One of my absolute favorite pastimes that I miss now that we’re under stay-at-home orders in New York City is going out for brunch. Whether dining with my partner, a friend or solo with a book, there is just something about a sunny Saturday spent munching on French toast and throwing back mimosas in the midst of all the delicious smells and lively conversation. Nowadays, my Saturdays are spent eating oatmeal and watching TV in the same place you can find me most days now — on the couch.
But if you do so happen to ache for some semblance of the upscale breakfast fare you had grown accustomed to at some of your favorite restaurants, you can try your hand at making those meals at home. And no, we’re not talking simple Hungry Jack mix pancakes, but taking things up a notch. LA-based culinary creative Kiano Moju, who has been sharing fun, colorful and mouthwatering dishes with her thousands of followers through both images and weekly Instagram Live brunch cooking classes, gave us a custom tutorial to help us feel our fanciest in isolation. And while the end results may look complicated, Moju’s recipes are actually relatively simple to put together if you’ve got the ingredients at your disposal. If not, keep these components in mind for your next grocery haul.
Check out five absolutely flavorful brunch recipes by Moju that you can whip up at home in five or six steps at the most. Bon appetit!
PB&J FRENCH TOAST
There is something to be said about the foods of one’s childhood. Layered in between the flavors is a comfort that is an accompaniment to familiarity. This dish combines two classics, a pb&j and french toast, for a nostalgic, yet sophisticated breakfast treat.
4 slices brioche bread, 1″ thick slices
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
smooth peanut butter
strawberry jam or any other berry jam
powdered sugar, optional
1. First assemble 2 pb&j sandwiches. On 2 slices of bread spread a thick even layer of peanut butter, the other 2 slices, spread jam. Put one peanut butter slice together with one jam slice.
2. In a wide bowl whisk together the milk & eggs.
3. Heat a griddle or large saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter. It should be slightly foamy, being careful not to burn.
4. Working one at a time, dip the pb&j sandwiches into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Be careful to not over soak as the bread is quite soft.
5. Cook the sandwiches in melted butter until golden on both sides (2-3 minutes per side).
6. To serve, slice in half and dust with powdered sugar, if using.
ROASTED TOMATO & BASIL CRUSTLESS QUICHE
Makes 1 batch
This can be made with any kind of tomato you have on hand, with some of my favorites being cherry or grape tomatoes. A simple salad with vinaigrette is the perfect pairing.
1 pint (10 ounces) cherry tomatoes, stems removed
3 garlic cloves, sliced
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream -or- half and half
Handful fresh basil leaves
4 ounces goat cheese
Salt & black pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
2. Arrange tomatoes and garlic on a parchment lined baking sheet. Generously drizzle with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix together, then roast for 20-25 minutes until tomatoes have softened and are a bit wrinkled.
3. In a bowl whisk together eggs and cream, seasoning with salt and pepper.
4. Arrange tomatoes, basil and goat cheese in the bottom of a lightly oiled 9” round pie dish. Pour on top the egg mixture. Bake for around 30 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly.
5. Serve at room temperature with a simple salad.
This is a fun way to enjoy the classic breakfast combo of sausage and eggs. You can shape them a day ahead of time.
7 large eggs
1 pound raw herb – or- breakfast sausage, removed from casing
½ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ cup breadcrumbs
Salt & pepper to taste
Oil for frying
1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Using a cooking spoon, gently lower 6 eggs into boiling water. Set a timer for 7 minutes. Once cooked, transfer eggs into a bowl of iced water to chill & immediately stop the cooking. Peel once cool enough to handle.
2. Layout 3 small bowls: 1. flour 2. remaining egg, lightly beaten 3. breadcrumbs. Season flour with salt & pepper.
3. Tear off a piece of cling film and lay across a cutting board. Mold 100g of sausage into a flat patty about ½ cm in thickness.
4. Coat egg in flour and gently shape sausage around the egg. Dip sausage encased egg into flour, beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Repeat with remaining eggs.
5. Cover each egg tightly with cling film and allow to chill for at least 20 minutes or until ready for use, up to one day in advance.
6. To cook, remove egg from cling film. Fry in a pan filled 1” high with 350°F oil. Fry eggs for about 3-4 minutes each side.
If your breadcrumbs brown too quickly, the sausage is most likely still uncooked. Stick the eggs in an oven preheated to 400°F for 5 minutes to finish cooking sausage.
SMOKED SALMON SOFT SCRAMBLE
Adding smoked salmon to scrambled eggs is a simple way to have an elevated breakfast or brunch dish. Play it up with good quality bread like a crusty sourdough that has been grilled with butter. I sometimes add a layer of avocado as well!
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
50g smoked salmon, diced
Salt & black pepper to taste
Small handful finely chopped chives
4 slices of toast to serve
1. In a bowl whisk together eggs, salt & pepper just until combined.
2. Melt butter in a sauté pan set over medium-low heat.
3. Pour eggs into the pan, continuously stirring with a rubber spatula to form soft curds. Eggs will take about 2-3 minutes to cook.
4. When liquid has nearly cooked off, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salmon. Spoon onto toast, garnishing with chives.
COCONUT & CARDAMOM MANDAZI
Makes around 40
Mandazi are a Kenyan donut quite similar to beignets. Packed with flavor from coconut milk and freshly ground cardamom, this is a great treat to have with a morning cup of tea or coffee. Cardamom can be substituted with some cinnamon, but use half the amount.
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can full-fat coconut milk, 14-ounces
oil, for frying
powdered sugar to serve
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar, cardamom, baking powder, and salt.
2. Make a well in the center, pouring in the coconut milk and egg. Use a rubber spatula or cooking spoon to mix together until dough forms, adding a bit more flour until it’s no longer sticky. The amount of flour you add depends on the type of coconut milk.
3. Once the dough is no longer sticky, turn out onto a clean floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle ¼” thick.
4. Cut the dough into 2-3” squares or rectangles.
5. Fry in oil 350°F (180°C) until golden brown, turning midway. Drain excess grease on a plate lined with a paper towel.
6. Serve warm, dusting with a generous amount of powdered sugar.