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Help with Brunch Ideas

Rick Apr 4, 2008 11:19 AM

I'm inviting my parents over for brunch on Sunday and was hoping for some ideas. My parents aren't impressed by special ingredients or fancy presentations so anything along those lines is out. My mom doesn't like fish but just about anything else is in. So far I'm making crepes and homefries but am getting stuck past that.

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  1. k
    katecm RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 11:39 AM

    Are you sold on crepes and homefries? They seem to be on opposite ends of the brunch spectrum for me, plus crepes require some last-minute kitchen time.

    Would you consider a frittata? You basically mix up scrambled eggs, but cook them in the oven. You can add as much or little as you want. I love just some caramelized onions with a nice cheese (like emmenthaler - yum!), but you could do ham, or bacon, or tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, spinach.

    The best thing is, you just pop it in the oven about half hour before serving and that's all the work it takes.

    Also, Ina Garten's baked maple-brushed bacon is a great way to make bacon for a group without being in the kitchen and flipping it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: katecm
      Rick RE: katecm Apr 4, 2008 12:41 PM

      Thanks, a frittats sounds great. I have a head of cauliflower that I never used, do you think that'd work in a frittata?

      1. re: Rick
        Rick RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 12:47 PM

        Just want to make sure I do this frittata correctly. I once had a frittata that was a whole lot more like an omelette than anything else and I'm finding recipes that seem the same. I had a frittata recently at a restaurant that was nothing like an omelet, was about the size and thickness of a pie, and was amazing. I'm having troulbe finding a recipe that should result in something like that, any suggestions?

        1. re: Rick
          katecm RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 01:20 PM

          Cauliflower would be interesting. I'd make sure it's cooked thoroughly and cut into good, small pieces so that they don't weight it down (since it will rise a lot).

          I agree that you want it to be nice a high. That's how I like it, too. I usually butter a pie plate and then put in a layer of bread cubes (I like them fresh so it is fluffy). Top with grated cheese and whatever other filling you use here. In a bowl, whisk enough eggs and milk to fill about 2/3 of the way. I use a rather large pie plate and usually about 8-10 eggs and about 3/4 cup milk (I feed a lot of people!). Season with salt and pepper and pour it over. Then, let it sit for about half an hour or so so the bread soaks up.

          Top with a bit of cheese and bake until firm in the middle. It'll rise a lot, and will fall, so you may want to serve immediately while it's gorgeous, but it will keep for a little while, too, as it stays hot well.

          1. re: katecm
            Rick RE: katecm Apr 4, 2008 02:48 PM

            Kate, does this technique give more of a smooth almost pie like texture rather than resulting in something like a thick omelet?

            1. re: Rick
              katecm RE: Rick Apr 5, 2008 01:26 PM

              It's actually more like an airy quiche filling than anything else. The bread keeps it nice and light, instead of being just dense eggs.

    2. h
      hkye RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 12:06 PM

      Frittata is also my go to brunch meal whenever I have people over.
      I even make the batter the night before so I can put it in the oven an hour before the crowd arrives.
      Fruit salad also looks nice on a brunch table.

      1. g
        gordeaux RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 12:10 PM

        simple brunch:
        Chicken salad. I'd go real mayo, a little celery, chopped apple, and dill (walnuts or pecans or both if no allergies exist)



        Fruit Salad

        Simple dessert. cookies or something.

        3 Replies
        1. re: gordeaux
          coffee_addict RE: gordeaux Apr 4, 2008 01:27 PM


          how about an egg strata? this one is pretty good. i make it with sourdough bread.

          1. re: gordeaux
            maplesugar RE: gordeaux Apr 4, 2008 01:37 PM

            Sounds delicious gordeaux :) As for simple desserts I really like joyofbaking's Raspberry Oatmeal Squares, totally easy, unfussy, and keep well: http://www.joyofbaking.com/RaspberryO... I like her Butter Tart Squares too.

            1. re: gordeaux
              Emme RE: gordeaux Apr 6, 2008 02:37 AM

              if you make the chicken salad, i'd consider subbing in dried cranberries for apple, and adding a little honey and poppyseeds instead of the dill :) at least that's the recipe that gets raves over here!

