Mother’s Day Brunch and Shiitake Stuffed Baked French Toast
By now the secret’s out. My mother hates being taken to a restaurant on Mother’s Day. And she’s not alone. Although it’s a huge restaurant day, Mother’s Day brunch is probably experienced as an obligatory offering by most restaurants, but not especially a favorite for restaurant kitchens-or their waiters.
Take it from me-most mothers would rather be treated to brunch at home, leisurely enjoying the company of their family.
A great Mimosa, maybe a Margarita, and a buffet of tasty treats is in order, all served with a minimum of last minute cooking so there’s ample time for enjoying each other’s company.
My Mother’s Day brunch involved a lovely selection of little finger sandwiches and filled biscuits, a salad of Grilled Shrimp with Cucumbers and Avocados on a bed of Wild Arugula with a Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette, a couple of Frittatas, Oven Roasted Asparagus, and this Shiitake Stuffed Baked French Toast (a recipe created for the Jarlsberg cheese company), which can mostly be prepared ahead of time.
For dessert- a Chocolate Loaf Cake with Fresh Berries and Raspberry Sorbet. Everyone can relax and enjoy!
Shiitake Stuffed Baked French Toast
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small shallot, minced @1 heaping tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 6 ounces Jarlsberg cheese, grated
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
- 1 pound loaf Brioche, sliced and crusts trimmed
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup half and half
- Sauté shallot in 1 tablespoon butter until softened. Add remaining butter to the pan, then the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until it is completely absorbed, then stir in the thyme leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Butter a 2-2 1/2 quart Pyrex dish. Line the dish with Brioche slices, trimming to fit so that the bottom of the dish is covered completely. Spread the mushrooms over the sliced Brioche, then sprinkle the Jarlsberg, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan over them. Cover with the remaining Brioche slices.
- Whisk together the half and half and the eggs, and pour over the layered Brioche, cheese and mushrooms. Cover and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Uncover the casserole dish, and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the Brioche. Bake at 350 degrees for golden and puffy, about 35 minutes.
- Slice into triangles to serve.
Yield: 4-5 servings