Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Football Brunch

A chilly Sunday, good friends, football playoffs and brunch was the perfect way to spend the day.  

Brunch is a meal between breakfast and lunch that has been around since the 1890's.  I love this description of brunch as a meal for the "Saturday night carousers", so they don't have to get up so early on a lazy Sunday.  Perfect!

Instead of England's early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.
- Guy Beringer, "Brunch: A Plea," Hunter's Weekly, 1895
For our mid-morning fare, Sheila brought over two wonderful quiche pie's, bagels and the best ever lox.  Delicious!  In the January issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I had found a recipe that sounded incredible so when the idea of brunch and football came up, I raised my hand to make sweet potato biscuits with ham and red-eye gravy.  Yum!
Sweet Potato Biscuit Sandwiches 
with Ham and Redeye Gravy
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
4 slices bacon
4 slices of 1/4" thick fully cooked ham
1 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup peach preserves
4 eggs, scrambled
Fresh Parsley

Preheat oven to 450.  
For sweet potato biscuits - in a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cream of tartar and cayenne pepper.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in cheese.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  In a small bowl combine milk and sweet potato.  Add sweet potato mixture to flour mixture.  Using a fork, stir just until moistened.

Turn dough out on a floured surface.  Knead gently 10 to 12 strokes.  Pat or lightly roll dough to a 3/4 inch thickness.  With a biscuit cutter, cut out 8 biscuits.  Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile in a large skillet cook bacon until crisp.  Drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp. bacon fat in skillet.  Add ham to skillet;  cook for 5 minutes or until well-browned on both sides.
Start your scrambled eggs!  (I almost forgot that part until it was too late but squeezed them in at the last minute!)
  Add coffee to skillet with the ham, stirring to scrape up any browned bits.  Simmer, uncovered, until coffee just begins to thicken and glaze the ham. 

Split biscuits and top the bottoms with ham, scrambled eggs, bacon and parsley.  Spread a bit of the peach preserves on the top half of your biscuit.  Put your sandwich together; grip it with two hands; raise it to your mouth; take a bite; close your eyes and savor.


  1. Hi Paula' Happy new year! Your brunch looks amazing. That recipe is really interesting. I would never have thought Of using coffee to make gravy. I can't imagine how it tastes so will have to try it.
    The picture that reminded you of Mazzt is one of my doll collection. She does have a very sweet face. I think she is from the 1930s.
    I will add your new blog to my list!


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