A Delicious Brunch in 20 Minutes or Less

Greg HardestyGreg HardestyGoing out to brunch has turned into a bit of a crazed ritual, we think. Come every weekend, folks line up in droves at the latest trendy neighborhood joint, or their favorite diner or café, and wait. And wait. And wait.

And for what? Wherever you live, it's probably the case that, with the exception of a few places, no one brunch place really stands out from the crowd, and they all really serve the same things. In the end, everyone's got pancakes, waffles, French toast; omelettes and Benedicts; and salads, burgers, and sandwiches. (Plus, if you've read Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, you may recall that for some restaurants, brunch is a way for chefs to get rid of things that are going bad.)

Sure, every once in a while, someone gets creative - a ridiculous meatloaf hash with smoked mozzarella here, a buckwheat crepe with homemade preserves there - or even just gets things right, say, an omelette with a perfectly runny center and an exterior that hasn't been completely browned to a dry crisp. But the hard truth is, most brunches fade into memory, especially when assisted by a few mind-numbing libations.

So really, why bother? Is it really necessary to spend a good $10 to $15 per person (at the very least) every weekend? We don't think so. You can make many of the same things you would get at a restaurant right here at home in less time than it would take to get seated in an ideal situation - which would probably hover around 20 minutes at a popular spot. So, here's how we would design a fast weekend brunch menu.

Salmon Avocado Tacos Recipe (pictured above)


INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound salmon fillet, cut into four 2-ounce portions
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 good quality corn tortillas or flour tortillas
1 avocado, pitted and mashed
3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup serrano chile sauce
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat a grill or nonstick grill pan to medium high heat. Season the pieces of salmon with salt and pepper and grill until just cooked through, about 1-2 minutes a side. While the fish is cooking, warm the tortillas in a hot oven for 1-2 minutes, then stack them in 4 stacks of 2.

Distribute the mashed avocado equally among each of the warm tortillas. Evenly distribute the grilled salmon, onions, and serrano chile sauce on top of each tortilla and garnish with cabbage and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Recipe Details:

Servings: 4
This recipe was contributed by Greg Hardesty

Mediterranean Chicken Spinach Salad


Got some leftover rotisserie chicken from dinner the night before? Don't wait until the workweek starts to use it up; instead, make this waist-friendly salad that's a great brunch option for the health-conscious.

Click here to see the Mediterranean Chicken Spinach Salad Recipe.

Open-Face Egg Sandwich

Serve this fork-and knife-friendly sandwich with a side of dressed greens for a light brunch.

Click here to see the Open-Face Egg Sandwich Recipe

Southwest Salsa Burgers

No brunch menu is complete without a burger. Here, we take the classic and give the patty a bit of a kick with some chipotle powder and a topping of fresh salsa.

Click here to see the Southwest Salsa Burgers Recipe.

Italian Breakfast Sandwich

Fried sopressata, fried egg, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella? Done. People may just start coming over to your house for brunch.

Click here to see the Italian Breakfast Sandwich Recipe.

Multigrain Turkey-Mango Club Sandwich

Brunch is all about making the ordinary seem just a little special; here, thin slices of ripe mango liven up an old favorite with tropical fruit flavors.

Click here to see the Multigrain Turkey-Mango Club Sandwich Recipe.

-Will Budiaman, The Daily Meal

Click here to see other brunch recipes that you can make in 20 minutes or less