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Utah chefs offer brunch recipes — with a punch — for Easter

Published April 3, 2012 4:35 pm

Restaurants • Utah chefs offer fresh ideas for Easter meals besides ham, lamb standbys.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There's nothing wrong with serving ham — or lamb — for Easter brunch, but sometimes you want to add a little punch to the traditional spring meal.

Chefs seem to do this with ease. Their secret: Take something familiar, then rearrange the components to create something totally unexpected.

At Harley and Buck's in Eden, chef and owner Craig Bonham takes ingredients for a traditional caprese salad — tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella — and creates a baked egg frittata.

Bonham said the idea for his caprese frittata presented itself last May, while he and his wife, Miki, were honeymooning in southern France. The chef at the hotel served this Italian-style omelet for an early lunch, and they couldn't stop thinking about it.

"When I started doing brunch here a year ago, we added it to the menu as a non-meat option for customers," Bonham said, noting that one week, without thinking, he left it off the Sunday brunch menu. Enough customers complained that it's now a staple. "It's a really great brunch item that delivers a lot of flavor," he said.

Logen Crew, the chef at Fresco Italian Café, plans to shake things up at brunch with "carpaccio of melon," a dish made with fresh melon slices, a mixture of tangy yogurt and rich cream called "espuma," and homemade granola made with farro, nuts and dried fruit.

"I deconstruct a traditional fruit parfait, rather than just shoving it into a glass," he said. The Utah native believes breakfast can be the most exciting meal of the day. "Personally, I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner."

That's why, as soon as the weather gets warm, Crew plans to start serving Sunday brunch at Fresco, something the Salt Lake City café hasn't offered for many years. Look for it to start sometime around Mother's Day (sorry, not for Easter), he said.

The restaurant's secluded patio makes a great backdrop for a noontime meal. "It's just something different from dinner service every night," he said. "It's a fun way to be creative."

Jeff Masten, the chef and owner at Left Fork Grill, says breakfast creativity is often born out of necessity. A perfect example is the prime rib hash he often serves as a daily special, which will be one of the specials available on Easter Sunday, April 8. "We have prime rib every Friday and Saturday, and we have to come up with different ways to use up the ends," he said.

The dish is simply a gourmet version of corned beef hash with red onions and potatoes, seasoned with coarse salt and horseradish, and topped with fried eggs.

Brandon Howard, the new chef at Sandy's La Caille, is offering several new breakfast options on the Easter Sunday menu, including creme brulee French toast. It combines the flavors of the popular custard dessert — including the brittle topping — with sweet French bread.

And finally, at Wild Grape Bistro, the new spring menu created by chefs Dustin Arnold and Lukas James includes bloody mary steak and eggs, a combination of beef, poached eggs and a sauce made from a house-made cocktail mix.

"Dustin tried our bloody mary mix and said, 'I think I can make a great breakfast with that,' " said owner Troy Greenhawt. "And so far, everybody's really liked it."

kathys@sltrib.com

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Twitter: @kathystephenson

Fresco's "Carpaccio" of melon

1 watermelon, cut into thin slices

1 cantaloupe, cut into thin slices

Whipped cream "espuma":

3 cups yogurt

3/4 cup cream

Granola:

2 cups uncooked farro

Oil, for frying

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup black currants dried

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mint, for garnish

Special equipment:

C02 Whipped Cream charger

Alternate watermelon and cantaloupe slices on a serving tray. Cover with plastic.

Place yogurt and cream into a whipped cream charger. Charge twice with two air charges and refrigerate. Heat oven to 275 degrees.

Boil farro in water, according to package directions, until almost over cooked and very soft. Strain and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and dry for 15 to 20 minutes or until crunchy. Increase oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep fryer or shallow pan until oil is very hot, about 400 degrees. Add cooked farro to hot oil and fry until puffed — this should happen almost instantly, and then remove from oil and drain. Fold in the rest of the ingredients. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from oven and cool.

To serve, placed sliced melon on a plate. Top with about 3/4 cup yogurt whipped cream and 1/2 cup of farro granola, and garnish with torn mint.

Servings • 6 to 8

Source: Fresco Italian Café

Left Fork Grill prime rib hash

2 1/2 cups cooked prime rib, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

2 cups cooked potatoes with skin, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

Fried or poached eggs

Mix the prime rib, potatoes, onions, salt, pepper and horseradish in a large bowl.

Heat a skillet over high heat. Add olive oil and butter. When the oil and butter are hot, add the hash, and press it flat in the skillet. Continue cooking while stirring just enough to thoroughly brown the hash. When the hash is browned, divide among four plates and top each with fried or poached eggs.

Servings • 4

Source: Left Fork Grill

Harley and Buck's caprese frittata

10 large eggs, cracked and whipped

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoon butter

3 ripe Roma tomatoes diced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Crack eggs into a large bowl and stir in cream.

Place butter in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat until melted. Add diced Roma tomatoes, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil. Sauté 2 minutes. Add the eggs mixture and stir frequently to keep eggs cooking evenly.

Once eggs become firm but are still wet, dump mixture into prepared casserole dish. Spread mozzarella over the top.

Place in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes to melt cheese and firm eggs.

Garnish with the remaining chopped basil and serve.

Servings • 4

Source: Harley & Buck's

Bloody Mary steak and eggs for two

Bloody Mary mix:

1 quart of tomato juice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon horseradish

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

11/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon Tabasco

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon grated fresh onion

Steaks:

1/4 cup veal or beef stock

10 ounces beef tenderloin cut in two equal pieces

10 asparagus spears, brushed with oil and garlic and grilled or sauteed

4 eggs poached

Parsley, for garnish

For the Bloody Mary Mix, combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher.

