Recipes by Elaine Dakessian, Tres Bien | Photos by Taylor Johnson
Want to give Mom a break? We can’t think of a better time to keep her out of the kitchen and treat her to a rustic, comfort food brunch — a perfect meal for Mother’s Day in the comfort of your own home. Check out these simple, rustic recipes that will leave Mom feeling relaxed and appreciated.
- 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced on the slicer attachment of your food processor or with a mandolin if you have one. You can make individual gratins in mini pots or a larger one in a casserole dish.
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Gruyére or favorite cheese
- Chives to garnish
- Salt and white pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare casserole with nonstick spray.
Line sliced potatoes, covering the entire bottom surface of your dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add another layer, continuing the process until the dish is filled to about 1 inch from the top.
Whisk cream and milk together.
Pour over the potatoes. The mixture should fill the casserole.
Put on stove top and slowly warm the liquid until it just starts to bubble.
Top with cheese and put in oven to bake for 40 minutes. The top will get nice and brown.
Don’t pull it out too soon; let it brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chives.
TIP: I love these in individual mini pots, but if using a casserole, let it cool a bit and then you can use a biscuit cutter to serve up nice round servings for a neat presentation.
(We used a 14-inch cast-iron frying pan which looks great and goes directly into the oven to the table. The whole process takes place right in the fry pan. If you don’t have one, use a 12- to 14-inch casserole dish.)
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Whisk eggs, milk, cream, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup feta, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. (Reserve 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup feta for topping.)
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 cup toasted pine nuts
- Nonstick spray
Prepare pan with nonstick spray. Sauté sausage until browned and cooked through. At this point we drain it onto paper towels to remove the extra grease and we wipe the pan out with a paper towel, leaving a little fat to continue sautéing. It isn’t necessary, but if we can cut the fat, why not?
Add the sausage, garlic and tomatoes back into the pan and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add spinach, olives and fresh thyme and wilt the spinach. If using a cast-iron skillet, continue the process in the skillet.
If using a baking dish, spray your casserole dish with nonstick spray and place the filling in the dish. Pour the custard over the filling.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or when a knife is inserted and comes out clean.
Remove from oven and garnish the top with extra 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup feta.
Place back into the oven for 5 minutes or so just to melt. Remove from oven and garnish with additional thyme.
Serve with potatoes, fresh fruit kebobs and mimosas for a special rustic brunch. The beauty of this recipe is that it works with virtually any filling your imagination can conjure. Another favorite is summer squash, zucchini, leeks and Gruyere or asparagus, mushrooms, onions, prosciutto and fontina cheese … you get the idea!