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Need help with brunch menu

I'm hosting a 75th bday brunch for 21 ppl. So far, the menu is: grits bar (grits in crockpot with toppings: sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda, shrimp, Creole sauce, diced tomatoes, caramelized sweet onions, scallions, chicken-apple sausage), crustless quiches in 9x13 pan, mini muffins, fruit salad, chocolate bday cake. I was originally thinking of doing a cold rice salad but nixed that b/c it would be two grain-type dishes. So, my two questions: how many crustless quiches do I need (2 or 3) and do I need another dish and if so, what? Everyone invited is Jewish, so no pork. Thanks!

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  1. How about a nice green salad with a citrus dressing to balance some of the richness?

    I would only make one quiche.

    1. If they're Jewish, can they eat shrimp?
      My understand is that it's not kosher.

      How about a tray of lox--smoked salmon, capers, red onion, hard boiled egg, with cream cheese and mini bagels? Delicious and you don't have to be Jewish to love it.

      1. Officially, shrimp is not kosher. However, these are all Reform Jews and won't eat pork but will eat shrimp. Go figure!

        A green salad sounds easy. Didn't want to go the bagels & lox route just because it's very common & I wanted to do something different.

        12 Replies
        1. re: GeorgiaMom

          Green salad does work. If you want to some type of grilled veggie salad that is room temp or cold you do do that make ahead also. Zucchini are abundant now.

          1. re: GeorgiaMom

            Since you're doing grits, what about a lighter version of collard greens, maybe even a vegetarian version?

            1. re: chowser

              You could do a raw kale salad as a lighter nod to collard greens. It's better when made ahead, too, which is great for entertaining.

              1. re: piccola

                I've never had a raw kale salad. Do you treat it like other lettuces?

                1. re: chowser

                  chowser, it needs to soak in something acidic for a few hours. Others swear by massaging it but this recipe works for me and is delicious. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                  1. re: GretchenS

                    Thanks--I was wondering about the toughness so the soaking makes sense. I'll have to give this a try! I've been juicing it but it gets old pretty fast.

                    1. re: chowser

                      Yeah, letting it marinate is key, otherwise it can be unpleasantly chewy. But that's about the only difference.

            2. re: GeorgiaMom

              In our non kosher Jewish home we ate shellfish with abandon but never pork.

              1. re: magiesmom

                That's funny because I have friends who are Jewish who eat pork but never shellfish.

              2. re: GeorgiaMom

                Hate to be a downer, but have you checked the ingredients on the chicken sausage? If they are not skinless, most of the companies use pork skins.

                1. re: critter101

                  Thanks for that tip! I'll do that and maybe have to get some other type of sausage. Maybe the raw turkey breakfast sausage and take it out of the skin before cooking like hamburger meat. Hmmmm.

                  1. re: GeorgiaMom

                    I know this is well past the time of your brunch, but for future reference: the Aidell's Mini Chicken and Apple Sausage do not have pork casings. The larger ones do (I think, because the label doesn't say that they don't), but the Minis do not have any pork. And they are yummy. :-)

              3. I would think that two would be fine, especially with the grits bar.
                For another dish, some kind of greens would be nice, as suggested by a couple of posters.

                1. Love the grits bar. I would make 2 quiches, maybe one veggie and one with some of that shrimp!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Berheenia

                    I would skip the quiches entirely, since the add-ins would largely duplicate those for the grits bar.

                    Maybe a substantial soup of some sort instead. Fresh corn chowder would be nice. With crusty bread or rolls.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      I would have a hard time finding 21 people who eat grits in my neck of the woods. Quiche on the other hand is always the first thing to go.

                      EDIT: just saw OP post about grits and her guest pool.

                  2. Agree you need a salad. A bit of fruit this time of year, served with vanilla Greek yogurt, would be a nice addition.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: monavano

                      Fruit salad is already on the menu, but I agree that a green salad would round things out. You might also consider serving some type of protein (turkey bacon, chicken sausage, etc.) separately from the grits bar, for those who don't care for grits (which, IMO, are a fairly polarizing dish).

                      I would think that two 9x13 pans of quiche would suffice with everything else you're serving, unless you know that your group has big appetites.

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        Quiche should cover the protein, but I love turkey sausage and eat that most of the time.

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          Her name is GeorgiaMom....I would say grits probably play well in her area.

                          I think the menu is great!

                          1. re: LaLa

                            LOL - I didn't notice that - you're probably right! In that case, no need for extra meat!

                      2. Love that menu. I think it's perfectly balanced and doesn't need more. 2 quiches seems like plenty; agree with suggestion to make one of them veg.

                        1. Thanks y'all. Yes, I'm in Atlanta. Grits will be welcome by most. Also, 13 of the 21 guests are "senior citizens" and don't eat a ton. I figure those who didn't want the grits could just put some of the shrimp or the chicken-apple sausage (which I will slice & then saute) on their plates. I'm going to do two quiches (one red pepper & mushrooms b/c that is what my picky child will eat and the other TBD). Green salad, maybe with grilled veggies, and a citrus dressing. Thanks again! My first time posting to chowhound! It might become an addiction...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: GeorgiaMom

                            Sounds great. Plus the fixin's for the grits will be yummy on the quiche too.

                            1. re: GeorgiaMom

                              Sounds fantastic, let us know how it goes!

                            2. How about a cold corn salad with shallots, grape tomatoes and a redwine vingerette?

                              That grit bar sounds wonderful.

                              1. I would add some plain, buttermilk biscuits to your mini muffin offering. Some folks don't like sweet breakfast breads. Depending on your audience, I would consider adding sausage gravy (chicken or turkey sausage). I'm also in the South, and I've found biscuits and gravy to be more popular than quiche (not with me, but with my guests). Also since you are already serving sweet chocolate birthday cake, the plain buttermilk biscuits would be appropriate. Hard to beat a good buttermilk biscuit - and should satisfy any picky eaters, too!

                                1. Sounds delicious and delightful to me! I would be sure to have salt, pepper, and a few hot sauces available near the grits station. Mmmmm, grits.

                                  1. No pork yet you're serving shellfish... Am I missing something?