Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Brunch Menu Ideas

I usually have self serve menus when we have get togethers.  Being the host is awesome but I also love to attend the party! 

When everyone makes their own meal combination everyone is happy!  Picky eaters will just have ham and eggs but those of us who like adventure can jump right in and make all kinds combinations with no risk!  There is always plenty of food to go around! 

This menu is also very easy to involve guests who like to bring a dish.  I email out the menu an let everyone know I am happy to make it all but if they would like to bring something put their name next to that item and reply all; so I won't get any doubles. 

Of course I welcome any dish even if it is not part of my menu plan (never turn down help!).  I just eliminate something that I was planning and substitute it with what my guest wants to bring.

Menu Ideas (I never make all of this I just pick and choose what I want to make year to year)
The Main Courses
  • Ham (cooked ahead and served on a platter at room temperature) 
  • Roasted Pork Loin Wrapped in Bacon (my version of fresh ham, no nitrates)

 Self Serve Scramble Egg Bar (only make what you like to eat and serve)
  • Scrambled eggs (keep warm in a crock pot)
  • Steamed or roasted veggies
  • Shredded Cheeses
  • Chopped scallions and dill
  • Cooked shrimp, salmon, sausage and/or bacon, diced
  • Cheese and Potato Pirogi or Roasted Golden Potatoes (can be served on the scrambled egg bar)
  • Shrimp, Polish Sausage or Bacon (depending on what other meats I serve)
  • Hard boiled eggs (leftover from coloring eggs)
Sweet Endings (I almost always make this.  It is easy to make ahead and everyone loves it!)
Crepe Toppings: These pictures were taken at my brunch class on Saturday, thanks Jamie! When I serve them on Easter they will be in fanicier bowls and a prettier display!

Crepe Bar
  • Crepes (can be made one day in advance)
  • Fresh fruit (usually berries, kiwi and pineapple, cleaned and chopped one day ahead, combine on day of service), see my post on how to keep berries fresh
  • Yogurt
  • Granola (make ahead or buy)
  • Whipped Cream (make same day)
  • Toasted sliced almonds (toasted in advance)
Chocolate Decadence Cupcakes (can be made in advance)
Cheese Cake Cupcakes (can be made in advance)

Check out my guest post tomorrow from my sister Kim@ Plumberry Pie to get great ideas for a Causual Easter Tablescape.

Take it one prep at a time,
Chef Jackie

Here's a few recipes to get you started!

French Crepes
Make batter night before and strain off lumps before use.
1      cup    all-purpose flour
2      Tbs    maple syrup
2                eggs
1 ½   cups  milk
1   Tbs   vegetable oil
            Zest of 1 orange or lemon
            oil or butter for pan

1   Sift together flour and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs, maple syrup and milk together with an electric mixer or hand whisk. Beat in flour, zest and oil until smooth.  Strain off lumps and use immediately or store overnight under refrigeration.
2   Spray and non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat  to medium. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Lightly brown on both sides.
3   Crepes can be made ahead and stacked between waxed or parchment paper.
Servings: 12 Yield: 15-18 crepes

Crepe and Dessert Bar: Chia Seed Yogurt Parfait

1      cup               whole milk plain Greek yogurt

1-2   tablespoons  honey or palm sugar

                            Zest of 1 lemon, chopped fine

1      teaspoon       vanilla or 1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder

1-2    tablespoons  chia seeds (optional)


1 ½   cups              fresh berries or berry compote

                             Granola or nuts (optional)


1   Combine yogurt, honey, lemon zest, vanilla and chia seeds.

2   If making ahead add chia seeds 15 minutes before serving.

3   Serve as a filling for crepes or to make fruit and yogurt parfaits.

Servings: 4

Crepe Bar: Mushroom Spinach and Swiss Filling
2    Tbs    butter
½            small onion diced
2    Tbs    cream sherry or white wine (optional)
2    cups  sliced assorted mushrooms (Portobello, shitake and button)
2    cups  baby spinach
½   cup     heavy cream
3    Tbs     cream cheese
¼   cup     grated Swiss cheese
     pinch   nutmeg
                Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
1   In heavy bottom sauté pan, melt butter and sauté onion until caramelized; deglaze with sherry and sauté for a minute or two.
2   Add spinach and continue to cook until spinach starts to wilt and most of the liquid cooks away; 1-2 minutes.
3   Add heavy cream, cream cheese and Swiss cheese and gently stir until cheese melts.  Season with salt and pepper.
4   Serve as a filling for crepes or a topping to eggs.

Crepe and Dessert Bar: Butter Rum Bananas
1    cup  dark brown sugar
1    cup  water
½   cup  butter
¼     cup  rum
2-3           banana, sliced
1   Combine water and sugar and bring to boil.  Boil for 5-7 minutes.  Add butter and rum.  Cool and reheat on day of service.  Bring butter rum sauce back to a boil.  Add sliced bananas and use as a topping on crepes, Cheese Cake Cupcakes or Chocolate Decadence Cupcakes. Yield: 2 cups


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