Restaurant menus mostly offer brunch favorites: a bagel platter, corned beef hash, Eggs Benedict, eggs and omelets with your choice of bacon-ham-sausage, French toast, pancakes and waffles, steak and eggs (and if it’s a trendy place, avocado toast).
At home, you can get more creative, from chilaquiles (here’s a gourmet version) and shakshouka to riffs on the standards, like peanut butter and jelly waffle sandwiches and an omelet roll.
For home cooks, we’re devoting this weekend to getting out of the brunch comfort zone. Today we present two recipes, guaranteed to be appreciated.
RECIPE: CHORIZO & EGG BREAKFAST BOWL
This attractive bowl is loaded with a poached egg, fresh avocado, crispy hash brown potatoes, chorizo sausage, arugula salad and chipotle cream. The recipe is from Idaho Potato, which has many creative recipes for potatoes at every meal.
You can buy chorizo crumbled, or in the casing (to crumble your own). You can also find turkey chorizo.
If you don’t like things spicy, trade the chorizo for a sausage you prefer, omit the jalapeño and trade the adobo sauce for flavored olive oil or whatever else sounds good to you.
Ingredients For 4 Servings
4 russet Idaho potatoes, diced into 1/2″ cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon jalapeño, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces chorizo, casings removed
3 cups arugula
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
Fresh cilantro and sliced avocado, for garnish
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Avocado and minced cilantro for garnish
1/2 cup mayonnaise or sour cream
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the canned chipotle peppers)
For the Chipotle Cream
1. PLACE the diced potatoes in a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes and immediately strain. Set the potatoes on paper towels and carefully pat dry.
2. HEAT the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the par-boiled potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring as needed.
 The finished breakfast bowl (photo courtesy Idaho Potato).
Chorizo with no casing (photos 2 and 3 courtesy Good Eggs).
3. ADD the onion, red and green pepper and jalapeño. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring as needed, until the potatoes are golden and crispy. You may need to lower the heat to medium, so keep an eye on things. Then add the minced garlic and cook for one minute longer; remove from the heat.
4. COOK the chorizo in skillet over medium-high heat, breaking into bite-sized crumbles, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and rest them on a paper towel-lined plate.
5. WHISK the mayonnaise or sour cream with the minced chipotle pepper and the desired amount of adobo sauce for your heat preference.
6. TOSS the cooked hash in a clean bowl with the chipotle cream, to coat lightly. Fold in the arugula and cherry tomatoes.
7. PREP the bowls with the hash and salad mix, dividing equally into each bowl. Add the chorizo on top.
8. POACH the eggs by bringing a saucepan of water to a gentle boil; add the white wine vinegar. Crack each egg into a small bowl. Gently drop each egg into the water and cook for 3 minutes. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon, gingerly shaking off any excess water. Place a poached egg on top of each bowl and garnish with sliced avocado and freshly minced cilantro. Serve immediately.
WHAT IS CHORIZO
Chorizo is a highly-seasoned, spicy sausage. Its red color comes from spices such as paprika and chipotle.
There are many varieties of chorizo. You’ll find them in different colors, shapes and with different seasonings.
Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked paprika and salt. It is generally classed as either spicy or sweet, depending upon the type of smoked paprika used.
There are hundreds of regional varieties of Spanish chorizo, both smoked and unsmoked. They may contain garlic, herbs and other ingredients.
Mexican chorizo is based on the recipe for uncooked Spanish chorizo, but the meat is ground rather than chopped; and different seasonings are used.
Mexican-style chorizo is a deep reddish color and largely available in two varieties, fresh and dried (although fresh is more common). It is so popular that beef, venison, kosher and vegan versions can be found in the U.S.
Green chorizo is a style native to Toluca, Mexico, southwest of Mexico City. The color comes from green vegetables and herbs mixed into the meat: tomatillo, cilantro and chiles, plus garlic.
Portuguese chorizo is made with pork fat, wine, paprika and salt. It is stuffed into natural or artificial casings, and slowly dried over smoke.
Chorizo fans should gather the different types of chorizo and invite guests for a sausage board, with cheese, beer, bread and mustard.
 Have a stack of pancakes, or just one (photo courtesy Gordon Ramsay Group).
 Baby Bella is a marketing name for crimini mushrooms. Criminis and younger portabellas. When the crimini is allowed to grow large and ripen after being picked, the gills are exposed and dark.
SAVORY MUSHROOM PANCAKE & EGG STACK
We’ve published a template for making savory pancakes, and here’s an addition to the collection.
Pancakes, no sugar added (or in a box mix), are topped with a flavorful mushroom and herb blend, and a fried egg. If you like, you can have a creamy mushroom topping with a bit of marsala
For The Pancakes
This recipe makes six four-inch pancakes, or a three-pancake stack for two people. Of use your favorite from-scratch recipe, omitting the sugar.
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup buttermilk*
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
Large pinch salt
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes or other savory spice
For The Mushroom Filling, Per Two Pancakes
Don’t worry if you make too much filling. You’ll like it so much, that you’ll use it up on everything else you cook.
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
12 ounces baby bella or button mushrooms, wiped and patted dry, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon zest or 1 tablespoon marsala or sherry, or 1 teaspoon or brandy
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions (more as desired)
2-3 tablespoons cream or half and half
*When a recipe calls for buttermilk and you don’t have any , just add a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to a cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until the milk begins to curdle.
1. MAKE the mushroom sauce. Heat olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the mushrooms, garlic and onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a bit of salt, cover with the lid and continue cooking the mushrooms for another 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring.
3. REMOVE the lid after the mushrooms have released their moisture and sauté for another 5 minutes or so minutes. If you’re using the cream of lemon zest, add it now. Stir the cream into the mushroom liquid. Total cooking time from the beginning to end should be 15 to 20 minutes.
2. SEASON with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with chopped chives or scallions. Keep warm and set aside.
3. MAKE the pancakes Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, lightly whisk together the milk, egg and oil or butter.
4. POUR the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. The batter will be lumpy, so don’t over-mix (it toughens the pancakes). Let the batter sit while heating up a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
5. COOK the eggs and keep warm as you make the pancakes.
6. GREASE the griddle or skillet and pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Once bubbles are formed on top and along the edges, flip the once and finish cooking the other side.
7. ASSEMBLE: Stack the pancakes with mushroom filling in-between and top with the egg. Spoon extra mushroom liquid on the plate, as shown in the photo.
Congee, China’s favorite breakfast
Caviar Eggs (with affordable caviar)
Eggs In A Nest (of hash browns)
Bone Broth Breakfast Soup
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Pho, Vietnam’s favorite breakfast
Smashed Pea Toast
MORE BRUNCH RECIPES