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Complete my Brunch?

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Having some friends over for New Year's brunch (to be eaten at noon) and tentatively making a baked French toast dish, sausage patties and fancified fruit salad. I'd like to add something else, but what? Everything I can think of involves adding more eggs to an already eggy meal (fritatta?), or else going off into another direction (bagels and smoked fish, crabmeat salad), which seems to clash with the French toast. Hash browns always sound good to me, but are kinda heavy in light of the rest. Aargh. I'm so used to doing the appetizers, then three or four courses plus dessert thing for dinner--this seems skimpy for guests, and I'm stymied.

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  1. How about some type of muffin or coffee cake?

    1. I'd recommend something green, perhaps very simple roasted asparagus with balsalmic or a salad of mixed greens. I think hash browns or another bread product in addition to the french toast would be too heavy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: charmedgirl

        Seconded!

        In fact asparagus immediately came to mind. Whether you roast it or blanch and marinate, you really need something green and light on this menu!

        Also it sounded as if you had an interest in incorporating some seafood. I make a marinated salad with blanched green beans and shrimp that is delicious and you could easily add in crabmeat if you like!

        1. re: Kater

          For a simple and elegant asparagus idea...lightly cook/steam it and roll the bottoms with slices of proscuitto that's been spread with dijon mustard, or a creamy horseradish sauce.

          1. re: Meg

            steamed asparagus is also good with a light drizzling of hollandaise sauce. maybe a mix of green and white asparagus? I had it as a side dish at a carb/egg-heavy brunch, and it was light without being bland or clashing with the rest of the menu.

      2. how about some kind of refreshing cold mixed fruit drink.

        1. I think your menu sounds great, not skimpy at all, though I know that feeling. Maybe put out some almonds or other nuts for nibblies to add another texture? Are you serving Bloody Marys or something?

          1. Sorbet

            1. how 'bout a starter of deviled eggs, made with olive oil, mustard, & frsh herbs (like chives & dill or tarragon). you can do them in advance, they're an excellent take on a throwback classic, and they go great with bloody marys.

              1. I'm thinking something creamy

                Yogurt ( would compliment your fruit salad)
                Rice pudding (as another choice for side to french toast)
                Smoothies (for those who prefer a cold beverage over coffee/tea)

                Have a wonderful holiday :)

                1. i love serving cherry tomatoes sauteed in butter, seasoned with a little basil, salt and freshly ground pepper. it is super easy.....just saute until the tomatoes starts to split. these go great with any egg dish and just look so bright and inviting on the table.

                  1. Definitely a vegetable - your menu is already loaded with carbs and protein. You need to give your guests some greenery. I love the asparagus idea or even just a mesclun salad. The vinaigrette would cut the fattiness of the sausage and the heaviness of the french toast. On another note, if you wanted to be really fancy, you could make your french toast with panetonne.

                    1. I think veggies are in order too, but I'm thinking that, since you are serving the french toast in a casserole (right?) that having another savory casserole-y type of thing might not be a clash. People can choose between sweet or savory, or have a little of both. Maybe a fritatta with asparagus and roasted red bell pepper? Add a basket of brioche rolls?

                      1. some ideas:

                        asparagus with hollandaise
                        yogurt smoothie shots
                        zucchini bake
                        tater tot casserole
                        gravlaxx with red onion and dill creme fraiche on pumpernickel squares
                        cresent rolls stuffed with spinach and feta

                        1. I would say a veggie - something crispy and/or tart. Maybe a green salad with a citrus vinaigrette? Add some toasted pecans and dried cranberries to make it festive.

                          1. Your menu sounds great maybe you could add something light such as:
                            plain yogurt with grapes, strawberris, kiwi, banana, and blueberries,cranberries and granola.

                            Zuchinni Frittata - cut into appetizer squares - had this and it is delicious!
                            If you can find...beautiful sliced tomatoes with a little basil

                            Bloody Marys with dilled green beans & or pickled onions on a stick

                            1. Tomatos are excellent at brunch! Sliced w/ garlic salt, fresh pepper, and parmesean then broiled - yum! Or a fresh spinach salad with clemetine segments, dried cranberries, & crumbled cheese?? Proscuitto wrapped melon would be nice also!

                              And you gotta have mimosas & bloody marys with an Old Bay rim and shrimp/cucumber skewer!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Sara T.

                                oh yeah!

                              2. I say Bloody Marys and you're done with a vegetable garnish (cherry tomatoes, pickled green bean, or jalepeno).

                                1. When I host a brunch, it's usually heavy on eggs, carbs & protein. But my guests seem to love it and I like to give give people a variety of options. Plus, brunch is a nice excuse to be a bit decadent. Here's what my annual Mother's Day brunch usually consists of:

                                  Creme brulee French toast (a sweet baked French toast that you can prep overnight)
                                  Homemade coffee cake
                                  Fresh fruit salad
                                  2 varieties of quiche
                                  Home fries
                                  Tarragon chicken salad served on mini croissants
                                  Sausage patties or links
                                  Coffee
                                  Tea
                                  Mimosas

                                  My mom hosted Christmas brunch this year. The menu consisted of:

                                  Belgian Waffles with whipped cream, strawberries, blueberry syrup, maple syrup
                                  Chicken hash (instead of corned beef hash)
                                  Cheese and Ham & Cheese Frittatas (my young niece and nephew referred to them as "egg pizzas")
                                  Sour cream coffee cake
                                  Sausage
                                  Fruit
                                  Homemade egg nog
                                  Mimosas
                                  Coffee
                                  Sparkling cider