Make ahead brunch idea

Kathy West gave a thumbs up to her birthday brunch fare.

A friend invited me to a brunch/birthday party after church this morning. Two of our parishioners – both close friends celebrate the same birthday. Kathy West (Pictured) and David Monts were the honorees. I secretly admired the host’s ability to throw a party for five couples and still get to church on time without looking harried. Magically, the spread was waiting on us when we arrived at her home following the service.

The secret was to do everything the night before. Her recipe for “Cheese Bacon Custards” served in individual ramekins with sides of fresh steamed asparagus, fruit salad and crusty sourdough bread was “Yummo!” We sat around and enjoyed cake and ice cream before heading home for a nap!

Of course I wouldn’t leave without the recipe which came from a fabulous ole cookbook called “The Redbook Cookbook.” It was printed back in l961 and the first chapter was titled “How To Follow a Recipe.” Wow. If I’d been lucky enough to find that cookbook 40 years ago, my life of cooking and hosting dinner parties would have taken a smoother road.

Here’s the recipe for the easy, economical and tasty custard you’ll want to try next Sunday:

Cheese – Bacon Custards

8 slices raw bacon (she used Butterball turkey bacon which she swears by)

2 cups Swiss cheese, grated

1 cup Parmesan cheese grated

2 large eggs or three small eggs, well beaten

2 cups light cream

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

If you desire you can make the custard the night before. Cook bacon until crisp and crumble into pieces. Sprinkle bacon over bottoms of six(6-ounce) custard cups. Combine cheeses, eggs, cream, salt, nutmet. Pour an equal amount into each cup. You may refrigerate over night until ready to bake. Before church she placed the cups in a large shallow pan. Pour water around the cups so that the water level is halfway up the sides of the custard cups. She baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then cut off the oven and went to church.

Upon returning she reheated the oven to 350 degrees and cooked an additional 15 minutes. Total cooking time if you do it all in one step is 55 minuted or until a knife inserted in the outer edge of custard comes out clean.

She tossed the asparagus into a casserole and stuck them in the microwave for seven minutes. The fruit salad – also made before church – needed a quick toss and dinner was served. I was thinking I might try the recipe using those fabulous Southwest Eggbeaters and reduced calories Four Mexican Cheese. Nah. Maybe not, that Swiss cheese would be hard to beat!

Bon Appetite!

Yvonne Thaxton finishes off custards for Sunday brunch

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