Brunch could very well be the American millennial’s favorite bougie pastime. You may have tried to avoid it for as long as possible (like me), or you may have fully embraced it after your first sip of that amazing mimosa. But face it: There’s not a weekend that goes by where you don’t want to go out and order some eggs and potatoes without acknowledging that brunch is in fact just breakfast and lunch combined into one word and eaten well past actual lunchtime. It’s like clockwork.
Then the bill comes. And once your food coma starts to fully set in and your friends are sitting there in silence because you all have nothing else to talk about, you become painfully aware that your avocado toast with one egg on it set you back $12, which is the cost of four avocados and an entire loaf of bread. Plus those three Bloody Marys you had (undoubtedly made with well vodka) cost you the price of your very own full bottle of Stoli.
Stop wasting your money on going out to brunch. Look, I’m not here to judge, but you shouldn’t be working so hard just to spend your precious weekend afternoons on an hour-long meal that took too long to get to you and only tasted as good as you were drunk. “But brunch is all about the experience,” you protest. Well, I’m here to let you know that you can enjoy that experience straight from the comfort of your own couch. Plus, how cool are you going to look to the stranger you hooked up with last night when you tell him or her that instead of waiting awkwardly at that hipster brunch place down the street, you can just make it yourself? Maybe they can even help.
So you’re prepared for that fateful afternoon, here are a couple of basic brunch favorites that you can easily (and cheaply!) whip up at home. Even better: You can get drunk while doing so.
So, you know how easy it is to whip up some quick guac and throw some chips in a bowl and serve it? Avocado toast is basically guacamole on top of a piece of toast. Just think about it. It’s insanely easy to make.
- Multigrain bread. (How many slices depends on how many people you plan on feeding. Also, please class it up. Don’t choose some sad bagged variety sitting in the back corners of your grocery store. Splurge a bit on some good, thick bread.)
- Avocado (I would say half an avocado to one slice of bread, and one slice or two slices per guest)
- Olive oil
- Red pepper flakes
Toast your multigrain bread (make sure it’s fresh, please) to a lightly golden brown. In the meantime, take half of the avocado (remove the pit) and flop it into a bowl. Also add a bit of olive oil (like a drizzle) and a couple squeezes of juice from a slice of lemon, and mash them all together with a fork. Keep in mind, you want this to be all blended together in a kind of thick, creamy spread, not a blended liquid.
Spread the mixture over your slice of bread. Sprinkle some salt on that bad boy and (if you like a little spice) sprinkle on a light (or generous) heaping of red pepper flakes, too. If you’re feeling bold, add a fried egg.
I know most people regard Eggs Benedict as the ultimate brunch egg dish, but I still have trouble poaching eggs, so I’ll leave that to more skilled brunch experts. Instead, I’m sharing my mother’s instructions on how to make the perfect, simple omelet and roasted potatoes. (She makes awesome omelets. Really.) Okay, so before you start making the omelets, you should start cooking the potatoes; they take longer to finish, and you want them to ready at the same time as your eggs, don’t you?
For the potatoes, you’ll need:
- Two lbs. Russet potatoes
- Vegetable oil
- Dried onion flakes
- Light brown sugar
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper
Start off your prep by lightly oiling a baking dish with some vegetable oil and preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Next, you’ll have to cut some potatoes into quarter pieces. I prefer my breakfast potatoes to have the skin on them, but if you don’t, well, extra work for you (you’re going to have to remove the skin with one of those potato peeler things)! If you’re going to keep the skin on (great choice), make sure you wash them by scrubbing them under running water with a vegetable brush before cutting them.
Now go ahead and rub the potatoes with some vegetable oil so they get all sticky and ready to absorb all the spices. Spice time! Combine three tablespoons of the dried onion flakes, one tablespoon of the brown sugar, two and half teaspoons of onion powder, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of paprika, two teaspoons of dried rosemary, one and a half teaspoons of salt, and one teaspoon of pepper into a Ziploc bag. Shake that bag, add the potatoes, close it back up, and shake it again until every inch of those potatoes is covered in the good stuff. (Note: If you don’t have Ziploc bags on hand, dumping all of the above into a mixing bowl and giving them a good stir should do the trick.)
Once everything is mixed, dump the potatoes into the greased baking dish and spread them out so they don’t all cook on top of each other. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are both tender and golden brown. (You’ll know when you see them and smell them.) If you’re the overachieving type, chop up some parsley in the interim and garnish them with it when they’re out of the oven.
As for the omelets, we've discussed this on Deadspin in some detail in the past, but for my version you’ll need:
- Olive oil or butter (whichever you prefer to grease a pan)
- Cheese (I like cheddar or feta, but feel free to run with your imagination. Try to avoid anything too runny or too stiff, like queso or a hard Swiss.)
- Veggies (Whatever you like! Get some sliced mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, pepper, tomatoes — the cherry ones work best here — onion, avocado, etc.)