            2. fayehess RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 02:09 PM

              Try some fresh sausages from the butcher or irish bacon. If you are in NY, greenpoint brooklyn (nassau meat on Manhattan ave) has the best. get the smoked. What are you going to fill your crepes with? Maybe asparagus in a garlic cream or a really simple fontina with pancetta. Fresh stawberries and a bowl of freshly whipped cream are beautiful with brunch. Definitely mimosas. Everybody loves a little orange juice and champagne (or proseco). I like the idea of a frittata (don't overcook) is never fussy looking and you can fill it with slowly caramelized onions for a really simple delicious way of doing it. Just slice up an onion finely, and get it in the pan with olive oil and some salt. Cook it over a low heat until completely softened, about 15 minutes. Whisk two eggs per person, giving a teeny pinch of salt for each egg. Get the pan hot. (no milk or water in the eggs) Give it a drizzle of olive oil, and when the oil is hot but not smoking, add the egg, with the (cooled) onions mixed in. Let the egg sit for a minute, and then with a wooden spoon, just gently push the egg from the outside edges in, until there is no large pool of egg in the center, but the center is still wet. Slide the frittata onto a plate, (this sounds hard, but isn't) and then flip fearlessly back into the pan. Turn the flame off immediately, and slide back onto the plate. It is fine hot or served at room temperature. Asparagus salad, with nothing but your best olive oil, a little fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, served room temperature, a beautiful cheddar on its own, roasted tomatoes....they will love whatever you make, I'm sure. fayefood.com

              1. l
                Lenox637 RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 02:23 PM

                Toad in the Hole is our favorite. A large Yorkshire Pudding with cooked breakfast sausage.

                1. Emmmily RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 02:34 PM

                  Cooked apples are great on crepes if you decide to stick with those, or on their own if not. Peel and slice apples into eighths, melt a hunk of butter in a pan, add apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a pinch of ground cloves, cook til soft. (Don't overcook or you'll end up with applesauce.) I especially like them with rye toast - the cinnamon apple goes surprisingly well with the caraway seeds.

                  And cook your bacon in a microwave to avoid having to any work at all - 45 seconds or so per slice (less for a big batch), make sure there's a few layers of paper towels underneath for grease.

                  1. r
                    Rick RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 02:49 PM

                    Lots of good suggestion so far, keep them coming! Great ideas for future use too!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Rick
                      HillJ RE: Rick Apr 6, 2008 08:06 AM

                      I always appreciate a brunch that includes light selections. Fresh fruit, as long as the fruit is ripe or has been infused for a bit of flavor is always wonderful. To that I enjoy a choice of plain or vanilla yogurt, chopped nuts, maybe a honey pot to fix a quick yogurt & fruit bowl. Also what's wrong with an energy cereal and milk? Simple and satisfying. Pot of hot tea and I'm a happy brunch guest.

                    2. b
                      burritobelle RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 07:44 PM

                      I had a delicious savory bread pudding at a friend's brunch last week. There are some good recipes on cookinglight.com.

                      This one was just a loaf of country bread - cubed - a couple of eggs, grated fontina, cubed chicken apple sausage, sage and chicken stock. You bake it, slice it, and serve it with a fruit salad - YUM.

                      1. sarah galvin RE: Rick Apr 4, 2008 09:04 PM

                        Burritobelle, how about a breakfast enchilada? I made it and it was easy and pleased my family.


                        I had fresh fruit salad, some fresh muffins and that was it.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sarah galvin
                          critter101 RE: sarah galvin Apr 5, 2008 05:38 PM

                          Sarah, since you made this recipe, can you tell me if the amount of garlic powder is a type? It calls for 1/4 cup!

                          1. re: critter101
                            sarah galvin RE: critter101 May 7, 2008 03:15 PM

                            Sorry to be so slow - but I hadn't checked this thread in awhile. I never use garlic powder. I just used fresh garlic and I can't remember how much. I just eyeball it!

                          2. re: sarah galvin
                            critter101 RE: sarah galvin Apr 5, 2008 05:40 PM

                            Oops...my post is a typo too!!!

                          3. Paul Weller RE: Rick Apr 5, 2008 01:42 PM

                            Some chilled shrimp and smoked salmon with toast points are always good, can be made ahead and set out for guests to serve themselves. You can also provide some sauces or spreads to go along with them.

                            1. im_nomad RE: Rick Apr 6, 2008 08:02 AM

                              I've made this before for very appreciative guests !!


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: im_nomad
                                im_nomad RE: im_nomad Apr 6, 2008 08:27 AM

                                oops i should've read your OP better.....no fish ! sorry !

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