Holiday brunch for a crowd (or special breakfast for 2): Crab, shrimp, and asparagus folded into softly scrambled eggs.
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We are officially in Holiday mode, with a capital “H”. Festive parties, holiday brunches, and fun dinners are already penciled in the calendar. We even have a Gala in Tahoe this year – our first black-tie-ish dinner in forever. And Kevin, Suzanne, and five of our grandchildren are coming up to ski and snowboard in the New Year. We are lucky. We have so much to look forward to, and we’re excited about the memories we’ll be creating with family and friends over the next month and more.
But this is also a time of year my mind skips back to the Christmases of my youth, and family traditions I looked forward to. One of my favorites was a huge brunch my mom threw, usually just before Christmas. It started when I was in high school, with family friends, since all the kids were around the same age. Following graduation, my friends and I all struck out in a diaspora for new horizons that beckoned, and Christmas was the only time we hit the pause button to head back home. In those college years, mom’s brunches were a time to bring everyone back to the same table again, filled with stories of new lives being created.
She always had a full menu, but the star of mom’s brunches were her Seafood Eggs dish — one of the few recipes I left home with when I moved to Boston for my first grownup job (aka not waitressing at the Mall, or cashiering at a local fast-food joint). The 3” X 5” blue-lined card is pretty stained now but packs the same home-run power it had 30-something years ago.
Holiday Crab & Shrimp Scramble
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 12 medium shrimp peeled, deveined
- 1/2 cup fresh crabmeat all shells removed
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 12 skinny asparagus spears sliced into 1″ pieces
- 4 scallions sliced into 1/4″ pieces, white and green parts
- 2 Tbsp white wine
- 10 large eggs
- 1/3 cup 2% milk
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly salt and pepper the shrimp and sauté 2 – 3 minutes per side. The shrimp should be loosely curled. Coarsely chop and mix with the crabmeat in a medium bowl.
- Wipe out the skillet and melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and scallions and sauté for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the wine and continue to cook until the wine has largely evaporated. Add the vegetables to the bowl of seafood.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the eggs. When they reach a soft scramble stage, fold in the seafood-vegetable mixture, and cheeses. Continue to cook for another couple of minutes, or until they reach the degree of firmness you prefer. The eggs should be a little creamy from the milk and cheeses.
- Serve warm.