A winter brunch

From the Christmas ornaments on the tree to the stencils on the windows, from the bright Christmas lights in the living room to the DIY Advent calendar, and from the shiny tableware to the gala outfit (patterned sweater or sequined gown?), the holidays are much more than a Winter party! When Christmas comes to you, it's for the whole month of December, and even January and february. This year, let us bring Christmas to the brunch table!

So put on your apron (yes, the one with the reindeer head) and get ready to prepare these few simple and comforting recipes, to share with friends.

 

Pain perdu
Edited Image 2016-12-27 10-52-19
Sablés de Noël
Lait de poule
Vin chaud
Jus d'orange chaud

To eat...

 

French toast, YuMMy !

In the word « brunch », there’s the word « breakfast », so let’s start with a very inexpensive breakfast classic to prepare and enjoy with family. Here is what you need to make French toast (“pain perdu” in French) for four gourmet guests:

 

 

2 eggs

50cl milk

50g sugar

20g butter

Thick stale bread (brioche or sourdough) slices (“perdu” means lost in French, so we’ll use stale bread for this recipe, that way the bread won’t be lost).

 

 

In a salad bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar to obtain a smooth mixture.  Add milk and keep stirring - you can also add a little vanilla or orange blossom extract. While the butter is melting in the frying pan, dip the bread into the mixture and fry over low heat until golden brown. You’re all set! You can serve the “pain perdu” warm or lukewarm, plain, or sprinkled with powdered sugar or a little maple syrup.

 

Sea scallops Carpaccio

We all love smoked salmon but we may get tired of it this holiday season. For a refined and healthy alternative, choose sea scallops, a superb seasonal product. Take a look at this easy and tasty carpaccio recipe, ready in the blink of a garland.

 

 

3 large nuts per person

Lime

Olive oil

Pink pepper

Coriander

Sharp knife

 

 

Remove shells and wash scallops with fresh water. Softly remove the coral  and set it aside. Wrap everything in plastic and place in refridgerator. While scallops sit in the refridgerator, mix equal amounts of olive oil and lime juice with ground salt and pepper.

 

 

Take out scallops from the refridgerator and cut them into thin, almost translucent slices. Set on a dish. Pour the dressing on the delicately pearly carpaccio. For a super healthy « ceviche », use pure lime juice for the dressing and no olive oil.

Sprinkle with pink pepper and coriander leaves and serve.

 

What about the coral ? Don’t throw it out ! You can pan-fry it (with orange zest and a little honey then deglaze it with balsamic vinegar for example) to add to the arugula salad that you’ll serve with the carpaccio.

 

For an old-fashioned dessert, to serve with coffee at the end of a meal or to eat as an afternoon snack (you can store them in a box for a few days to keep them away from humidity), here are the ingredients to make 50 delicious shortbreads:

 

 

1 egg

250g flour

125g butter cut in small pieces

125g sugar

1 organic lemon or orange juice (or gingerbread mix, or Christmas tea mix...)

A pinch of salt

 


In a bowl, combine the flour (sifted with spices) with sugar and salt, then add the pieces of butter and work with your fingertips to obtain a sandy consistency. Add egg and zests (optional) and ask your children to knead the dough - which must be homogeneous. Form the dough into a ball and put it in plastic wrap. Let it rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 180 °.

Shortbreads

 

To make 5mm-thick shortbreads, roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut them out with Christmas cookie cutters.

Finally, set them on a plate covered with greaseproof paper and brush them with a little egg yolk. Bake for 10 minutes and let them cool, then let your children know: the shortbreads are ready!

...and to drink!

 

Eggnog

Of course, there’s tea, and in particular Christmas tea, with spices, different from the traditional genmaïcha or earl grey you’ve been drinking all year.  For brunch or afternoon tea, here is a recipe that will bring comfort this holiday season. Comforting, creamy, sweet and rich in flavor, eggnog (very popular in the United States and Canada) is the holiday alternative to the traditional afternoon hot chocolate.

 

 

For one person

- 25 g sugar

- 10 cl milk

- a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon

- Eggnog connoisseurs, add vanilla or a tear of orange blossom.

 

 

While the milk heats up (keep an eye on it, it shouldn’t boil), beat the egg yolk and sugar until you get a perfectly homogeneous mixture. When the milk is hot, pour it over the mixture and continue stirring. Add spices. To better admire the nuances of color, serve in a coffee glass, then give it a taste. At the end of the day, adults can add a touch of rum or Armagnac (with moderation).

Hot wine

Speaking of drinking (with moderation), let us finish with the great classic of winter, the little pick-me-up we enjoy drinking among friends at the bottom of the slopes (or at your own risk, at the top): hot wine.

 

For 6 people, you’ll need one bottle (75cl) of red wine, preferably light and not too tannic (a Gamay or a Pinot Noir rather than a Bordeaux ...) Don’t spend too much but don’t go for the cheaper bottle either. Cooking wine won’t turn lead into gold.

 

 

Pour wine in a pot and add :

 

125g cane sugar

1 lemon zest

1 orange zest (you can also use the pulp and cut it into small cubes to « boost » the mix)

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

1 clove

Optional : add a pinch of minced (fresh or candied) ginger and grated nutmeg

 

 

Slowly bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes over very low heat, without boiling, then filter and serve in holiday glasses, add a slice of orange. Cheers!

Warm orange juice

 

 

What about children? So they can taste the spicy flavors, give them warm orange juice, a traditional non-alcoholic beverage that you can also find at Christmas markets.

 

 

For 6 kids :

1l orange juice (freshly squeezed: do make the effort, it’s Christmas)

20cl water

60g honey or cane sugar

1 star anise

1 (organic) lemon

 

 

Pour water in a pot and add cinnamon, honey (or sugar), anise and lemon slices. Add orange juice and slowly simmer for 10 minutes, without boiling.  Serve in cups or glasses and enjoy!

Enjoy your meal !