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Family Brunch Menu

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all, so this is my first post I can't believe I JUST found this site. My girlfriend and I have been living on our own for almost a year and so we finally have started learning about cooking an technique, etc. Anyways, my parents are coming to check out our new place with some other family members and We're thinking of having a brunch. I have a few ideas in my head for possible menu items, but I would love some suggestions. Here's what I have so far:

7 guests, 3 children under age 5

Apple Juice

Fruit salad
Cheese plate
Homemade cinnamon munchkins
Smoked salmon on small toasted baguette
Some type of egg frittata?

I feel like I need one more entree dish and maybe a sweet dish/dessert. I was thinking of making mini eclairs depending on time. Anyone have some more suggestions for possible menus items? Thanks!
post #2 of 12

Brunch suggestions:
If you wanna play some, then crepes are fun and can be made before and filled close to serving.

Tortillas are a good summer brunch dish......potatoes, eggs cooked like a frittata....I top it with fresh chevre and herbs

This is a phenominal watermelon year......light freshing watermelon salad or just in the fruit salad.

Pissonolet is a super summertime dish......salad greens, blanched green beans, cooked lardons (bacon chunks), soft poached eggs, shallot tarragon dressing. You can make the components in advance and assemble/dress at the last moment.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #3 of 12
I would have cold cereal on hand for the sub-5 kidikins. At that age, especially when in a strange environment, they get very picky about what they'll eat.

I agree with Shroomgirl about the tortilla. What makes them great for brunch is that they can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature. Lately I top the classic Tortilla Espanole with Robert Del Grande's salsa de pasitas rojas, and it's a great combination.

For a choux paste sweet I would go with puffs rather than eclairs, just in the interest of time. Everything can be done with a tablespoon instead of a piping bag, and they're just as elegant.

I'm thinking crepes, per se, might be too time consuming. You want to be with your guests, not waiting on them. But a variation might work for you. Make crepe cups (you first make the crepe, then fit it into a muffin tin and fill) might work. Get them prepped ahead of time, pop into the oven, and, voila! Here's one version:

Turkey Mushroom Quiche Crepe Cups

24 cooked crepes
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey
1/4 cup milk
2 (2 1/2 oz) cans sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar
4 slightly beaten eggs

Line greased muffin pans or custard cups with crepes. Place turkey and drained mushrooms in each. Sprinkle with cheese.

In a small saucepan combine soup and milk. Heat just to boiling, stirring constantly. Gradually stir soup mixture into eggs. Pour soup mixture over cheese.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until filling is set. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve hot.

This one comes from Mable Hoffman's Crepe Cookery. Personally, I wouldn't make it quite that way. But it gives you an idea of the possibilities.

Another possibility would be miniature open faced sandwiches. Perhaps ham, tomato and gruyere on half a mini-brioche bun? Assemble ahead of time on a sheet pan and pop under the broiler just before serving.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #4 of 12
My family is big on a Bisquick (yeah, I know, premade crap) egg pie with bacon and cheddar. The recipe is on the companies web site. It is actually pretty tasty and easy to make. The leftovers also reheat fairly well.
post #5 of 12
I like the crepes idea for brunch...

but for ME :D its not brunch without Eggs Benny (or a fun variation/butcher of it)
post #6 of 12
We usually have salmon at our holiday brunches. A basket with some good bagels or rye bread and a platter with lox, capers cream cheese, red onion, cucumber, and fresh dill makes it easy for everyone to create their own. The presentation with the salmon platter is a pretty nice addition to the table.
Never trust a skinny cook
Never trust a skinny cook
post #7 of 12
Easy for you to say, oh maitre d'hollandaise. Hollandaise for 7, the first time making it, is too much pressure.
post #8 of 12
So far your menu is fantastic. I like the crepes idea, too. But I really like the tortilla de patatas (aka tortilla de Espana) idea. It puts eggs and potatoes on the table in one swell foop -- and you can cook it far enough ahead to take some of the pressure off. Another idea to play with is Quiche Lorraine. That way you can get eggs, bacon and cheese in.

One slight change I'd make from your proposal is the "mini baguette" for the smoked salmon. Not one of the great bread choices for the fish. Pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, and bagel are all better choices. If you've a mind to bake your own bread, I have a great pumpernickel recipe and also an onion dill bread that would be beyond perfect. FWIW, I've also got a solid French bread recipe, if you want to try your hand at baguette.

