Brunch for 20?
In 2 weeks I'm making brunch for 20 adults and I could use some help. I've done this in the past and have just had too many options. I also tend to come up with menus that involve many oven based items and it seems I've done it again here.
Currently I'm looking at serving the following:
creme brulee french toast
egg casserole with asparagus and leek, +cheese that I haven't decided on
green salad (waldorf?)
champagne + 2 juice options
I've intentionally not done a meat item as there will be many vegetarians and I wasn't going to add something else on the list, but suppose a pile of sausage wouldn't be too hard.
a nice chilled soup would be a nice addition...gazpacho or a melon soup would offer an alternative for everyone and you could make it well in advance.
I think your ideas are lovely.
Maybe I would add something baked and not sweet...savory scones? Onion bialys? Bagels and lox?
Sounds lovely! Surely you can make the muffins the night before to free up the oven.
With the fruit salad, do you also need a Waldorf salad? Waldorf always seems wintery to me. I'll try to talk you out of that in particular and green salad in general. Greens are always nice, but I'm assuming this is buffet and sometimes trying to spear a lettuce leaf with a plate on your lap is difficult.
I'm not a coffee drinker, but you know your guests. Some of my friends drink tea, so I'd always have a couple of tea options available.
Light and springy. Good menu!
While the menu addresses the vegetarian palate, it ignores the carnivore. I might add simple crab filled crepes (great with the champagne) and I'd prepare some of that French toast using soy milk, and tofu in honor of the vegans in the population. They may not appreciate the eggs and cream. Or you might even work up some simple sweet potatoes with a light topping of nut oil and/or soy yogurt and freshly chopped nuts.
If you drop the mayo from the Waldorf salad and replace it with yogurt (or other choice) you'll hit both vegetarian and non-vegetarian targets.
If you're making more than one dish of the egg casserole, adding bacon to one could be a way to satisfy meat eaters without too much extra effort on your part. You might also consider a spinach salad with strawberries, since they're in season now.
i don't like leafy salads on a buffet. the lettuce takes up too much space on the plate and it's too difficult to eat either standing or balancing the plate on one's lap. everything you're serving is very breakfast-y, so the salad doesn't really fit.
i like the suggestion of smoked salmon . one less thing to cook and a bit more substantial than eggs or toast.
Lots of strawberries on sale! a simple arugula, strawberry salad with feta, pumpkin seeds. easy!
You can make savory cheese cookies and put it all on a platter. Then add a hunk of sharp cheeses to spread on the cookies or a reduced balsamic syrup. Super easy and you can do it the night before.
Here's a recipe for savory oatmeal cookies w/ parmesan and rosemary
you can omit the oatmeal for more crunchy and less biscuit like cookies
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cream cheese (or 1/2 cup sour cream, whatever you have left over)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 teaspoon rosemary (fresh)
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
Pour into a medium size bowl 1/4 cup of water. Microwave that for maybe 30 sec so its warm. Mix in 1 cup of oats to it and mix it good. It should be pretty doughy and thick.
In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, sugar, egg and cream cheese. Add the oatmeal mix to this.
In another medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, fresh rosemary, parmesan, pepper).
Add the dry with the wet and gently fold until everything is incorporated.
Dollop about 1 tbsp onto a parchment paper lined baking tray and flatten then to 1/4 inch thick. Try to keep it roundish in shape (or not, however pretty you want to make it). Sprinkle on some more sea salt and crack some fresh black pepper over the cookies.
Decorate with rosemary leaves if you like again.
Makes around 25-30 cookies.
Pictures and info:
For the egg casserole, use gruyere and fresh thyme.
For the salad, you could do a combo of baby greens and butter lettuce with a nut and a fruit and a lemon vinaigrette. Pears and walnuts, or strawberries and pistachios, etc.
Your menu looks great! You might want to replace the creme brulee french toast with an easier second bread?
Oh, and yes to some sort of meat! A smoked fish or sausage and/or bacon would be nice. Or classic shrimp cocktail is always good. Or, I have a recipe for sweet and spicy baked shrimp that is really good.
Toss some brown sugar or maple bacon in there just for happy, and you've got a nice menu happening. I'm partial to brie in my quiche-y/frittata-y dishes, but that's just me.