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Mother's Day Brunch


Gail CDM
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I am going to prepare Brunch for around 150 people. Will be a combination of breakfast / brunch items as well as main entree, to include starch, vegetables, breads / muffins, fruit, cheese and an array of fabulous desserts. Suggestions / great combinations would be muchly appreciated.

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Gail - I'm astounded at such ambition! I do lots of large group entertaining, but only up to 50 or so. I'm sure that the folks here that cater have lots of ideas for you, but probably want more info from you. Where are you doing this? What will the kitchen facilities consist of? How much help do you have? That kind of thing.

One thing that I've done with great success is shot glass desserts. I've done key lime pie and chocolate mousse. With the pie one, you just mix up gingersnap crumbs and butter and put that in the bottom of the glasses (I used disposable plastic ones - very inexpensive), fill a giant piping bag with key lime filling and squirt away. These can be done the day before and topped early with stabilized whipped cream. I've had these with cheesecake, fruit and cooky crumbles. When you start thinking about it, the possibilities are endless.

Good luck! I'd love to hear a running report of how things are going.

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Are you doing this in your home?

Do you have plenty of freezer space?

Exactly how much work are you willing to do; i.e., are you interested in shortcuts or is this going to be an all-out marathon workfest?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Since this is a day for the ladies, I'd emphasize pretty food that is light.

On the desserts, I'd set a limit of maybe 5 different items. People tend to want to try one of everything, so if you have 5 items (2 different cookies, panna cotta, brownies and tarts maybe) you'll need 750 pcs. (plus extra for loss) If you make ten different items, you'll need 1500 pcs.

Quiche can be made in advance and served cold. Each 8" pie can be cut into 8-10 slices, meaning you'll need to make 20 or so. You can get very creative with fillings without breaking the bank. It's traditionally served with salad as the side.

You can make large batches of cream biscuits and offer them as plain, or, flavored versions with shredded parmesean or other cheeses, cayenne pepper, herbs, etc.

I have made a good casserole-type dish that I call Green Beans Primavera -an improved, made from scratch, green bean casserole. Blanch lots of fresh green beans along with julienned carrot, red pearl onion, julienned bell peppers of various colors and anything else you can get ahold of. Mix in a hotel pan with alfredo or primavera sauce and add some frozen peas, and maybe snow peas. Top with breadcrumbs mixed with parmesean. Heat and serve, holds well in a chafer.

New potatoes are in season now, a simple dish of parsleyed potatoes and fresh butter might be nice -you could add baby carrots for color. I also like beurre noisette over otherwise plain steamed potatoes and carrots.

A fruit salad made with berries would be nice.

Panna Cotta can be made two days in advance, there are some great fruit flavors possible. My favorite is to simply infuse some orange peels as the cream is heated, and use vanilla bean. But a berry flavor might be more colorful. I make these up in 5.5oz plastic wine cups from the party supply store.

Cookies can be made in advance and held, even dough could be made now and frozen til needed.

Another easy dessert is to buy or make chocolate cups, pipe in pastry cream and top with fruit.

Hope this helps!

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I have no experience with this sort of volume, but can suggest a couple of do-ahead ideas that have enough overlap that you'll be sharing a bit of effort between two dishes. A lot of details are left out because a) I'm not sure exactly what your challenges are, and b) if you're taking on something this big, you'll know how to make the necessary adjustments.

Some (maybe even many) days before, make a boatload of crepes and cool and refrigerate, or even freeze.

One day before, (assuming you're not up to a huge batch of bread dough from scratch), bake store bought frozen bread dough (you probably need a bunch of disposable aluminum pans, unless you have a bakery), cool and let sit, exposed to air, uncut overnight (you want fresh, homemade, but slightly dehydrated).

Also, one day before, slice/chop (slicing is more for garnishment) many strawberries. Macerate in balsamic and sugar.

Morning of - Slice bread, prepare french toast batter. Mix a good amount of large curd cottage cheese and strawberry mixture until just pink (and to taste). Bring out crepes to warm/thaw.

Begin cooking the french toast.

