The beauty of brunch: Create the meal’s leisurely magic at home with these restaurant-worthy, Valentine’s Day recipes


Cinnamon Muesli Pancakes, with Cranberry, Fig and Ginger Jam. PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service


Bacon and Potato Skillet, with Poached Eggs and Lemon Thyme Mayonnaise. PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service


Cinnamon Muesli Pancakes, with Cranberry, Fig and Ginger Jam. PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service


Bacon and Potato Skillet, with Poached Eggs and Lemon Thyme Mayonnaise. PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service

Brunch. The dine-in restaurant occasion many of us miss most during this pandemic.

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday, we’ve rounded up a few restaurant-worthy recipes fit for the day.

Cinnamon Muesli Pancakes, with Cranberry, Fig and Ginger Jam

Prep: 20 minutes.

Cook: 20 minutes.

Makes: 16 four-inch pancakes.

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• ¾ cup whole wheat flour

• ½ cup old-fashioned oats

• ¼ cup quinoa flakes or bran flakes

(or crushed bran flake cereal)

• ¼ cup sliced almonds or pecan pieces, chopped

• ¼ cup brown sugar

• 3 tablespoons roasted or raw sunflower seeds

• 3 or 4 tablespoons dried currants or chopped golden raisins or dried cranberries

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• ½ teaspoon each: Baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon

• 3 large eggs

• 1½ cups milk (whole, low-fat or skim all are fine here)

• 3 tablespoons each: Vegetable oil,

melted butter

• Vegetable oil for high heat cooking, such as sunflower, safflower or expeller-pressed canola oil

• Plain or vanilla yogurt

• Cranberry, fig and ginger jam

(see recipe), warmed

• Cranberry or maple syrup

1

Mix flours, oats, quinoa flakes, almonds, brown sugar, sunflower seeds, currants, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. (Or store in a covered container up to several weeks.)

2

To make pancake batter, whisk eggs together in a large bowl. Whisk in milk, 3 tablespoons oil and melted butter. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until everything is moistened. Do not overmix. Let stand about 5 minutes.

3

To cook pancakes, heat 1 or 2 large nonstick skillets or a griddle over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Lightly brush the surface with a little oil. Use a ¼ cup measure or ladle to dollop batter in several places over hot surface, allowing 2 or 3 inches between pancakes for spread. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 1 minute more.

4 Serve pancakes hot off the griddle topped with yogurt, warm cranberry jam and a drizzle of syrup.

Cranberry, Fig and Ginger Jam

Prep: 15 minutes.

Cook: 10 minutes.

Makes: About 2½ cups.

• 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries

• 1 small tart apple or Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, cut into ½-inch pieces

• 7 or 8 dried Turkish figs, chopped, about ¾ cup (4 ounces)

• ½ cup sugar

• Grated zest and juice of half orange

• 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1

Put cranberries, apple, figs, sugar, and orange zest and juice into a medium saucepan. Add ½ cup water. Heat to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, covered, to completely dissolve the sugar, 3 minutes. Uncover and simmer on low, stirring often, until most of the cranberries pop, about 10 minutes.

2

Stir in ginger. Cool. Refrigerate covered up to 4 days. Serve warm.

Bacon and Potato Skillet, with Poached Eggs and Lemon Thyme Mayonnaise

Prep: 25 minutes.

Cook: 30 minutes.

Makes: 4 servings.

• 4-5 medium yellow potatoes,

about 1½ pounds, scrubbed

• Salt

• 1 tablespoon butter

• 2 or 3 thick slabs bacon, finely chopped

(3 ounces)

• 1 small onion, finely chopped (4 ounces)

• ½ Golden delicious or 1 small tart apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped

• 3 green onions, thinly sliced

• ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

or 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 4 large eggs

• 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

Lemon Thyme Mayonnaise

• ½ cup mayonnaise

• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

• ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

or ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

• Several dashes red pepper hot sauce, plus more for serving

• Vegetable oil for high heat cooking, such as sunflower, safflower or expeller-pressed canola oil

• Sliced green onions, parsley sprigs

1

Put whole potatoes and ½ teaspoon salt into a large saucepan. Add water to cover them by 1 inch. Heat to a boil and cook, partly covered, until potatoes are not quite fork-tender in the center, about 10 minutes. Drain. Let potatoes cool until you can handle them. Set a four-sided grater into a large bowl. Use the largest holes to shred the potatoes (including the skins) into the bowl.

2

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, onion and apple. Cook until onion is golden and tender, about 10 minutes.

3

Stir shredded potatoes, green onions, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper into the skillet containing the onion mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are beautifully bronzed, about 10 minutes. Set aside to stay warm. (Or, divide mixture among four small skillets or ovenproof bowls and pop into a 200-degree oven to stay warm.)

4

Poach eggs as follows: Fill a large saucepan half full with water. Add vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt; heat to a boil. Reduce heat so water is barely at a simmer. Crack 1 egg into a small cup. Use a spoon to swirl the water in the saucepan; slip the egg into the swirling water. Repeat to add remaining eggs to water. Let eggs simmer until whites are nearly set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Transfer the eggs with a slotted spoon to a bowl of warm water.

5

For sauce, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, thyme and hot sauce to taste in a small bowl.

6

If necessary, reheat the potato hash until it’s very hot. Top with poached eggs and dollops of the sauce. Garnish with more hot sauce, green onions and parsley.

Jeanmarie Brownson writes for the Chicago Tribune.

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