Shannon Crocker, RD PHEc
Holiday Brunch Board for Two
Being told this year holidays are "going to be different" is starting to feel like the equivalent of the supposed compliment "you look fine". You hear it, you understand the intention, but you don’t like it. With that in mind it might be time to give a little nudge to something you already love doing. Brunch!
I love a good brunch board -- they're perfect for holiday nibbling.
But brunch boards are usually built to serve a crowd; with this year's holiday festivities being a little more intimate, I thought it would be great to create a brunch board that's just right for two.
Here are a few how-to's to provide a little brunch-y inspiration.
1. Choose Your Cheese
My brunch board for two starts with three contrasting cheeses. I try to cover these criteria when choosing: flavour, shape, texture. Each one should be something that delivers a distinct feeling. So maybe I'll use a creamy mild cheese, a more flavourful cheese and a crumbly, aged cheddar with a bite. Serve enough so each of you gets a couple small pieces of each cheese.
2. Add Morning Munchies
Next I compliment the cheese with some fun morning munchies. I like waffles because we bought a waffle maker a long time ago and I seldom use it until this time of year. Mini pancakes work great here too (but take more work). Same pancakes you always make, just bite-sized. Going the extra mile? Go for the staple of the hotel breakfast buffet, French toast sticks. I plan for one waffle each.
3. Add Two Soft Cooked Eggs
I adore a soft cooked egg with that creamy, dreamy yolk. Funny how we like tradition; toast soldiers (or dippers) are a must for some but the waffles do a good job with the yolk as does a couple decent stiff bread sticks.
4. Fill it in with Fresh Fruit
Variety and surprise can be great here. Grapes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwis, pineapple -- they are all great for adding some vibrant colour to your board. Add enough so each person gets about 1 cup of fruit or more.
5. Sprinkle in Some Nuts
A little bowl of nuts, like cashews, walnuts or almonds will bring some crunch to your board.
Try this: Orange Roasted Almonds. Place 1 cup of whole almonds on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Add the zest of 1 orange and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Roast at 350 for about 10 minutes, stirring part way through.
6. Add Pizzazz!
Now for a little ribbon on the package so to speak. I like a little pot of honey to drizzle on the cheese and maybe another small pot of really good jam. And sometimes, I put in a little dark chocolate for a great finish.
This is how I'm building my brunch board -- create yours with whatever foods tickle your fancy.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.