Spoon cottage cheese mixture onto crepes. Roll up crepes (warm and hold here if possible, unless you can do to order), drizzle with macerated strawberry juices (preferably later than sooner) and garnish with macerated slices and a drizzle of juice.

Use more of the macerated strawberries over the cooked french toast, with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Obviously, the finishing steps are best saved for the last minute, but it will depend on what kind of staffing you have at your disposal and what you can fit into your overall plan.

But for two dishes, this leaves you only one thing to cook on the day. From there it's just about warming and timing.

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Great ideas so far....keep them coming :laugh: So far the menu is shaping up to include some kind of strata, I like the crepe idea.. I can make those ahead of time, make a fabulous warm compote of fresh fruits, and maybe a stuffed french toast..

The meats - pork on the grill, and a veal or lamb something. Starch, ??????

Breads - cherry yogurt muffins, fresh banana breads, ???

I really like the suggestion of the smaller desserts in disposable glassware. Variety will be the key.

I'll be preparing this at work, so workspace, storage and $$$ is not a problem.

Edited by Gail CDM (log)
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For a starch, I like to make jasmine rice or Israeli cous-cous. I add a LOT of minced fresh herbs (parsley mostly) at the start (a big handful for every cup of dry grain) so that when it cooks you get an attractive, very green starch dish. People think it's healthier, and it looks better than plain beige rice or cous-cous.

For a fancy starch, I'd go with peas pulao - sort of India's answer to fried rice.

I'd like to point out that panna cotta is easy to make, so, if you can store it cold, making a lot of flavors is easy.

Will you have servers? If so, a sorbet would be nice.

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and maybe a stuffed french toast..

Smitten Kitchen has a wonderful Boozy Oven French Toast which I have made twice now...in preparation for our Annual Dog Weekend...and you could try it. I didn't put actual 'booze' into it, but did use a fair dollop of my boozy fruit melange which was meant for a not-yet-made Black Cake. Incredibly delicious dish. :wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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and maybe a stuffed french toast..

Smitten Kitchen has a wonderful Boozy Oven French Toast which I have made twice now...in preparation for our Annual Dog Weekend...and you could try it. I didn't put actual 'booze' into it, but did use a fair dollop of my boozy fruit melange which was meant for a not-yet-made Black Cake. Incredibly delicious dish. :wub:

Should have added that the dish is assembled the night before, refrigerated over night, and baked 1/2 hour straight from the fridge before eating.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Kim,

I will have my entire staff to assist with this task. It will be served as a buffet...except for the desserts. That's why I really like your idea. I have the space to display MANY kinds of desserts. The "shot glass" idea will be a great opportunity for my pastry chef to put her best foot forward. I hope I can locate them. Got any ideas who carries them in Indiana?

I think I will also incorporate a salad bar with many delicate items on it...besides salad fixings. Another great place to display our talents.

Keep the ideas flowing :biggrin: ...Let me know.

Thanks.

Gail

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Kim,

I will have my entire staff to assist with this task. It will be served as a buffet...except for the desserts. That's why I really like your idea. I have the space to display MANY kinds of desserts. The "shot glass" idea will be a great opportunity for my pastry chef to put her best foot forward. I hope I can locate them. Got any ideas who carries them in Indiana?

I think I will also incorporate a salad bar with many delicate items on it...besides salad fixings. Another great place to display our talents.

Keep the ideas flowing :biggrin: ...Let me know.

Thanks.

Gail

Gail, I found them a one of those 'party' stores. Party City, maybe.

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I had a very interesting starchy salad I've often thought I'd try to recreate sometime I needed to serve a crowd. It's a combination of all sorts of grains/small starches -- barley, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, wheatberries -- cooked and then refrigerated in order to dehydrate a bit so the grains will separate. Then they're tossed with a dressing -- the one I had was with a balsamic viniagrette, but it could be any kind -- and some halved cherry tomatos. I could also see adding some halved olives, mostly because I love olives. Or you could eliminate the tomatos and olives and go with dried fruit....

Edited by kayb (log)

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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