Mini Quiches with Brie, Caramelized Onions, and Spicy Sausage ready to go into the oven.
I love eggs. And I also love everything to be neat, tidy, and in its proper place. I believe in kindergarten they called that “structure oriented”. My friends and family now might call it horrifically type-A, neurotic, and obsessive compulsive, but doesn’t “structure oriented” just sound so much better butter? Anyhow, given my longing for order, it will come as no surprise that not only do I like to make baked eggs in muffin tins, but I also find them to be the perfect vessel to make oh-so-delicious, two-bite, mini quiches.
These were a bit of a mistake if I’m being honest. I’d offered to bring appetizers to my Aunt and Uncles for dinner and then just had way too fun a day and forgot to pull anything together. An hour before we were to head over for my cousin Margot’s “Welcome Home from India Party” I realized I’d better get cracking, so looked to see what options the fridge would provide. The result was surprisingly delicious quiches that were beautiful to boot. Puff pastry makes for a snap assembly, and the combination of the stronger flavored brie, with the slightly sweet onions, and the spicy sausage proved magnifique. Incidentally, if you’re looking for a great cookbook that’s all about Puff Pastry I highly recommend checking out Katherine Martinelli’s “Puff Pastry at Brunch“, a wonderful eBook with “10 sweet and savory recipes to start your day.”
Make this when you need to use up whatever is in your fridge and you want a sure-fire crowd pleaser. They also make delicious leftovers for a good on-the-go breakfast the next morning.
Mini Quiches with Brie, Caramelized Onions, and Chile Sausage Makes 18
I assure you, these went quickly.
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and rolled out slightly on floured surface
3/4 cup milk (cream also works for something richer)
4 hot sausage links, quartered lengthwise and slices into cubes about the size of a pea (I used Hillshire Farms for this)
1 wedge brie (doesn’t have to be fancy), cubed
1 cup caramelized onion
Fresh dill to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a small non-stick skillet saute the sausage until beginning to brown. Set aside.
Grease regular muffin tins (I don’t have mini muffin tins, so just used regular, though either would work)
Using a juice glass or something similar, cut circles out of the puff pastry and gently press into tins. Assemble pastry scraps, re-roll, and cut remaining dough into circles and press into tins.
Whip up the eggs and the milk.
To assemble, evenly divide amongst the 18 cups the brie, caramelized onions, and sausage. Top with the egg mixture. Sprinkle a pinch of fresh dill into each cup.
On middle rack bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and egg fully set.
Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, pop out of muffin tins, and serve! (Can also make ahead and serve cold or lightly reheated).
Remember how I was making a case to bring the Slumber Party back? Well I’m adding something else to that list: Brunch and Bubbles. A perfectly brilliant combination, brunch allows for so many of my favorite things (easy, make-ahead dishes; beautifully set tables; champagne before noon). Furthermore, in these wildly busy lives that we all seem to lead, where syncing up calendars can often result in not seeing dear friends for weeks, Sunday Brunch seems to be a secret pass, often unscheduled and just waiting for a mimosa to kick it off.
This past weekend’s brunch was even better than usual, because not only did we have Blueberry Mimosas, Savory Breakfast Brioches, and Baked Eggs…we had Bulldogs! Well, just one bulldog to be precise, and a pretty stinking cute one at that. Meet Madden Hardaway Fay.
Lest you think it’s not possible, let me assure you that he is even cuter in person…the kind of cute that makes your heart pop and damn your willpower not to get a second dog. The only thing cuter than a 12-week old bulldog puppy? A 12-week old bulldog puppy romping and rolling for all he’s worth with Mr. Duke. They played for hours, we ate and drank for hours, and everyone was oh-so-pleased.
Those Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns were pretty out of this world, but since Matt is vehemently opposed to almost all things sweet, I decided to try a savory variety. And let me just say…we may have a problem here. They were delicious (damn them), and a perfect brunch entrée since they can be made completely ahead and then just popped into the oven the morning of. Serve them with Baked Eggs and Bubbles, and raise a toast to bringing brunch back.
Savory Breakfast Brioche with Prosciutto, Pesto, Feta, and Artichokes
Savory Breakfast Brioche, with Prosciutto, Pesto, Artichoke Hearts, and Feta
1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°, you can use a meat thermometer to check)
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and chopped into about 16 small pieces, plus more for greasing
3 large egg yolks
1 1/4 teaspoon. salt
4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
3/4 cup pesto
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup feta (you could sub another cheese if you liked)
Make the dough. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 7 – 10 minutes. You want to see some little air bubbles.
Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low speed, slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or 2 hours if not in an entirely warm place). After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.
Roll dough out into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Top with the pesto, prosciutto, feta, and artichoke hearts. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 slices.
Adding the filling.
Place dough slices, flat side down. Space out so that they roughly fill the whole pan while still slightly touching in places. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving room for the buns to rise, and refrigerate overnight.
Ready to rise.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator an hour before you want to make and let come to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Bake buns on the middle rack until golden, 28 – 32 minutes.