In much of the rest of the USA, Sunday Brunch is a competitive social endeavor. Restaurants, soccer moms, sports tailgaters, BBQ enthusiasts, and country clubs vie for popularity in the brunch time slot: That halcyon time when everyone leaves church, and are starving, but want to show off their fancy duds in public before they head home and put on sweatpants.
Not so much in Utah. For most of the Beehive state’s denizens, Sunday means church and family, with neither commercial nor social deviation outside this box. It goes without saying that both caffeine and booze are verboten. My LDS* friends also often fast as part of their weekend of prayer and mindfulness. I will repeat in case you missed it the first time: No coffee. No Mimosas. Non-Atkins induced food deprivation. I know, I’m constantly amazed at their fortitude, too.
In case you are still hyperventilating at the thought, perhaps you just need a little re-visualization. Since I moved to Utah over 8 years ago, now Sunday morning means a wide open playing field for we non-Mormon remainders: Bring on first tracks in the fresh powder! Hassle-free trips to Trader Joe’s, Home Depot and Costco! Irish pubs showing European football (but you can only get a Bloody Mary after 12)! Sure, kids, you can play in the street- there’s no traffic! Breathe deep, you’ll get through it too.
Okay, so, back to today. This weekend it was my turn to host our rotating “beer-vana” group. Between baseball, lacrosse, turkey hunting season and the general mayhem of spring, it’s hard to find a weekend night when we can all meet up with all of our kids. Thus: we met for Sunday Brunch.
My buddy IPA (aka the beer blogger “Hoss on Hops“) and the other members of our sketchy beer club came over with their collective spouses and kids. IPA supplied the brew from his seemingly magical beer fridge, and I provided all of the “Red Beer” fixin’s. A Red Beer is basically brew mixed with any combination of tomato juice, Clamato (yes= clam juice + tomato), spice, and citrus. Some folks like to have a 1 part tomato juice to 2 parts beer ratio. Others go half-and-half, or mostly beer with a splash of tomato; or just beer, spice and lime (like a traditional Mexican-style Michelada). That’s the great thing about the mixing bar- everyone gets it just the way they want it! Here are some of our favorite combinations:
- Durango smoked sea salt rim; lime juice, Tapatio hot sauce; tomato juice; Negra Modelo beer
- Old Bay spiced rim; lemon juice, Worcestershire, and Crystal hot sauce; Clamato juice; Red Stripe beer
- Ancho chile powder and sea salt rim; lime juice, Cholula hot sauce; tomato juice; HopNotch IPA
- Bacon salt rim; lemon juice, Worcestershire, Baron scotch bonnet hot sauce; a tiny splash of tomato juice; Carta Blanca or Pacifico beer
For nibbles alongside our cocktails, we kept it kid-friendly with chips and salsas. I also made appetizer-sized bites of my modified Spanish-style potato tortilla, which can be made using dinner leftovers (keep those extra steamed potatoes, grilled peppers, and green beans. You’ll use ‘em!).
I set out a “build-your-own-sandwich” spread for grazing with lots of bread, deli meat, cheese, and condiment choices. My gals Saketini and Lemon Drop brought delicious fruit and salads. Clean-up was a snap. I only used one vessel for actual cooking: score!
Now, time for my nap.
Layered Potato & Egg Baked Omelet (serves 8-10 as an appetizer)
2 medium red potatoes (skin on) steamed until soft but still firm, sliced into 1/8” thick rounds
½ cup steamed thin green beans, cut into 1-2” long pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (or, if you like it spicy, two roasted red jalepenos – YUM!)
¼ cup half-and-half
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs. Sriracha hot sauce
½ cup chopped green onions
Method (Preheat oven to 350 degrees):
Spray a 9”x9” ceramic or glass baking dish with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the dish with a sheet of parchment paper (this helps prevent the omelet from sticking and makes it easier to cut later). Spray a light coating of oil on the parchment paper.
Spread the sliced potatoes in one layer equally over the bottom of the baking dish; overlapping pieces as necessary to fit them all in. Sprinkle green beans and red pepper evenly over the top of the potatoes. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, and half-and-half until well combined. Pour slowly over the vegetables to cover evenly.
Bake about 35-40 minutes, or until puffy and cooked through.
Meanwhile, combine yogurt and Sriracha sauce in a small jar or squirt bottle. Shake to combine well.
After the omelet is done, let rest on the counter until cooled enough to touch (about 15 minutes). Invert onto a large cutting board, and gently remove parchment layer from the omelet. Cut into 1” cubes with a sharp knife.
Arrange on a platter; drizzle generously with Sriracha-yogurt sauce; sprinkle on all the green onions. Great warm or at room temperature (reserve sauce & onion garnish until just before serving). Enjoy!
*LDS is the preferred abbreviation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. AKA, The Mormons.