Southern-Style Brunch, On A Shoestring

There's only one thing better than a delicious Southern-style brunch, and that's one you can prepare without forking over too much money.

On The Early Show Saturday Edition, Scott Peacock, executive chef of the Watershed restaurant in Decatur, Ga., accepted our "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge of making a scrumptious, three-course brunch on a recession-busting, slender budget of $35.

He also threw his chef's hat into our "How Low Can You Go?" competition: The "shoestring" chef whose total cost is lowest gets to return to make our blowout holiday meal at the end of the year!

Peacock's customers line up for his shrimp and grits, not to mention his famous buttermilk pancakes. His vision of Southern cuisine emphasizes fresh, seasonal, regionally-grown ingredients.

Peacock's menu Saturday included:

  • Southern Ambrosia (fruit salad with navel oranges)
  • Country Baked Ham and Eggs with Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Warm Georgia Pecan Apple Pie


    Country ham, or Virginia ham, is a variety of cured ham from the United States, associated with the South. It's typically very salty in taste.

    Pecans contain more antioxidants than any other nut, including walnuts and almonds. Georgia leads the nation in pecan production, and has since the late 1800s.


    Southern Ambrosia


    1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
    4 large navel oranges
    2 teaspoons sugar
    Pinch of kosher or sea salt
    1 tablespoon cream Sherry


    Cut peel and pith from oranges with a sharp paring knife. Working over a large bowl, cut segments free from membranes, letting them drop into bowl; squeeze juice from membranes into bowl.

    Gently toss oranges with coconut, sugar, salt, and sherry. Chill, covered, at least 1 hour.

    Eggs Baked With Spinach, Cream and Country Ham


    1/4 cup thinly sliced country ham, finely chopped
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
    3/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
    10 ounces spinach, coarse stems discarded
    8 large eggs


    Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

    Bring ham and cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, and then remove from heat. Let steep, uncovered, about 10 minutes.

    Cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and season lightly with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, turning with tongs, until spinach is wilted.

    Drain spinach in a colander, pressing to remove excess liquid, and then coarsely chop. Divide spinach, then ham, among ramekins, spooning 1 tablespoon cream into each serving.

    Crack eggs into ramekins and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 teaspoon cream over each egg. Cut remaining tablespoon butter into 8 small pieces and dot each egg with butter.

    Put ramekins in a shallow baking pan and bake, rotating pan halfway through baking, until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Serve with warm buttermilk biscuits.

    To see more of Peacock's recipes, go to Page 2.