Brunch need not be complicated

Smoked salmon bagel at Sully's.

Smoked salmon bagel at Sully’s.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed, I eat a lot of brunch. Like, a lot. I never miss a weekend brunch. And while I do appreciate creativity on a brunch menu, I’ve found time and time again, you don’t really need to stray far from the classic flavour combinations to create a satisfying brunch experience, especially if they’re done well and with a little love.

BLT + fried egg at the Tin Pan.

BLT + fried egg at the Tin Pan.

For example, we spent a night in Grand Pre during ice wine festival last month, and on the recommendation of our amazing server at Le Caveau the night before, ended up at local institution The Tin Pan in Port Williams. Now, The Tin Pan, in reality, is someone’s home and their dining area is what was once a living room, and in many ways still feels like it. They don’t even have commercial kitchen equipment. We ordered a couple B.L.T.’s (served on homemade bread) plus a fried egg, and pan-potatoes. Amazing. Cash only.

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Smoked salmon croissant at Tess.

Another example was our recent visit to Tess. Aside from having unbelievably reasonable prices, this is another small, quaint neighbourhood go-to that serves consistent, simple brunch items (and of course their famous crepes). My dish was a combination of smoked salmon, cream cheese, maple syrup and capers inside a buttery croissant. The sweetness of the maple really balanced out the smokiness and acidity of the other ingredients. The rich buttery goodness of the croissant made this an outstanding take on one of my favourite things to eat for brunch, ever.

Just today, we visited Sully’s Roast Beef & Smoked Meat, now open on Agricola, where I indulged in a similar combination once again. This time it was Willy Krauch smoked salmon featured on a Montreal style bagel with cream cheese and a generous sprinkling of chopped red onion. (Side note: They just reopened a couple weeks ago at this new location, and so while it was a little rough around the edges, we enjoyed the food and they smoke the meat in-house.)

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The breakfast sandwich at Morris East, Bedford South location.

Morris East has expanded their brunch offering in the past few months and now serve up this little beauty, a classic breakfast sandwich. Local bacon and cheese, a fried egg, lettuce and tomato on the exceptionally soft buns baked by Boulangerie La Vendeenne. Add some kind of potato on the side, in this case a rosti, and you’ve got brunch. Plus they have a deadly caesar featuring their house-made clamato mix.

Where’s your favourite joint for a simple, sometimes greasy, brunch fix?

 

Rock the Leftovers: Halibut Edition

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Last weekend I was in my hometown for a short visit. My parents, who regularly read this blog, made a delicious dinner on Friday night including insanely fresh halibut, roasted on the BBQ in tinfoil, and delicious homemade bread from the bakery.

After having read my Rock the Leftovers: Taco Edition post, the big joke was how I’d take remaining food from this meal (if there was any) and turn it into something. Well, the next day, I was craving brunch. So I ventured into the world of fishcakes, using the strange array of products in my mother’s fridge, and came up with a very satisfying meal: lemon-basil halibut fish cakes with makeshift Dijon tartar sauce, served with homemade brown bread toast.

Yum.

Here is what went in my fishcakes:

Cooked halibut, flaked

Finely chopped onion

Finely chopped homemade white bread (or use breadcrumbs)

Two eggs

Very finely chopped fresh garlic

Chopped fresh basil

Dash of chilli powder

Squeeze of fresh lemon

Salt & Pepper

Here is what went in my makeshift tartar sauce:

Coleslaw “dressing” (my mother’s fridge!)

Dijon

Green relish

Dash of hot sauce

Squeeze of fresh lemon

Salt & Pepper

halibut

Rock the Leftovers: Taco Edition

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One part of cooking I enjoy is the challenge of taking leftovers and making them new again. Working from home, I have the opportunity to make my own lunch, in my own kitchen, several times a week. That, paired with the fact that we regularly cook dinner together (and it’s usually awesome), means there are often leftovers in the fridge.

There’s something inside me that just disagrees with recreating the exact same meal two days in a row. Often I have separate elements of leftovers that I can rework. So, I do this. And I’ve decided to blog about it more.

On Friday I decided it was the night for tacos. I made three different fillings: spicy pepper mix with onions, basil-lime sauteed mushrooms, and saucy tomato sausages with roasted garlic. Plus I made a yellow heirloom tomato-jalapeno pico de gallo (with some heat), guacamole, red cabbage slaw, lots of chopped green onion and fresh cilantro. So basically a sweet spread. So good I didn’t even really take photos. I just settled in and ate.

On Saturday I was solo and planning to rock my leftovers with a brunch creation. That I did. I made a double-layered Mexican brunch tostada of sorts. Okay, so it’s not THAT different from the tacos — but it was very delicious.

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First layer: masa corn tortilla, spicy pepper and basil-lime mushroom mix, fried egg, crumbled Ran-Cher Acres goat cheese, chopped green onion. Second layer: another tortilla topped with sunny-side up (runny) fried egg, a bit more cheese and green onion, fresh cilantro. Accompaniments: guacamole and pico. Side dish: red cabbage slaw. A big glass of OJ.

Brunch happiness.

Red cabbage slaw.

Red cabbage slaw.