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Best brunch ever: 3 recipes to improve your weekend mornings

Ramona King

Asparagus with crispy poached eggs and warm bacon vinaigrette


Best brunch ever: 3 recipes to improve your weekend mornings

You know the drill: It's Saturday morning. You've just woken up after staying out a little too late for Friday happy hour(s) with your friends. Eggs and bacon are on your mind, but your neighborhood brunch restaurant always has a line by 9 a.m. By the time you sit down it's already noon, the coffee is stale, your eggs are overcooked and you're ready for a nap.

There's a better way.

Making brunch at home will not only save you time and money, but it opens the door to exploring new dishes and techniques, and your eggs will always be just the way you like them. Master these three dishes and you'll never need to wait in line again.

Asparagus with Crispy Poached Eggs and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
There's nothing like slicing into a perfectly poached egg to reveal a rich, runny yolk, with the exception of slicing into a crispy fried poached egg. A quick dip in hot oil transforms the egg into a decadent, brunch-friendly protein that's perfect atop quickly poached asparagus. Up the ante even more by serving the egg with a warm bacon vinaigrette, which provides amazing contrast against the yolk and tender-crisp asparagus. It all sounds fiddly; we know. But the process is worth it to wow even the most discerning brunch companion.
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Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Gravy
This classic Southern brunch dish is an important one to have in your weekend repertoire. And while you can go completely bare bones with a basic grits recipe and quickly sauteed shrimp, we like to prepare our shrimp and grits with a little more attention to detail. Slightly spicy andouille sausage brings a smoky depth to our version of the dish, and it plays well off the sweet, succulent shrimp. A touch of garlic, bay leaves, and a triple threat of fresh herbs adds depth and a hint of brightness to the shrimp. Then the one-two punch of heavy cream and butter bring the slow-cooked grits into ultra-decadent territory. You were going to take a nap after brunch anyway, right?
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Bananas Foster
If you're going to go all-out this weekend, you might as well throw together a quick brunch-inspired dessert, and bananas foster is the perfect way to round out the morning. Popularized at New Orleans’ Brennan’s restaurant, bananas foster involves caramelizing bananas in a quick toffee of butter and brown sugar. A hefty pour of dark rum then gets added to give the bananas some flambee action. The whole dish is impressive, surprisingly quick and easy. Just search for ripe bananas, which will soften faster in the skillet. Ice cream isn't out of place on top of the bananas, but whipped cream would also be an excellent finish.
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Photo Credit (Shrimp and Grits): Ideabar Austin
Photo Credit (Bananas Foster): Ideabar Austin

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Kate Williams is the former editor-in-chief of Southern Kitchen. She was also the on-air personality on our podcast, Sunday Supper. She's worked in food since 2009, including a two-year stint at America’s Test Kitchen. Kate has been a personal chef, recipe developer, the food editor at a hyperlocal news site in Berkeley and a freelance writer for publications such as Serious Eats, Anova Culinary, The Cook’s Cook and Berkeleyside. Kate is also an avid rock climber and occasionally dabbles in long-distance running. She makes a mean peach pie and likes her bourbon neat.