There is the classic phrase, ‘ladies that lunch’. In homoculture, it’s ‘gays that brunch’. Weekend brunches are essentially a religious holiday – it’s called Gay Church. While each person or group of friends have their favorite brunch spots for great food, good vibes, drag shows, and mimosa’s, you can show off your fantastic culinary skills and host your own amazing brunch. If you like to entertain and turn up the dials, here’s what you need to know to host your own epic brunch.
Cocktail: Hibiscus mimosa
You’ll want to make this in advance. All you need is a fairly dry sparkling rose and hibiscus simple syrup. You can easily make this delicious floral syrup on your own. Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, heated in a saucepan on medium low heat until the sugar dissolves. Cook a minute and then remove from the heat and let cool. It will keep in the fridge indefinitely so you can make in advance and use it as you need it. To make a hibiscus version simply make hibiscus tea with some tea bags or loose leaves first. Use the tea in place of water and voila, you have hibiscus simple syrup. You’ll want to use about 3oz of sparkling wine to every tablespoon of syrup. Serve in a flute glass.
Side dish: Fresh mint fruit salad
Mint will lift any fruit salad and make it extremely refreshing and unique. Design a fruit salad with multiple colours, textures, and don’t make it complicated. Apples for crunch, raspberries for red, kiwi for green, firm plums for purple, blueberries for blue. Design a beautiful colour pallet. Avoid using melons and grapes because they are the go to for so many restaurants. Pick whatever is in season, fresh and has a good price. They key is to chop up the mint quite small and throw it in with some grapefruit juice to help distribute the flavours. Carefully mix it all together so you don’t bruise the fruit and let it sit for a little while. Serve with a slotted spoon to leave the juice behind. If you want to get really fancy peel the grapefruit, cut out the segments between the membrane and put those in as well, you can juice the leftover grapefruit for the juice and have that citrus bite in your salad.
Main Course: Chicken Merguez hash
Merguez is a Mediterranean lamb sausage typically, but the flavours go well with chicken too. This recipe calls for ground turkey or chicken. You’ll want 1 pound of chicken for every 4 guests, so feel free to double or triple this recipe depending in how many friends you’ve invited. You’ll want to use a frying pan where the ingredients fill the whole bottom of the pan by about an inch, and that has a lid.
- 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
- ¼ cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Juice from ½ fresh lemon
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
Fry the ground chicken or turkey over medium heat until completely cooked. Add onion and garlic and cook for another minute. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices. Cook until the onions are transparent; do not allow the onions and garlic to brown. Add diced tomatoes and cook to reduce liquid until it coats the back of a spoon. Crack eggs right on top of the mixture to cover the entire top, put on a lid until the whites are steamed firm
This is the best part, it should now form into a sort of casserole with the eggs holding it together. Use a large spoon to pick up one egg per person with all the meat and tomatoes below, put in the middle of a plate and spoon a little bit of the tomato sauce around it. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. You can serve with toasted bread or garlic bread to sop up the liquid, but if you and your friends are avoiding carbs it’s not necessary.
This brunch is great because it meets a lot of different people’s fancy diets that they are on, is packed full of vitamins and nutrients, and because you use ground chicken or turkey it is a lot healthier then bacon or other types of sausage. Save the calories for those mimosa’s, but be sure to not run out!