Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Southern Christmas Brunch

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This post is sponsored by Smithfield. The opinions in this post and my love of their delicious products is all my own.

Last week, I wrote about what I was planning for this year's Christmas brunch.  The holidays are such a perfect time to connect with family, and I'm creating my own twist on Smithfield's Bacon Bar to craft a Southern Christmas Brunch! Today, I'm so excited to partner with Smithfield again to share a little run-through of the meal I tried yesterday.


I am really big on making breakfast/brunch for Christmas morning extra special.  I remember many of the delicious Christmas morning meals I had growing up, and many of those meals consisted of things I've included in this brunch.  It's full of Southern specialties that my family has loved for years.

I also wanted to make sure I didn't make the meal too fussy.  Pretty much everything in this meal can be made ahead of time and reheated on Christmas morning.  I don't want to miss anything on Christmas morning because I'm stressing over prepping food.  This menu is perfect for focusing on what's really important: time with family.


One of these days, I'm going to be able to make cheese grits as well as my father-in-law. 😉 He's the family expert at it.  I've watched him a few times, and I still can't quite get it right.  But I'll share a little trick of his...want to know the secret ingredient to amazing cheese grits?

American Cheese.

Seriously.

A few slices makes your grits super creamy and cheesy.  I boil chicken broth and pour in an equal amount of grits once the broth comes to a boil.  Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 3-4 American cheese slices, along with a couple of teaspoons of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Super easy!


I found this recipe for Bacon Cheddar Biscuits at the Smithfield Bacon Bar website when I was planning, and they definitely didn't disappoint.  A certain 4-year-old swiped one while I was baking yesterday, and I believe her exact quote was, "I just can't believe how delicious these are!"  They are perfect for this meal...so easy, so yummy, and perfect for a make-ahead brunch!



I've wanted to try a recipe for hash brown baskets for awhile, and they happened to fit perfectly into this brunch.  I edited the recipe a little bit for the brunch though.

You know how you always have tons and tons of leftover ham from holiday meals?  I thought this brunch was the perfect opportunity to use some of it in a few savory recipes! Smithfield Signature Spiral Sliced Hams works wonderfully when it's repurposed in meals for anytime of the day...breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Here's the recipe I used for Crispy Ham & Hashbrown Baskets

Ingredients

3 cups frozen shredded hash browns
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
4oz (about 1/2 cup chopped) Smithfield Signature Spiral Sliced Ham
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Coat a muffin tin well with cooking spray.  Spoon mixture into each muffin tin (each cup should be full but not overflowing).  With your hands or the back of a spoon, press mixture into tins until firmly packed.  Make a small indention in the middle of each cup.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until the tops are browned and edges of each cup are crispy.

The Caramelized Bourbon Bacon recipe is another one I found at the Smithfield Bacon Bar site.  Guys - it didn't disappoint.  You might think the recipe is a little fussy from the name, but trust me, it was so easy!  Just bake the bacon in the oven, coat it with your honey/bourbon mixture, bake for a few extra minutes, and enjoy crispy, sticky, caramelized goodness.


Sausage Gravy is another classic in our family.  I remember my grandmother making this for holiday meals when I was little.  And it's another easy one - brown 8oz of hot sausage in a large pan (don't drain), stir in about 1/3 cup flour, cook for a minute or two (until flour starts to brown), and add milk until gravy is stirrable but not runny.  Salt and pepper to taste.


This idea for cranberry-glazed ham is a new one for me.  Chances are, you'll have everything you need for this recipe in your home on Christmas morning!  We all have those leftovers that need to be repurposed after a huge Christmas Eve feast...this is the perfect way to fit them into a Christmas brunch.  Just fry your leftover pieces of Smithfield Signature Spiral Sliced Ham in a hot pan for 3-4 minutes per side and add leftover whole-berry cranberry sauce.  Cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes, until cranberry sauce thickens slightly.



And, just like any good bacon bar, we had to have a few yummy toppings and condiments for our brunch.  I included jelly, spicy mustard, cheddar cheese, green onions, and garlic butter (super simple - just stir garlic powder and dried parsley into room-temperature whipped butter).  The possibilities are endless for this though.  This would be another great way to repurpose that Smithfield Signature Spiral Sliced Ham - chopped ham is wonderful in grits!

Now, this is just my take on a Bacon Bar - there are a million different possibilities depending on what your family loves for the holidays.  I love that the Smithfield Bacon Bar site gives so many different recipes, printables, and decor ideas to work with.  Give it your own personal touch by picking recipes and looks that your family & friends will love!



And, as an added bonus, if you're looking to repurpose a little bit of that delicious Smithfield Signature Spiral Spiced Ham into your holiday meal, this site is an excellent resource.  Not only are these hams incredible centerpieces of the main holiday meal, but they're so versatile and convenient for leftover creations!  This site is full of delicious recipes for any occasion, from savory brunch ideas to everyday family meals.  You can also check out this site for more great inspiration for repurposing your holiday ham.  They even have a site that shows how to prep your Smithfield Signature Spiral Spiced Ham (but, little spoiler...just bake it at 275 degrees for about 10-12 minutes per pound, then evenly brush on your glaze!).

A huge thanks to Smithfield for giving tons of inspiration for making their Bacon Bar special for any family's holiday brunch!  Click here to check out tons of Smithfield Bacon Bar ideas and inspiration.

Don't forget - you still have the chance to win a "Bacon for a Year" coupon booklet from Smithfield on this post.  Hurry - this giveaway ends tomorrow night!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield.