I am not a a fan of brunch. Sure, I like eggs, pancakes and booze in the morning as much as the next guy, but here in New York City, I just can't get behind the long waits, slow service and sticker shock once the bill arrives. Not to mention trying to calculate how much money I owe when I'm tipsy.
But brunch at home is another matter: I love hosting this mid-morning meal. The night before, I assemble a not-too-difficult casserole; the next day, all I have to do is pop it in the oven, stir together a pitcher of Bloody Marys and maybe cut up some fruit. Then I get to spend the rest of the day eating, drinking and lazing about with my friends.
This casserole came about expressly for that purpose. I can't get enough of spicy Mexican potato-based dishes like papas con rajas, essentially fiery home fries with chiles, and chorizo con papas, spuds mixed with highly-seasoned pork sausage. Each of these recipes is great for brunch, but neither of them can be made the night before, so I created a layered casserole of thinly-sliced potatoes, softened kale and just a little bit of shredded chicken. The layers are moistened with a chipotle-heavy tomato sauce and bound with oozy queso Oaxaca, making a filling main dish with lots of flavors and textures going on. It's an ideal base for soaking up brunchtime beverages, but of course would make a lovely lunch or dinner, as well.
About the author: Lauren Rothman once interned at Serious Eats and recently graduated from journalism school. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and check out her (many) food photos on Instagram.