Sear the steaks over high heat for 2 1/2 minutes for each side, remove from pan. Add beef stock to the pan and reduce by one-fourth. Add 1/4 cup bloody Mary mix and reduce by one-fourth.

To serve, place seared steaks on plate, pour sauce over the beef. Top with the eggs and finish with asparagus and parsley.

Note • To use the Bloody Mary mix for cocktails: Stir 2 1/2 cups vodka into the pitcher. Pour over ice in individual cocktail glasses. Add a stick of celery, slice of jalapeno, and olives for garnish. Makes 8 to 10 cocktails.

Servings • 2

Source: Wild Grape Bistro —

La Caille's creme brulee French toast

Custard:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

Pinch salt

4 cups half and half

1 tablespoon vanilla extract*

1 whole French baguette loaf, sliced on an angle

Topping:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Accompaniments:

Powdered sugar

Maple syrup

Fresh berries

To make the custard, combine granulated sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks, pinch of salt and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add half and half.

Place the sliced bread in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Pour custard mix on top of the bread. Cover with foil and let soak overnight in a refrigerator.

In the morning, heat oven to 300 degrees. Place the foil-covered baking dish in the oven and bake for one hour, or until eggs are set. Remove from oven and turn the broiler to high.

In a bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Sprinkle sugar mix over the baked French toast. Place the baking dish under the broiler just until the sugar is melted and top turns a nice brown. Remove from oven and serve with powdered sugar, maple syrup and fresh berries.

*1/2 of one vanilla bean can be used as a substitute. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the inner seeds with the back of a knife. Add as directed.

Servings • 4 to 6

Source: La Caille More recipes

For more Easter brunch recipes from Utah chefs, see the end of this page. —

Fresco's "Carpaccio" of melon

1 watermelon, cut into thin slices

1 cantaloupe, cut into thin slices

Whipped cream "espuma":

3 cups yogurt

3/4 cup cream

Granola:

2 cups uncooked farro

Oil, for frying

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup black currants dried

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mint, for garnish

Special equipment:

C02 Whipped Cream charger

Alternate watermelon and cantaloupe slices on a serving tray. Cover with plastic.

Place yogurt and cream into a whipped cream charger. Charge twice with two air charges and refrigerate. Heat oven to 275 degrees.

Boil farro in water, according to package directions, until almost over cooked and very soft. Strain and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and dry for 15 to 20 minutes or until crunchy. Increase oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep fryer or shallow pan until oil is very hot, about 400 degrees. Add cooked farro to hot oil and fry until puffed — this should happen almost instantly, and then remove from oil and drain. Fold in the rest of the ingredients. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from oven and cool.

To serve, placed sliced melon on a plate. Top with about 3/4 cup yogurt whipped cream and 1/2 cup of farro granola, and garnish with torn mint.

Servings • 6 to 8

Source: Fresco Italian Café

Left Fork Grill prime rib hash

21/2 cups cooked prime rib, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

2 cups cooked potatoes with skin, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

Fried or poached eggs

Mix the prime rib, potatoes, onions, salt, pepper and horseradish in a large bowl.

Heat a skillet over high heat. Add olive oil and butter. When the oil and butter are hot, add the hash, and press it flat in the skillet. Continue cooking while stirring just enough to thoroughly brown the hash. When the hash is browned, divide among four plates and top each with fried or poached eggs.

Servings • 4

Source: Left Fork Grill

Harley and Buck's caprese frittata

10 large eggs, cracked and whipped

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoon butter

3 ripe Roma tomatoes diced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Crack eggs into a large bowl and stir in cream.

Place butter in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat until melted. Add diced Roma tomatoes, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil. Sauté 2 minutes. Add the eggs mixture and stir frequently to keep eggs cooking evenly.

Once eggs become firm but are still wet, dump mixture into prepared casserole dish. Spread mozzarella over the top.

Place in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes to melt cheese and firm eggs.

Garnish with the remaining chopped basil and serve.

Servings • 4

Source: Harley & Buck's

Bloody Mary steak and eggs for two

Bloody Mary mix:

1 quart of tomato juice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon horseradish

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

11/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon Tabasco

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon grated fresh onion

Steaks:

1/4 cup veal or beef stock

10 ounces beef tenderloin cut in two equal pieces

10 asparagus spears, brushed with oil and garlic and grilled or sauteed

4 eggs poached

Parsley, for garnish

For the Bloody Mary Mix, combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher.

Sear the steaks over high heat for 2 1/2 minutes for each side, remove from pan. Add beef stock to the pan and reduce by one-fourth. Add 1/4 cup bloody Mary mix and reduce by one-fourth.

To serve, place seared steaks on plate, pour sauce over the beef. Top with the eggs and finish with asparagus and parsley.

Note • To use the Bloody Mary mix for cocktails: Stir 2 1/2 cups vodka into the pitcher. Pour over ice in individual cocktail glasses. Add a stick of celery, slice of jalapeno, and olives for garnish. Makes 8 to 10 cocktails.

Servings • 2

Source: Wild Grape Bistro —

Harley and Buck's caprese frittata

10 large eggs, cracked and whipped

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoon butter

3 ripe Roma tomatoes diced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Crack eggs into a large bowl and stir in cream.

Place butter in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat until melted. Add diced Roma tomatoes, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil. Sauté 2 minutes. Add the eggs mixture and stir frequently to keep eggs cooking evenly.

Once eggs become firm but are still wet, dump mixture into prepared casserole dish. Spread mozzarella over the top.

Place in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes to melt cheese and firm eggs.

Garnish with the remaining chopped basil and serve.

Servings • 4

Source: Harley & Buck's