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potluck BRUNCH suggestions?


presto
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Greetings, all!

I have a brunch to attend next Sunday, it's potluck, my fellow attendees are food appreciative, if not "gourmets" - I'd like to bring something different that won't scare off the "meat and potatoes" crowd, to serve about 10 adults. It needs to be something that travels well and can sit in my car during church (it's about 20 below zero Celcius here these days...no worries about it not staying cold!)

This may be a witless question in this forum, but forgive me...I'm a newbie here at egullet, and occasionally feel I'm in over my head! :huh:

glad to be here, though...and curious to see what folks can suggest!

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For 10 people, you may need to make two, but frittatas may be a good idea. Can make a simple one w/cheese and onions or any variety of vegetables. Marcella Hazan's, "Essential Classics of Italian Cooking" has a lot of ideas. Another good one: frittata w/pan-fried onions and potatoes

They're often served at room temp so you may need to have it *warm up* after being in the car! :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Just about anything goes for brunch (within people's dietary quirks and restrictions), so it's kind of hard to narrow it down without more analysis:

Will you be able to heat it up when you get there? That is, can you bring something that will need to be heated up on the stove or in the oven? (Microwaving is NOT an option, as far as I'm concerned! :angry:) Otherwise, mmmmm, quiche popsicles!

Can you ask the host for a category? Have these folks eaten anything you've made before? Can you trot out something you love to make that might be new to them?

And Welcome! Never feel over your head here -- we all learn from each other.

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we've got at least one quiche coming, frittattas are pretty much the same thing.

There would be opportunity to reheat...I was thinking of some kind of biscuit/scone idea, but thought that might be...boring?

I've tried "fancy" stuff on this bunch before...went over like a lead balloon. We're talking meat, potatoes and "what's that green stuff? I don't like vegetables!" - so my challenge is something that won't bore me to death and won't scare them...I'm just looking to brainstorm, really.

thanks for the replies!

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How about a giant slab of smoked salmon served with a platter of bagels, cream cheese, capers, sliced onions, and tomatos? You could serve a sweetened cream cheese alongside for those who want something sweet.

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that's something I personally would love, but again, may be a little exotic for my crowd... and a "giant slab" of salmon (I could make gravlax, too) is a little budgetarily unwise.

I'm liking the muffin idea, though...EllenC, would you be willing to share your recipe with me? :smile:

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I made the Prosciuotto and Goat Cheese Strata from Dec 2003 Bon Appetit for Boxing Morning breakfast. It was delicious and got rave reviews. The recipe can be found here http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/view?...akfast&x=14&y=5

Although it may contain "exotic" ingredients for your crowd, it comes out of the oven looking and smelling fantastic. Once they try it, they will be hooked. It tastes like a sophisticated bacon/egg/bread pudding.

I think I made it the same as the recipe, except I did not add any extra salt as there is alot of salt in the ingredients.

Life is short, eat dessert first

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I've downloaded a few versions of gingerbread pancakes...most advise to fry 1/4 cup at a time - if I want to make itty bitty ones I can do 1/8 cup at a time, I suppose...

there's a version that calls for ground hazelnuts, cocoa, molasses and 6 T baking powder (!) that seems to me to be one that would come up more "cake-like" and would likely travel better and be ok cooled off - I'd still have to make them that day, though...wouldn't want to risk them getting soggy making them the night before.

that along with whipped cream (sweetened and vanilla flavoured or possibly with rum extract) sounds like a good way to go...I'll have to do a dry run on my guinea pig/husband this week.

thanks for the idea!

:hmmm:

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Some kind of creamed chicken with biscuits should go over big. Or, try making a French toast casserole. You can make it sweet or savory with cheese. Assemble it the night before and weight it down so the bread soaks up the liquid really well. People love these.

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I've posted this before (sorry to repeat myself!) but I've had success with this scone recipe off the Danon Yogurt site. Serve them with clotted cream or good butter. They are more rich, like a UK scone, than the usual American version.

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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I'd still have to make them that day, though...wouldn't want to risk them getting soggy making them the night before.

Actually you could make them the day before, layer them on a sheet with parchment paper between the layers, and reheat in the oven. I did this and they were just fine!

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I've downloaded a few versions of gingerbread pancakes...most advise to fry 1/4 cup at a time - if I want to make itty bitty ones I can do 1/8 cup at a time, I suppose...

there's a version that calls for ground hazelnuts, cocoa, molasses and 6 T baking powder (!) that seems to me to be one that would come up more "cake-like" and would likely travel better and be ok cooled off - I'd still have to make them that day, though...wouldn't want to risk them getting soggy making them the night before.

that along with whipped cream (sweetened and vanilla flavoured or possibly with rum extract) sounds like a good way to go...I'll have to do a dry run on my guinea pig/husband this week.

thanks for the idea!

:hmmm:

I also suggest adding a decent amount of black pepper. I got this idea from a gingerbread babycake (i think) recipe in Baking With Julia. I loved the cakes, and now add a healthy amount of pepper to my grandmother's gingerbread recipe. It adds a wonderful layer of flavor wihtout being in-your-face noticable.

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Oh, no. Be brave, be forthright. (as long as you wash the scallions well :raz: ) I think they will be too breathtakingly beautiful for anyone to worry. And I believe in never lying about what's gone into the food (too many people get too crazy).

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In cooking brunch economically for a similar group of people, I have had great success with a "savory" bread pudding based on croissants. Cube bottoms, tumble in 9x13x3 pan, blanket with bacon/ham, green onion, finely diced red pepper and rich aged cheddar. Pour over custard (eggs and light cream, well seasoned) and tuck croissant tops over all. Assemble night before (saran wrap) then uncover and bake in med hot oven for about an hour. Rest some before serving. Can reheat without much disruption. Presents very well, beautiful crusty crown of croissant and smells divine. Hope this might be of aid.

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I like the ginger pancake idea but I am also a big supporter of fruit salads. They make a nice counterpoint to the eggy/cheesy/bready characteristics of brunch. I usually try to stick to 3, maybe 4 at the most, fruits. We are getting good mangoes here and citrus is always good. My son and I got to experimenting with adding some sort of seasonings. Tropical mix with citrus was good with a sprinkle of ancho chile powder and not really hot. Going the papaya, mango route we like Chinese Five Spice. On the stone fruit side, a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg worked well. Just don't use too much of anything. You want a hint that makes people say "yum... what is that?". We have also played with vanilla and almond extracts.

These are really better made the night before. Then if it freezes in your car you can call it a Fruit Freeze. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I've fed some real picky customers, and nobody ever turns up their nose at the savory pudding of conglomerate Katherine, SuzanneF or Tam.

Ginger- anything goes over, since it helps make the other foods more digestion-friendly.

Last-fruit salad- slice fruits horizontally, then use little cookie cutters to make 'em cool looking.

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I've made gingerbread with either lemon curd or spiced warm applesauce (or make both so people have an option) for brunches -- it usually goes over well.

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