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Need help for very easy NYs brunch

Urgh! I got talked into hosting a New Year's Day brunch by friends who claim I am the best cook (would love to be invited to someone else's house for a change!). I am having some periodontal surgery Tues afternoon (2nd of 2 scheduled procedures) and will likely be on Oxycodone much of Tues and Wed (not a NY celebrator - no prob). So, I have limited time (and energy) to prepare for 8 people at noon on Thursday. I have a homemade apricot coconut coffee cake in freezer (Mom was right, good to have food on hand for emergencies), a 1.5 lb. smoked salmon from Costco (will get cream cheese, bagels, onions & tomatoes, can buy some more smoked fish). Will purchase some juices, brew up some great coffee, apple/cinnamon tea (my new fave). What else can I prepare in an hour to hour &half Thursday morning? Quiche? Fruit salad? Strata? Needs to be all dairy, no meat products (kosher guests). Thanks!

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  1. I'd do quiche. I have one in my freezer right now. You could do it before your surgery. Maybe your New Year's resolution might involve learning to say no :)

    1. I'd do a fritatta with asparagus and red pepper. Use some aged gruyere. Roast the veggies in the oven with a little olive oil and garlic. Slice potatoes, sprinkle with sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. cook in casserole for 30-40 min or until soft. Beat eggs with salt, pepper and nutmeg. pour in casserold, add roasted veggies, and top with gruyere. It's dairy, less caloric than a quiche, and does not involve pastry. It's healthier, and guests are always impressed. Happy New Year's and enjoy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: millstrj

        I've never heard of a frittata that cooks completely in the oven. Sounds more like a strata but whatever. I make a crustless quiche. You butter the pieplate and then sprinkle with bread crumbs.

      2. I like the savory bread pudding/strata idea, maybe with arugula and Swiss? Something a little peppery to offset the richness and sweetness of the rest of your menu.

        You sound like a saint to follow through with this when it's really not convenient for you. Good luck!

        1. I make an egg dish - it can be put together in the dish the night before and just baked off the morning of. It holds well, can be done before serving, set and cut, then held covered in a 200 degree oven:

          Chili Egg Souffle

          10 eggs, beaten
          1 pint small curd cottage cheese
          1 stick (1/4 pound) butter, melted and cooled
          1 pound grated jack cheese
          1/2 cup flour
          1 teaspoon baking powder
          7ounce can of chopped green chilis (or if you want less chili flavor, add only a 4 ounce can)
          Pinch of salt

          Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9/13 inch dish with Pam. beat eggs till lemon colored, add flour, baking powder, salt and blend. Add cooled melted butter, chilis, cottage cheese, jack cheese, and mix till blended. Pour into prepared pan. The dish can be prepared up to this point, and refrigerated overnight. Remove dish, and let come to room temp before baking. Bake 40 - 45 minutes till eggs are set and lightly browned. They will pull away from the side of the pan when done. Cool a bit, then cut into 12 squares, then cut each square into a triangle - yields 24 triangles. This recipe may be cut in half and baked in a 9 inch square pan.

          1. All these ideas sound fantastic and delicious, but I would say to keep it super easy, just add a fruit salad and/or big green salad to what you already have planned and you are all set. even better: order a fruit platter or veggie platter with dip or hummus already done, or if you are lucky enough to have a middle eastern grocery/deli nearby, get some good hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh etc. That way, if you are feeling wiped out, no worries, everything is already done for you.

            1. I am leaning toward quiche, as I can do that in advance. I have some refrigerated pie dough, some shallots, red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, gruyere, gouda & Jarlsberg cheese. Here is my question: should I freeze it before baking or after? Thanks!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                Your menu sounds really good. I would bake and then freeze. You can take it out in the morning and bake it just enough to heat through, which is much less time than it would take to bake to cook fully and heat. My mother does this all the time in mini and regular sizes and it comes out awesome.

                If you don't want to worry about a fruit salad, buy a canteloupe, pineapple, and berries and cut up each and arrange on a pretty platter. Less items to deal with, and just as pretty.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I was just thinking.. if you want to make something even simpler, you can make a spanach jibin. Basically a spinach crustless quiche. If you want the recipe, let me know.

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      I'd love the recipe for spinach jibin. TIA.

                      1. re: GretchenS

                        sure.. it's not really a recipe.. you can double it or triple and bake in a pie plate or in a regular or mini pie crust. Sorry I can't give you exact amounts and directions- it's something I make all the time and can do it blindfolded.

                        2 boxes frozen spinach, defrosted
                        2 cloves garlic, minced
                        1 large or two small onions, roughly chopped
                        1 small tub cottage cheese (I use fat free)
                        2 handfuls shredded mozzarella or munster (i use part skim)
                        2 eggs or 3 whites
                        salt and white pepper

                        Saute onions and garlic until onions are brown around the edges. (10-15 min?) Squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and add to the pan. Saute for 5 min. Transfer to a bowl and mix in cheeses, spices, egg whites. You can also do this in the pot that you cooked the onions and spinach in. The mixture should be loose and more pourable into a pie plate than spoonable. You can add another egg white or cottage cheese if it's too thick. Pour into a greased pie plate or casserole and bake until edges are brown and middle is set. Depending on how much you make and how thin the mixture is in the casserole it should take about 45 minutes.

                        I usually 'overbake' the jibin so that the whole top is brown and the edges are really crispy.

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          Sounds delish, thanks. I think I will use my nifty new nutmeg grater to add a dash of nutmeg -- because I can NEVER just use a recipe as is ;)

                          1. re: GretchenS

                            You can definitely add a pinch of nutmeg! Some of my mom's friends add it and it's always delicious that way..