6 Brilliant Cooking Tips We Learned During Brunch Fest
After a year of small, subdued celebrations, many of us are ready to start gathering again safely. With warmer weather here and vaccination rates rising — not to mention Mother’s Day and graduations right around the corner — it’s likely that brunch is on your mind.
It certainly was on ours last Sunday during Kitchn’s first-ever Brunch Fest! The virtual food festival, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Faith Durand, was a jubilant tribute to all the things that make our favorite mid-morning meal so great: supersized sticky buns, dim sum rice rolls, and (of course) the ultimate mimosa. Here are some helpful tips from our talented hosts to help make your next brunch a smashing success.
1. Keep a can of biscuit dough in your fridge.
Perhaps our biggest takeaway from the day was the magic of canned biscuit dough. As Alejandra Ramos and Ruth Tam proved in the Brunch Fest edition of What CAN You Do?, the supermarket staple is the secret to baked goods with far less work. You can go in a sweet (like Ruth’s blueberry bubble bread) or savory (a la Alejandra’s chorizo breakfast empanadas) direction depending on what your brunch menu is missing. And the ideas don’t stop there: Canned biscuit dough is also the key to easy air fryer doughnuts, muffin pan breakfast sliders, and so much more.
Try the recipe: Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Empanadas
2. Cutting up dough? Use kitchen shears.
Ruth’s biscuit dough showstopper is a fun baking project for kids and adults alike, and she shared this nifty trick for splitting them into smaller pieces: Use your kitchen scissors! It’s not only speedier this way, but also doesn’t require getting out a cutting board, which means one fewer thing to wash.
Try the recipe: Blueberry-Almond Bubble Bread
3. Cover your casseroles.
We’ve all been there: You pop a casserole in the oven and come back to one that’s perfectly browned on top, but still raw in the middle. The solution? Brandi Milloy opts for the aluminum foil method. Cover your pan for half the time to keep the top from scorching too quickly — no one likes a burnt casserole! — then remove to let the top get to a beautiful golden finish.
Try the recipe: Southwest Croissant Egg Cake
4. Rest French toast on a baking rack.
If you’re making French toast for a group, using an electric or stovetop griddle will help cook more slices at a time, but may leave you wondering how to keep them from getting soggy. Kate Wood’s trick is a simple one: Instead of piling the prepared pieces on top of each other on a plate, place the individual slices on a baking rack.
Try the recipe: Savory French Toast
5. When cooking eggs for a crowd, use the sheet pan method.
While no brunch would be complete without eggs, getting them ready one by one — whether you’re frying or poaching — may be our least favorite hosting task. In her Breakfast Showdown, Studio Food Editor Amelia Rampe found a method that solves this dilemma: sheet pan fried eggs that cook a dozen (yes, a whole dozen!) at a time.
5. If baking makes you nervous, go for an oil-based cake.
Try the recipe: Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake
6. Tiny sheet pans are more versatile than you think.
In her Breakfast Superstars segment, Kristina Cho showed how easy it is to get creative with kitchen tools we already own — and reminded us to get more tiny sheet pans. She repurposed her eighth sheet pans for steaming rice rolls, but these little guys are also great for meal prep and cooking small portions.
Try the recipe: Cheung Fun
Missed any of the Brunch Fest segments? Head over here to watch all the videos and try the recipes!