- Precooked meats (bacon, sausage, ham, turkey, salmon, or, dare I say, crab?!)
- Salt and pepper
Crack three eggs a in bowl and beat them up with your fork. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Let them chill there for a bit.
Next, take your pan (an eight- to 10-inch nonstick pan for best results) and set it on the stove on medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil in there and swirl it around the pan. Once it looks like things are really heating up there (i.e. the pan is sizzling), gently pour your egg mixture into the pan so that it fills up the whole pan in a circle. Have a little bit of patience, and let the mixture start to “gel up.”
But don’t let it get too hard! Once the eggs starts firming up around the edges and the middle still looks wet, pick your favorite side and start loading on however many toppings you want only on that side. (Note: Don’t get greedy. If you add a shitload of toppings, the whole thing is going to fall apart. Eggs are fragile. Be rational and treat them kindly.)
After you’ve done that, pick up the other side of the omelet with your spatula (gently!) and fold it over the side with the toppings. Turn down the heat to medium-low so it doesn’t start to burn. Give it a couple minutes and then turn the heat off completely. Let it sit there for a bit and watch it—the remaining heat from the pan should continue to melt the cheese and finish up cooking the eggs.
Scoop that omelet onto a plate. You might want to sprinkle it with some salt and pepper.
A good brunch always has to have a sweet option to compliment the savory. Every American adult knows we must always have the choice to eat copious amount of sugar for breakfast. And there’s just nothing easier or more delicious than pancakes.
Once again, the full Deadspin pancake recipe is here; for my slightly less elaborate version, you'll need:
- Baking powder
- Sour cream
- Vegetable oil
- Maple syrup (Aunt Jemima’s is delicious, by the way)
- Fresh fruit like raspberries or blueberries (If you’re fancy)
Take a large mixing bowl and fill it up with one cup of flour, one tablespoon of baking powder, a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and one tablespoon of sugar. Whisk all of that together.
Crack one egg into the smaller bowl and add one cup of milk, two tablespoon of sour cream, and two tablespoons of slightly melted butter (which you can melt by microwaving it for like 30 seconds).
Pour all the contents of the small bowl into the large bowl, and stir it all together until it’s smooth. If you feel like it’s too thick and you’ve been stirring so hard that you’re about to break a sweat, just add a touch more milk.
Now heat up your griddle on your stove on medium-high heat. Brush the griddle lightly with some veggie oil. Drop the batter in quarter-cup scoopfuls into spots on the griddle. Watch those spoonfuls until they start to form bubbles on the top. When it starts to look like those bubbles are about to burst, take your spatula and gently flip the flapjack. Wait until it turns golden brown and then flip them onto a plate. Place a pad of butter on top of the stack, and douse or drizzle with syrup. Garnish with those fruits if you must.
You know what time it is? It’s time for a drink. You’ve been kind of working hard in the kitchen, so you deserve a reward. If you’re entertaining others, remember that everybody takes their bloodys in different ways. An easy remedy and crowd pleaser: Create a Build Your Own Bloody Mary bar.
- A bottle of V8 juice
- Decent vodka (I’ll leave this up to you)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco sauce
- Stuffed green olives
- Celery sticks
- Ice cubes
- Cocktail shaker
Depending on the amount of people, this may get a tad bit annoying, as you’ll have to ask them each how they like their drink: spicy, really spicy, or not spicy at all? If your guests want salt to rim their glasses (and if they’re fancy, they’ll want salt), just lay some salt out on a damp towel and place the rim of the glass face down into the salt. Voilà.
Next add ice, a shot of vodka, about three-fourths of a cup of V8, two dashes of Worcestershire, a dash (or two) of Tabasco, and a dash each of salt and pepper to a cocktail mixer. (Substitute a large glass covered by another glass or bowl if you don’t have a mixer on hand.) Shake well and serve in a tall glass filled with ice.
Lay out some olives, the cornichons, celery sticks, and toothpicks, and let your guests adorn to their taste.
I shouldn’t really have to tell you how to make a mimosa, because they are painfully easy to concoct, but what’s brunch without them?
- Orange juice (let’s try to do better than “from concentrate,” shall we?)
Biggest thing here: Keep both of these liquids cold at all times. No one likes a warm mimosa. Then, get this, this is literally all you have to do: Fill up the flute about three-quarters of the way full with orange juice. Fill up the rest with champagne. Goodbye.
There you have it. That’s how you make brunch all on your goddamn own. Please keep in mind that the most expensive ingredients in this whole ordeal are going to be the vodka and the champagne. Plus you’re not tipping anyone, and can make your mimosas as strong as you want.
Adequate Man is Deadspin’s new self-improvement blog, dedicated to making you just good enough at everything. Suggestions for future topics are welcome below.
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Renee Jacques is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is also an associate digital editor at Allure and can be found on Twitter @reneejacques.