When it comes to Sunday Suppers with family and friends, sometimes special weekly meals are best served early! There are Sundays when food stylist and photographer, Sally Roeckell loves to plan a special brunch for her family. The kids enjoy an early feast and can fill up on leftovers throughout the day. With Mother’s Day coming up and graduation season upon us, we thought we’d share a spring brunch inspired table for the latest in our Heinen’s Sunday Supper series.
Heinen’s Grocery gave Sally a gift card to purchase groceries for her family’s Heinen’s Sunday BRUNCH. She shopped for the freshest ingredients to prepare dishes that are (almost) too beautiful to eat!
Spring Brunch for Heinen’s Sunday Supper
by Sally Roeckell, Heinen’s Shopper, Food Stylist, Photographer & Mother-of-four
In our home sometimes Sunday Supper happens earlier in the day and we call it brunch. A few of our favorite dishes for family brunch include thick cut smoked bacon, cranberry cheese with rainforest crackers, fresh squeezed orange juice, mixed berry Pavlova, egg and cheese baguette sandwiches and Bananas Foster french toast with whipped cream cheese. All of the ingredients can be found at Heinens, including the fresh flowers that bring a splash of beautiful color to our family’s table.
The cheese and fresh produce alone make this meal a huge hit. Have you tried the heirloom tomatoes found at Heinen’s? It’s not even tomato season yet and they are fresh, delicious and, let’s face it, they’re gorgeous!
A meal like this enjoyed earlier always satisfies our appetites for most of the day. Here’s a little more about the recipes I chose for this week’s menu…
Cranberry Cheese with Rainforest Crackers
There’s nothing like a beautiful cheese platter to start things off and Heinen’s has the best selection of artisan cheeses and crackers. Rainforest crackers in Heinen’s cheese department are the best!!! Try the cranberry crackers with the cranberry cheese.
Mixed Berry Pavlova
In France there are meringues in every bakery window. Big, giant, white pillows of egg and sugar with a crunchy shell and gooey, chewy center. Named after Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, they say that the billowy white cloud of egg looks like her tutu. If you’ve only served the prepackaged versions and never tried making a fresh one before, go for it! You won’t be sorry.
This recipe I use is from Ina Garten. Like most of her recipes it’s a classic that can be changed up many ways. Today I substituted fresh strawberries from Heinen’s for the raspberries in the triple raspberry sauce. This is actually a dessert but hey, its brunch so why not start with dessert!
This is a favorite. My daughter wants it instead of Birthday cake.
4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sweetened Whipped Cream, recipe follows
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
Triple Raspberry Sauce, recipe follows
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won’t get a pencil mark on the meringue.)
Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Combine the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a bowl and toss with about 1/2 cup of raspberry sauce, or enough to coat the berries lightly. Spoon the berries carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with extra raspberry sauce.
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don’t over beat!
Yield: 1 cup
Triple Raspberry Sauce:
Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.
Bananas Foster French Toast with whipped Cream Cheese
Another recipe our family loves for brunch? Brioche French Toast with Bananas Foster and whipped cream cheese… Enough said!
Whipped Cream Cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 cup very cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices day-old brioche
left out overnight on a baking rack
Bananas Foster Topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown muscovado sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
4 small ripe bananas, cut in half then in half length wise
1/2 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons banana liqueur
Confectioners’ sugar, optional
Mixed berries, for garnish
For the whipped cream cheese:
Put the cream cheese, vanilla and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip until light and fluffy. Add the cold heavy cream and whip until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the french toast:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the milk, cream, cinnamon and vanilla until combined.
Make the French toast in 2 batches. Heat 2 tablespoons each of the butter and oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until the butter is melted and the oil begins to shimmer.
Place 4 slices of the bread in the custard mixture and let sit on both sides until soaked through. Remove with a slotted spatula to allow the excess custard to run off. Cook until the toast is golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the French toast to a baking rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the second batch with the remaining butter, oil and bread. Keep French Toast warm until ready to serve.
For the banana foster topping:
Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat until it begins to sizzle.
Whisk in the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture has thickened slightly.
Add the bananas and cook until slightly softened. Remove from the heat and add the rum and banana liqueur.
Return to the heat and cook until the alcohol has burned off.
Serve 2 slices of toast per person, topped with some of the bananas and their syrup, a dollop of the whipped cream cheese, some fresh berries, and sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar, if using.
Classic baguette egg and cheese sandwich with tarragon goat cheese
Brunch wouldn’t be complete without a dish with farm fresh eggs as the focus. Here’s a little secret about poaching eggs… Putting a tiny bit of vinegar in the water helps the white stay together. And if you take them out of the water with a slotted spoon and set eggs on a pile of paper towels to absorb some of the liquid before you add to your dish, they won’t be watery.
2 Baguettes, sliced lengthwise*
Olive oil, to brush
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes
8 large eggs poached
1 cup micro arugula
Mix the following for Goat Cheese spread
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*Cook’s Note: Not the super skinny kind of baguette
Heat a grill pan.
Brush the halved baguette with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread onto a hot grill pan and grill cut-side down over high heat. Remove the grilled bread and spread the top of the bread with the goat cheese spread.
Top each slice of bread with a few slices of tomato and a poached egg.
Top with micro greens. Season to taste.
Micro greens, by the way, make a great addition to any dish! They’re tender, sweet and add a little vibrant color.
And for one more cook’s note, be sure to break the yolks on the sandwich. That way the bread begins to soak up the flavors, just in time for serving.
Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on featuring food. She regularly shops at Heinen’s for the family dishes she features via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at TableAndDish.com.
Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meathead’s) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.