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Impression ( making a )in a depression

hey all
Would like to impress a party of 10 - first time inlaws. 2 kids 10+, and 8 adults, with east asian tastes

Need some BRUNCH ideas- savories/sweets- that can be made ahead, mostly. or may require some assembly like topping up the waffles

My challenge is that i have a limited pantry supplies and would like to make do, within a reasonable budget ( without the truffle oil recipes).

Kitchen tools include- cast iron pan, non stick pan, toaster oven, big oven, waffle iron

ur input deeply appreciated. decor ideas welcome (cilantro bunch in a vase!)
thxs, merci, gracais

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  1. "East Asia" is HUGE. Can you be more specific country or culture-wise? To me Chamorro cuisine is East Asian, but not everyone considers Guam "East Asian".

    1. Well, it isn't Asian, but it's inexpensive and wonderful:

      http://breadbasketcase.blogspot.com/2...

      1. Wow. I think Asian brunch ideas might be kind of tough since brunch, as far as I know, is a pretty American thing. One thing that comes to mind is Chinese fried eggs-- but you have to make them to order (basically eggs fried in a ton of oil in a wok-- they puff up beautifully-- then served with rice, oyster sauce and chilis). Crepes are nice and cheap. You can make them ahead and serve with any number of sweet or savory fillings. And they always impress. Then maybe a nice fruit salad with minted sugar.

        1. friends who replied
          east asian, i meant spicy (not hot ) stuff. not necessarily asian but more flavorful than fish/chips. meat/potatoes etc.
          excuse me, i underestimated the culinary expertise, opps

          1. Though not Asian, but pleasantly spicy, is Shrimp & Grits... which to me is perfect to fix for a bunch at brunch.

            My favorite recipe is: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/my... though there are tons available.

            1. If you've got a deep pot, there's always congee/jook, sort of a rice porridge that every Chinese kid grows up with. You can add anything you want to the base -- meat, veg, seafood, etc.; my favorite as a kid was clams and chicken. DIY garnishes (similar to waffle toppings, everyone can choose their own): peanuts, scallions, julienned ginger are pretty basic, and you could provide some creative alternatives.

              The only reason I'm hesitant to recommend this is that congee -- the base, at least -- is a bit plain, so it might not be as impressive as you'd like...

              1. roasted shrimp with a spicy cocktail sauce
                wafflles with corn, and bacon topped with maple syrup or a fruit compote
                fruit salad
                eggs?
                what is it you have planned and what is in your pantry?

                1. Rolled crepes filled with shredded chicken, bit of chopped green onion and cilantro, some sprouts - some with a sweeter oyster sauce based sauce and others with a chile spicy sauce.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    That sounds very tasty, Sam. I'm thinking about doing a column on crepes, something many Asian and European cuisines do well, but we here in the U.S.are pretty ignorant of. Do you have a favorite crepe batter recipe that you'd care to share?

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Beat four eggs with 1/2 cup water. Blend in one TBSP oil and three Tbsp flour. makes about 12 five - six inch crepes. Heat/fry on one side only.

                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Yes, please. And do you fill and serve or do you fill and then bake? I had a bad experience with the latter last winter where everything was quite dried out. Love the idea but the execution (chef's error) left a tad to be desired.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Fill and serve - kind of like a fresh lumpia recipe.

                    3. If you don’t want to go out and learn your way through and around a Korean grocery and buy lots of Asian ingredients you may never use again….. get where I’m going here? Stick with waffles and some berries like blueberries maybe, thickened and served warm as one offering. But also think….

                      EGGS are cheap and Asian cuisines – what they truly eat – often include baked scrambled eggs with dried shrimp. They also have sausages…. So try this: a frittata for 10 is easy! Use the iron skillet. Brown bite-sized hunks of kielbasa, cut a sweet red pepper into wide strips then into triangles, lots of chopped fresh parsley, asparagus perhaps if the budget allows. Don’t forget salt.

                      Parcook cubed redskin potatoes and fry in the non-stick skillet. Brown on one side – do not constantly turn them or they will not brown! – then add a couple sliced onions, garlic salt, paprika….. (And cook the paprika!) Then serve with more fresh chopped parsley.

                      Look up blancmange. Not too far afield of Asian cuisines!!! Dissolve gelatin in grape juice too, and layer in stem glasses – purple on the bottom, white in the middle and a thin layer of more purple on the top. Easy, inexpensive, do-ahead. Just be careful pouring to not run down the inside of the glass. Set each layer separately….. Served on small plates with paper doilies, everything tastes so much better!

                      And, tangerines in a pretty dish or bowl in lieu of flowers. Considered lucky. Traditionally offered special guests….. Maybe some almond cookies with them or something else thin and crisp.

                      Try out the waffle iron first if it's new!!!! Good luck.

                      1. Tea eggs and scallion pancakes are both easy enough and don't require much in the way of special ingredients if you would like to try to impress them on their turf. Even M. Stewart covers these. Your idea of cilantro in a cup should be decorating your kitchen!! Put a big bowl out on the counter and fill with fresh produce. Eggplant, lemons, somthing red! Green chilies. Are you planning to serve them tea? Then read up!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lil magill

                          If people will sitting at the dining table, little cups/vases of herbs running down the middle of the table would be pretty.

                        2. thank you- thank you
                          i bow to all those steller ideas.
                          dessert ideas anyone-
                          pls. forget the east asian requirements