosciutto in the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side to crisp it up. 

    Slice the crispy prosciutto into ⅛-inch (3 mm) strips. In a food processor combine the crispy prosciutto strips, parsley, arugula, Parmesan, garlic, shallot, olive oil, hot sauce, and lemon juice. Pulse until you are left with a brightly coloured herb paste.

    Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). To shuck the oysters, place an oyster rounded side down on a clean dishtowel, fold the towel over it so only the hinge is exposed, and use one hand to hold the oyster in place. Insert the tip of a shucking knife into the hinge. Use the towel to apply pressure on the oyster as you wiggle the knife back and forth to pop off the flat top shell. Carefully slide the shucking knife between the oyster and the top shell to sever the muscle and ensure the oyster is free.

    Arrange the oysters in a baking dish. Place a heaping teaspoon (6 ml) of herb paste on each oyster and sprinkle each with the breadcrumbs. Bake the oysters for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are crispy and the herb paste is bubbling.

    While the oysters are baking, bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the vinegar. Crack the quail eggs into the water and poach for 30 to 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the poached quail eggs from the water and place them in a bowl of room-temperature water.

    To serve, top each baked oyster with a poached quail egg. Sprinkle with chives and season with salt and pepper.

    Breakfast Classic: Eggs Benedict

    Eggs Benedict

    Serves 4

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the hollandaise sauce:
    8 large egg yolks
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
    ¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
    4 dashes hot sauce (like Tabasco)
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) white vinegar
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

    For serving:
    ½ cup (125 ml) white vinegar
    8 large eggs
    16 slices peameal bacon
    4 English muffins
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped chives, for garnish

    M E T H O D

    Fill a saucepan one-third of the way with water and bring it to a simmer. Find a heatproof bowl big enough to rest on the rim of your pot without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. 

    Off the heat, whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice in the bowl until the mixture doubles in size. Place the bowl over the simmering water and drizzle in the melted butter while continuously whisking. Add the butter slowly at first—if you add it too quickly, your sauce may break. Once the sauce starts to thicken, you can add the butter a little faster. Continue whisking until the hollandaise  is smooth and thickened. 

    Remove the bowl from the pot and whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, and salt. If your sauce becomes too thick, add a squeeze more lemon juice to loosen it up. Leave the bowl near the warm surface of the stove but not directly on heat.

    Bring a wide, shallow pot of water to a slow rolling boil and add the vinegar. Crack 3 or 4 eggs into the water and poach them for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the poached eggs one by one from the water and place them in a bowl of room-temperature water. 

    Check the doneness of your eggs by gently poking them with your finger. If they feel too soft, return them to the boiling water to cook for another minute or so, then again lift them into the bowl of water. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

    Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add the peameal bacon in batches and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate and cover with foil or parchment paper to keep them warm while you cook the remaining slices. Lift the poached eggs from the room-temperature water with a slotted spoon and place them gently on paper towel to remove any excess moisture.

    To assemble, cut the English muffins in half and toast them. Top each half with 2 slices of peameal bacon, a poached egg, and a spoonful of Hollandaise Sauce. Garnish with a sprinkling of chives.

    Sweet Treat: Dark Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes

    Dark Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes

    Serves 4

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the cherry sauce:
    1 cup (250 ml) water, divided
    3 cups (750 ml) frozen pitted black cherries
    ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) white sugar
    1 tablespoon (15 mL) potato starch 

    For the cream cheese icing:
    1 pound (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
    2 tablespoons (30 mL) 2% or whole milk
    1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
    2 cups (500 mL) icing sugar, sifted
    6 mint leaves

    For serving:
    1 batch OG Buttermilk Pancakes
    ½ cup (125 mL) graham cracker crumbs
    3 tablespoons (45 mL) finely chopped
    fresh mint

    M E T H O D

    Bring ½ cup (125 ml) water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the cherries and cook until they begin to break down, about 15 minutes.

    Turn the heat down to medium, add another ¼ cup (60 ml) water, and use the back of a wooden spoon to break the cherries down further. Add the maple syrup, sugar, potato starch, and the remaining ¼ cup  (60 ml) water and stir to dissolve the sugar and incorporate the potato starch.

    Turn the heat down to low and simmer until the sauce is reduced by one-quarter, about 10 minutes.

    Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

    In a food processor combine the cream cheese, milk, and vanilla and blend until creamy. Add the icing sugar and blend until smooth. Transfer the Cream Cheese Icing to a bowl and tear the mint leaves over the mixture. Fold the mint into the icing and set it aside.

    To assemble, place a pancake on each plate and top with a layer of Cream Cheese Icing. Dust the Cream Cheese Icing with graham cracker crumbs and top with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dark Cherry Sauce.

    Add another pancake and repeat layering icing, graham cracker crumbs, and sauce. Repeat until you have a stack of 3 pancakes. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh  mint.

    Morning Tipple: Ginger Beer Mimosa With Rosemary & Orange Syrup

    Ginger Beer Mimosa With Rosemary And Orange Syrup

    Serves 1

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the rosemary and orange syrup:
    1 sprig fresh rosemary
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) canola oil
    ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) salt 2 oranges
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated fresh ginger
    ¼ cup (60 ml) white sugar

    For the mimosa:
    4 ounces (125 ml) Prosecco
    2 ounces (60 ml) ginger beer
    1 sprig fresh rosemary, for garnish

    M E T H O D

    Set the oven to broil. Drizzle the rosemary sprig with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Place it on a baking sheet and roast for 1 minute, or until the oil is hot and the aromatics of the rosemary have been released. Wait for the rosemary to cool, then remove the leaves and roughly chop.

    Peel half of 1 orange and finely dice the rind. Juice both oranges and add the juice to a small saucepan.

    Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the diced orange rind, chopped rosemary, grated ginger, and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a boil and remove from the heat. The liquid will have evaporated, leaving a sugary syrup behind. Leave the syrup to cool. 

    Pour ½ ounce (15 ml) of the Rosemary and Orange Syrup into a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and ginger beer. Lay the rosemary sprig in your palm and give it a high five to release the natural aromas. Place it in the champagne flute to garnish. 

    Excerpted from Brunch Life: Comfort Classics and More for the Best Meal of the Day by Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi. Copyright © Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi, 2018. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.