If you do decide to go with the tortilla (which is really a potato fritata), I'd suggest making two 10" tortillas (4 eggs, 1 pound potatoes) rather than one larger one. Big ones can be a little hard to handle. I've got a recipe for tortilla de patatas too. No worries. The toppers and variations suggested sound good to me; so does a simple salad of baby greens in a vinaigrette which would be an excellent contrast in taste, temperature, and texture with the tortilla.

Three other ideas: Bacon-bit, pecan waffles; scrambled eggs with red bell peppers, nopales and onions; and chilaquiles.

Get back soonest if you want recipe help, so we can avoid a brunch crunch.

Good luck in your new place,
post #9 of 12
"Easy for you to say, oh maitre d'hollandaise. Hollandaise for 7,...."

You beat me to it, BDL. I was thinking the same thing. Plus the typical home cook hasn't a clue how to pre-make and hold poached eggs. Which means he'd be busy poaching eggs & stirring the hollandaise instead of enjoying his guests.

This is a situation where I would want everything to either be pre-made, or be something that cooks itself. That's why I suggested the crepe cups, for instance.

A couple of minutes spent in final assembly and table setting is one thing. But spending their visit in the kitchen is something else again.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #10 of 12
Yes. Agree completely. Plus, I couldn't resist tweaking my friend RPM because he was on a hollandaise quest for a long time and nailed it fairly recently (with a little help from me, if I say so myself). Now that he's got it to the point where he can hit it solidly every time, he wants to share it -- not to mention take off his shirt and show off his six pack. I can't say I blame him, nor can I say that I'm not an awful lot like that. But I remember the anxiety that attaches to hollandaise when it seems difficult and problematic. I thought about saying I could teach her the technique to poach, hold and rewarm eggs -- but under the circumstances too much teaching/learning wouldn't be a lot of fun either.

Have you taught cooking? If you haven't, you should. You're very sensitive to beginners' needs.

Crepes, waffles, scrambled eggs, frittata, a couple o' tortillas, a fresh vinaigrette, all seemed things she could feel good about planning and doing as well as serving and eating.

I've got to admit though, that when I saw the smoked salmon on her menu, I started thinking English muffins, poached eggs, hollandaise and wasabi tobiko. My mind runs in the same vicious circles as RPM's I guess.

post #11 of 12
What about cheese blintzes? We always love brunch at the Marriott Grand Hotel (down the road from me in Point Clear, Al) they usually have them on the buffet and theirs seem to hold well in a chaffer. When I set about to recreate them for home I opted for baked not fried on the stove top (I don’t think theirs were fried either). Of course the kids scarf them so fast no need to hold them in a chaffer.

I’ve prepped them the night before and then brushed them with butter and slid them in the oven when the time came. I prefer the sweet variety but it is my understanding that it is still a blitz if savory.

The only thing I haven’t been able to get down pat is their nifty way of folding them into perfectly sealed rectangles of cheesy goodness. (Subtle hint to BDL for some righteous written instructions.)
post #12 of 12
They're better fried in butter. Much better. Baked is good, too if you've got time pressure or you're serving from a chaffer and don't want a big puddle of butter on the bottom.. But pan fried is better.

Still a blintz. Why not?
I can take a hint.

Imagine the crepe is divided into four horizontal bands (1 - 4 running from top to bottom.) Spoon or pipe a thick layer of filling along the second band from the bottom (band 2), leaving at least an inch on each side uncovered. Fold the bottom band (band 1) over the filling. Fold each side over, to seal the filling in and to straighten the sides. Now half rolling, and half folding, roll the filled part of the blintz up to the top of band 4. Holding the filled blintz with your fingers, turn it just a little so so the seam is on the bottom of the blintz. That's it.

Cooking will seal them -- as much as they're going to get sealed. Bake seam side down.

If frying, this is one of the rare instances where you'll cook the non-presentation side first. That is, start seam side down also. Preheat the pan to medium add a drop or two of vegetable oil, and the butter. Fry at medium or medium low so as not to burn the butter. Not too much butter or oil either. You're trying to crisp the bottom, get some flavor into the crepe itself, warm the blintz and keep the blintz from sticking -- not drench them. If you can manage beurre noisette that's what you're going for. If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, don't burn the butter. We'll get beurre noisette another time.

Gei gezundt,
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