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Fall Brunch, On A Shoestring

Less than a year ago, top young chef John Fraser opened his first restaurant, and it quickly became a New York hot spot. Dovetail got a highly-coveted three-star rating from The New York Times, and is showing no signs of slowing.

Fraser is known for his use of farm-fresh produce and classical European technique.

Recently, Dovetail began serving brunch, so The Saturday Early Show challenged Fraser to prepare a three-star, three-course brunch for four on our shoestring budget of just $40.

He opted for dishes straight from Dovetail's menu.


Bacon Spinach & Goat Cheese Frittata
French Toast with Fig Salad
Steamed Gingerbread Pudding


Frittata: A type of Italian omelette that frequently features fillings such as meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Like a traditional French omelet, a frittata is prepared in a skillet. However, while an omelet is cooked on a stovetop and served folded, a frittata is first partially cooked on a stovetop, but then broiled to finish and served open-faced.

Brioche: A highly-enriched French bread, whose high egg and butter content give it what's seen as a rich and tender crumb. It has a dark, golden and flaky crust from an egg wash applied before and after proofing.


  • Soak bread overnight to absorb all the egg
  • Frittatas are a blank canvas: Use ingredients you love
  • The water bath provides even heating for the custard


    Bacon Spinach & Goat Cheese Frittata

    6 Eggs
    1 cup Milk
    2 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 strips bacon, sliced into lardoons, slightly cooked
    1 cup crumbled, goat cheese
    2 scallions, chipped fine

    Preheat oven to 325°F.

    Whisk eggs, milk, olive oil and salt in a mixing bowl.

    Gently fold in bacon, goat cheese, spinach and scallions.

    Place in a greased pie plate.

    Cook for 20-25 minutes until set and golden brown on top.

    For more recipes, go to Page 2.

  • French Toast with Fig Salad

    4-1/4 cups Heavy Cream
    4-1/4 cups Whole Milk
    8 Eggs
    8 Egg Yolks
    2-3/4 cups Sugar
    1 Vanilla bean, scraped and split
    1 loaf Brioche, sliced into 1 ½ inch thick slices
    1 cup Maple Syrup
    6 Figs, cut in quarters
    1/2 cup Sugar
    1/2 cup Water
    1 bunch Mint leaves
    Zest of 1/2 lime

    Whisk together cream, milk, eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla bean in a large baking dish. Place bread in a single layer in egg mixture.

    Spoon egg mixture over bread and let stand for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

    Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

    Sear the brioche until it starts to soufflé, about 3 minutes on each side.

    Transfer French toast to plates.

    For the mint syrup, bring the sugar, water, lime zest and mint leaves to a boil. Strain and cool.

    Toss figs with mint syrup mixture.

    Drizzle French toast with maple syrup and the fig salad.

    Steamed Gingerbread Pudding

    1/2 cup Butter
    1/3 cup Sugar
    pinch salt
    1 cup caramel
    2 eggs
    1-1/3 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
    1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ginger
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 325°F.

    Cream the butter, sugar and salt with the paddle attachment of a mixer.

    Add caramel and incorporate evenly into butter mixture.

    Add eggs one at a time until evenly distributed.

    In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon.

    Add the graham cracker crumbs to flour mixture.

    Add everything into the mixer and mix until uniform.

    Grease oven proof containers or 3-inch ramekins with butter or Pam and coat with sugar.

    Fill containers/ramekins half way.

    Bake in a hot water bath* covered with aluminum for 15-20 minutes or until batter is set.

    Serve hot.

    To prepare a water bath for baking, put your filled ramekins in a larger pan and add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up the side of the smaller pan.)

    So, how did John do with our measly $40 budget?

    bacon $2.00
    goat cheese $2.38
    scallions .69
    spinach $1.99

    heavy cream $3.69
    whole milk $2.29
    eggs $3.98
    vanilla bean $2.99
    brioche $3.29
    maple syrup $4.49
    figs $3.99
    lime .49
    mint leaves .69

    corn syrup $2.79
    heavy cream $1.19
    graham crackers $2.19
    ginger .48

    FINAL COST = $39.61