Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Brunch for Valentine's Day: Croissant Egg Casserole for Two + Asparagus “Fries” with a Simple Aioli

Thank you to Sprouts Farmers Market for partnering with us for this post! We have been compensated for our time, but as usual, all opinions are our own. 

  You can do this! Yes, we’re talking to you -- well, especially if you’ve been unfairly labeled as ‘the one who doesn’t cook’ at your house. You’ve got this. And your sweetie is going to be so surprised! Here’s your guide for Valentine’s Day.

      It falls on a Sunday this year, and if you’re super last-minute like us, it's okay because there’s still plenty of time to prepare, and if you’re super romantic, you get a whole entire day to be sweet. Expectations can be a little high, sure, but it’s better to start the tone off right from the first moment. And the plan really should include cooking for your sweetheart! 

  While checking out all the boxes of cute mini pastries in the bakery at Sprouts in Germantown this week, we noticed the tiny croissants, which sparked an idea for this brunch egg casserole just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s kind of reminiscent of a croque monsieur but with our own spin, which includes Montchevré goat milk brie and Sprouts Private Label marinated artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. It’s rich but not too heavy, so hey, feel free to indulge a little on this special day. 

      On the side, we added some asparagus “fries” with a simple aioli for dipping. All of this is really easy to put together ahead of time, and the cool thing is that all you have to do in the morning is place the prepared casserole and asparagus in the oven. They’ll be ready at the same time, and you look like a hero. (And if you make coffee for the both of you while you wait for it all to cook, seriously, then you’re golden.)

      Shop for your ingredients this coming Saturday and knock all of it out in one trip: go on and pick up too many flowers and grab that nice chocolate you always talk yourself out of buying. Because we all know that even those cynical people who claim Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday secretly want all the attention that comes with somebody thinking of them and only them. 

Croissant Egg Casserole for Two

5 Sprouts mini croissants (split lengthwise)
3 large Sprouts Private Label cage-free, organic eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 6.5-ounce jar Sprouts Private Label marinated artichokes
1 11.9-ounce jar Sprouts Private Label roasted red peppers
1 4.4-ounce wheel of goat milk brie (sliced)
1 tablespoon Sprouts Private Label dijon mustard
1 recipe Asparagus ‘Fries’ with Simple Aioli (follows)

Place the bottom portion of the croissants in a 9x6 inch pan and set aside the top portion of them for now. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and thyme. Pour egg mixture over bottom portions of croissants. Place 9x6 pan in to the refrigerator overnight or for at least 20 minutes. Spread dijon mustard evenly over the inside of the reserved top portions of the croissants and place into the fridge separately.

Once you’re ready to serve, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Drain artichokes and peppers. Top each bottom portion of each croissant with an artichoke heart and a roasted red pepper. Top each with sliced brie. Place pan in the oven for 20 minutes. Top with mustard-spreaded tops and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve along side Asparagus ‘Fries’ with Simple Aioli. (Makes two servings.)

Asparagus “Fries” with a Simple Aioli

1 pound asparagus (bottom 1/3 trimmed off)
1 1/2 lemons (divided)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the asparagus, juice from 1 lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tips are slightly browned. 

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice to make a flavorful aioli. Serve roasted asparagus alongside small bowls of aioli and the croissant casserole. (Makes two servings.)

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