Wolfgang Puck's Brunch Recipes

As part of Good Morning America's "Holiday 101" series, Wolfgang Puck shared some of his delicious and simple recipes for a holiday brunch. Check out Wolfgang's Southwestern Strata with Sausage, Pistachio Crusted Vanilla French Toast, Brandied Apricot Jam and Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls.

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Southwestern Strata with Sausage

Makes 4 to 6 servings

• 3/4 pound bulk pork or turkey sausage, mild Italian sausage, or chorizo, casings removed
• 1/2 pound stale rosemary country bread or French bread, cut in 3/4-inch slices
• 1 garlic clove, cut in half
• 1 cup grated pepper-jack cheese
• 6 eggs, slightly beaten
• 2 cups milk
• 1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• 1 cup fresh tomato salsa for garnish

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage. Saute, breaking it up into bite-size chunks with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage pieces to paper towels to drain and cool.

Oil a 12 x 10-inch baking dish or gratin dish. Rub the bread slices with the cut clove of garlic and spread in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle half the cheese over the bread, top with the sausage, and finish with the remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over the bread mixture. Bake 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is browned and the mixture is slightly puffed. Serve with salsa on the side.

Pistachio-Crusted Vanilla French Toast

Makes 4 servings

• 4 large eggs, beaten
• 2 cups milk
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 8 (1-inch-thick) slices good-quality white bread, brioche, or egg bread such as challah
• 2 cups shelled pistachios, coarsley ground in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or 2 cups slivered almonds
• 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter one or two baking dishes large enough to accommodate the bread in one layer. In a large, wide bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt.

Heat a large, heavy, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. One by one, dip the bread into the egg mixture, turning it and making sure it is completely saturated. Carefully dip the slices into the ground pistachios, coating them evenly on both sides.

Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl the pan. When the butter foams, carefully transfer as many pistachio-coated slices as will fit in the pan without crowding. Brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, and transfer to the baking dish. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake 15 minutes.

To serve, cut each slice diagonally in half and arrange the triangles on heated serving plates. Spoon powdered sugar into a fine-meshed sieve and tap the sieve over each serving to dust it attractively with sugar. Serve hot with jam, maple syrup, fresh berry compote or Wolfgang's Brandied Dried Apricot Jam.

Brandied Dried Apricot Jam

Makes 1½ cups
Wolfgang suggests serving this as an accompaniment for his Pistachio-Crusted French Toast.

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