Spring Brunch: Asparagus Frittata and Red Snappers (a Bloody Mary with Gin)

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Dig into this easy spring brunch complete with a mustard and asparagus frittata and red snappers, which is the Bloody Mary cocktail, but made with gin.

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It’s finally spring, the season of brunch! Few things are better than a leisurely Sunday brunch, especially one enjoyed al fresco with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa in hand. As much as I love to brunch, I’m also the kind of person who likes to kick back and take it easy on the weekend, so if I’m having people over, I want an easy-going, one skillet kind of meal. Frittatas are the perfect solution, and so easy to change up to suit the season or the time of day. They’re also delicious hot or room temperature (some say they’re even better room temp), so there’s no worrying about keeping it hot. And with all the time you save, you can make brunch cocktails!

In the warmer months, I like to make veggie frittatas with whatever’s looking good at the farmer’s market. Asparagus is crisp and abundant in April, so I made a gorgeous green frittata with asparagus, baby spinach, and gruyere cheese, and gave it a flavor boost with Maille Dijon Originale. I’ve talked about my love of Maille mustards before, and they’re my very favorite for just about everything: sandwiches, dressings, cooking, you name it. A few tablespoons of Maille Dijon Originale enhances all those delicious savory flavors and will have your guests wondering what the secret ingredient is. I’ve made this recipe a few times now and each time, leftovers barely make it to the fridge, it’s just that tasty!

With asparagus as my theme for this Spring brunch, I set out to create a complimentary savory drink pairing. Bloody Marys are a fabulous brunch classic, but I wanted to kick things up a flavor notch and make Red Snappers (Bloody Marys made with gin instead of vodka). With a little Maille Mini Cornichon Classique juice, a squeeze of lemon, and few dashes of seasonings, and you have a scrumptious Red Snapper that can be easily batched for a group. These can be easily adjusted to suit individual taste, but I’ve found that a little Worcestershire, black pepper, and a vinegary ingredient like pickling juice has universal appeal. You can then add spicier components like hot sauce or horseradish to taste.

One thing to keep in mind with this recipe is that the thickness of your asparagus stalks will determine how long the cook time is as well as the texture of the frittata. The first time I made this, I had very thick stalks and the saute time was around 7 minutes, but with very slender stalks, it only takes about 2 minutes. I find the thinner stalks to be more flavorful and have better texture, so keep an eye out for slender ones when at the store. Fresh spinach is wonderful, but if you’re short on time, you can speed up the prep time by buying bagged baby spinach instead that’s already been washed. One last consideration to keep in mind is the cheese. If you decide to use more cheese or a different type, just keep in mind that it will determine how salty the final product is. If using a very salty cheese, or adding more than 1/2 cup, you may want to omit the salt from the recipe. My first test of this recipe was a bit too salty from using a lot of cheese.

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Spring Brunch: Asparagus Frittata and Red Snappers (a Bloody Mary with Gin)
 
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Recipe Type: Brunch
Serves: 6 frittata slices
Ingredients
SPRING ASPARAGUS FRITTATA
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups asparagus
  • 4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp Maille Dijon Originale
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup gruyere cheese, grated
PICKLED RED SNAPPER
  • 2 oz gin
  • 6 oz tomato juice
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Maille Mini Cornichons Classique juice
  • ¼ Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅛ tsp hot sauce
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Celery salt (optional, for rimming the glass)
Instructions
SPRING ASPARAGUS FRITTATA
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash asparagus and pat dry. Cut into bite sized pieces, 1-1.5 inches long.
  2. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add asparagus and saute until tender but crisp, 2-5 minutes. Cook time will vary greatly depending on the thickness of the asparagus stalks.
  3. Add garlic and reduce heat to low. Cook about one minute, stirring frequently. Add baby spinach and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove asparagus and spinach mixture from skillet and place in a mixing bowl.
  4. Carefully wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. This will help prevent the frittata from sticking.
  5. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, mustard, salt and pepper just until combined. (Over-mixing can cause the frittata to puff in the oven and deflate as it cools.)
  6. Return skillet to stove and add 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, pour in egg mixture and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.
  7. Add half of the asparagus and spinach mixture and cook for 2 more minutes.
  8. Add remaining asparagus and spinach and top with cheese. Bake for 6 minutes, or until the center is set.
  9. Broil for 3-4 minutes to brown the top of the frittata.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Cut wedges from the skillet and serve with a green salad and crusty bread.
PICKLED RED SNAPPER
  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake briefly to chill.
  2. Open pour into a tall glass. Add more ice if necessary.
  3. Garnish with Maille Mini Corichons Classique, pickled asparagus, and olives.

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