For days I’ve been salivating over the dishes cooked by chef Bobby Flay in his show “Brunch at Bobby’s.”
Pancakes dripping with his own homemade maple syrup! Iced coffee with chocolate! Quesadilla! French toast! Cinnamon buns! Even just the title of his show fills me with longing.
I imagine having brunch in a friend’s house and being served such delectable dishes as to make me forget the travails of the past few days.
So when Lourdes and Ernie Fajardo of the Maya Kitchen and Monique Buensalido of Buensalido and Associates asked if I wanted to join a cooking class on brunch recipes, I immediately said not just yes but yay!
Conducted by New York-based chef Noel dela Rama, the cooking class was no mere demonstration—it was hands-on.
We got to prepare and cook the recipes Dela Rama generously shared with us. One of them was the banana bread with streusel topping, which I featured last week. The others were ham and egg cups, and chorizo breakfast casserole.
Rolling up our collective sleeves, I teamed up with my friends Amy Miciano, Linda Marty, Loury Lacson and Noemi Gomez to slice, sauté, mix and mash the ingredients needed to make our own brunch feast.
Afterward, the Maya Kitchen staff laid out a marvelous spread of the dishes, with some fresh fruits and vegetables, refreshing drinks of mimosa.
These days I still salivate whenever I watch Flay’s shows (he makes really mouthwatering food). But now, with the recipes I learned from Dela Rama, I can prepare and serve my own delectable brunch, too, for my friends (one of these days maybe).
Here’s the recipe for the chorizo breakfast casserole. The best thing about this —aside from its gooey, delicious flavor—is that you can prepare it a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator overnight, then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Bake about one hour before serving time.
Chorizo Breakfast Casserole
For the homemade chorizo:
500 g ground pork/chicken
2 tbsp crushed and minced garlic
1½ tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp salt
½ tbsp red pepper flakes
½ tbsp black pepper
30 ml (about 2 tbsp) red wine vinegar
½ tsp sugar
For the casserole:
2 tbsp olive oil
250 g fresh mushrooms, sliced (may use three kinds of mushrooms, see tips)
Homemade chorizo (recipe follows)
200 g onions, small dice
200 g red bell pepper, small dice
8 large eggs
2 2/3 c milk
1 tbsp salt
¼ tbsp black pepper
1½ tbsp dry mustard powder
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
12 oz day-old baguette, cubed into ½-inch pieces
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
½ c shredded gruyere cheese
Chopped parsley and chives, for garnish
Make the chorizo:
Combine all ingredients and in a large bowl. Chill one hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Make the casserole:
In a large pan or casserole, heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until dry and caramelized—they should turn brown. Remove the excess water.
In the same pan add the prepared chorizo and sauté until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Remove the mixture from the pan.
Add the onions to the pan and cook until translucent. Add the peppers and cook until peppers are tender. Return the chorizo and mushroom mixture to the pan, and stir to combine with the onions and peppers. Toss in the bread cubes.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, mustard and parsley. Whisk together until well combined. Set aside. In another bowl, combine both cheeses.
Spoon half of the meat mixture into a buttered 9 inch x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle one-third of the cheese mixture on top. Spread the remaining meat mixture and sprinkle one-third of the cheese mixture.
Pour the milk mixture on top. Using a wooden spoon, gently press down to let all the milk soak in. Top with the remaining cheeses. Let rest for at least 30 minutes before baking in a preheated 350°F oven, or cover with foil and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the casserole for 35-40 minutes or until set and no longer runny. Garnish with chopped parsley and chives. Serve hot.
Tips from Dela Rama:
You can use the recipe for chorizo or use store-bought chorizo. If you use store-bought chorizo, remove the meat from the casing.
For the mushrooms, you can combine three kinds of fresh mushrooms such as button mushrooms, shiitake and portobello.
For the mustard powder, you can substitute Dijon mustard.