Picture Christmas morning: a relaxing time with family, opening gifts in front of the tree, and sharing delicious food and drinks—with many excited kids and sleepyheads still in their pajamas. Nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen while the rest of the family is having all the fun!
This year, plan to pre-prepare. It’s easy to make some creative dishes ahead of time and the benefit? You’ll impress everyone with your culinary prowess while appearing completely relaxed and unworried at the same time.
Brunch on a Casserole
A French toast casserole is a real crowd pleaser, with its delicious crunchy cinnamon-sugar top. Just make it ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. Skipping the need to pan-fry each slice, simply throw it in a dish and let the oven do all the work. It’ll come out soft and custard-like in the middle but crunchy on the top and outside.
For something more savoury than sweet, a simple breakfast casserole will do the trick. Add all the best breakfast goodies in one dish: sausage, eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, bread, and a little mustard, all baked in the oven to make this the perfect comfort food breakfast. Add bacon and onions as a variation.
Brunch on Poached Eggs
Shakshouka is a delicious recipe that hails from North Africa. It consists of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, and it is often spiced with cayenne pepper, cumin, or paprika. You can also add bacon, ham, or chorizo for variation.
The tomato sauce can be prepared in advance. Then on Christmas morning, simply break the eggs into the heated sauce, put the lid on until they’re poached to your liking—and that’s it! An international-style gourmet brunch is served.
Brunch on Focaccia
Who doesn’t love the traditional breakfast of champions—bacon, eggs and toast? A crispy, fluffy sheet pan focaccia combines this classic trifecta into one dish.
And don’t worry: if you’re new to breadmaking, this is a great place to start. In fact, the best way to make focaccia is with a no-knead dough because it prevents too much gluten from developing (which can result in tough, chewy bread).
Experiment with tasty add-on ingredients like red or green bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, different kinds of cheese… the sky’s the limit!
Brunch on Crepes
Much lighter than American-style pancakes, crepes can be filled with anything—sweet or savory. The batter can be made the night before; you can even cook the crepes and store them in the fridge, where they’ll keep for a day or two. Classic Parisian fillings include crepe au chocolat (chocolate spread), crepe au fromage (melted Gruyere cheese), or a crepe simply sprinkled with granulated sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Don’t forget the spirits!
Any brunch, especially a celebratory one such as Christmas morning, must include Mimosas: sparkling wine mixed with orange juice. Fun fact: these delicious concoctions were invented at Buck’s Club in London as an excuse for patrons to start drinking early; they’re called Buck’s Fizz in Britain. Naturally, using fresh juice is preferable but any good quality juice would work.
Variations can include peach nectar or puree, cranberry or pomegranate juice for a colourful festive twist, pineapple, or strawberry.
Or serve a Canadian staple: the always delicious Caesar! Include all of the accoutrements on the side so guests can individualize their drink: pickles, olives, bacon strips, celery, celery salt, Worcestershire, etc.
There are so many simple options to make Christmas morning extra sweet—and a memory you’ll certainly savour.