Easter is almost here, and with that comes the opportunity (or the responsibility) of hosting the annual Easter Brunch.  This year instead of hosting the same old basic brunch, I encourage you to think outside of the box and turn those ideas into delicious creations.  Here are a few simple tips and ideas for creating a gourmet Easter Brunch.

Baked Brie: The first step to making your spread more luxurious is high-end cheeses. The second step is baked brie.  This delicious appetizer is simple – just wrap the soft cheese inside of a pastry and bake until the Brie is thoroughly melted inside.

Plank Salmon: Salmon is a fun way to impress your guests, not to mention unexpected for an Easter Brunch.  My favorite recipe is Tequila Marinade Plank Grilled Salmon with Tequila Sauce.

Lamb: Lamb is one of the most classic Easter dishes, but one that requires a game plan before making.  I prefer to serve Espresso-roasted leg of lamb with a rosemary aioli, rubbed with a rich blend of coffee.  With lamb, be sure not to overcook it, as it’s naturally tender.  Decide on your cooking method beforehand, and make sure the finished lamb has a bit of pink inside (this helps it maintain its natural flavors).

Roasted Asparagus: No brunch buffet is complete without vegetables, and roasted asparagus is on the most versatile of the greens.  With no fat or cholesterol, it’s the perfect complement to just about any meat served.

Desserts: I like to keep Easter dessert simple, but fun and festive too.  Cookies cutout in Easter and spring shapes are the perfect solution.  To make it fun for the little ones, have sprinkles and frosting on hand for them to decorate their own cookies.

Happy Easter from my family to yours.  Cheers!

Tequila Marinade Plank Grilled Salmon and Tequila Sauce

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

This light and fresh dish is one of my favorite party pleasers. The sauce can be made a few days in advance if kept refrigerated and is a great side to salmon, shrimp, and grilled vegetables. I love to reuse left-over salmon and tequila sauce in tacos and quesadillas.


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chili sauce
  • 1 fillet salmon (skin on)
  • 1-2 cedar soaked plank(s)
  • 8 sliced limes
  • Tequila Sauce
  • Makes 1 ½ cups
  • 3 12-ounce jars of roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise)
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Tequila
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the olive oil over the red bell peppers and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until the peppers collapse. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Remove stem, seeds, and any loose skin and place peppers and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate.


Soak plank(s) for up to one hour before putting on grill. In a medium bowl mix together olive oil, salt and pepper, tequila, lime juice, cilantro, and Dijon mustard, Chinese chili sauce. Place side of salmon either in a large glass or plastic bowl and allow to marinate for up to 30 minutes. Remove plank(s) from water and set aside. Place the plank on the grill for about 5 minutes turning it over. Remove it from the grill and place the salmon on top of the plank. Put the plank on the grill for about 30 to 35 minutes or until internal temperature is 125 °F. Remove the plank from the grill and add the tequila sauce.