by Jolene Adams, coordinator, LLCC Culinary Institute
Looking to host something for your friends other than a typical dinner party? Try hosting a weekend brunch for something different.
After what seemed like the longest winter ever and several large family dinners, I’m ready to host a springtime brunch, which is perfect since Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Brunch is the opportunity to make some light, fresh, spring inspired dishes featuring fresh fruits, salads, lemon pastries and sparkling wines. Don’t forget to include some brunch staples like eggs and breakfast meats.
I have an easy guide that works great for planning a brunch menu to feed a crowd. Choose five of the following items, and figure the amount needed by using the suggested serving per person.
1. Quiche. Plan one slice per person
2. Strata or other savory bake. Serve in two inch squares, plan two per person.
3. Pancakes or waffles. Plan three small pancakes per person or two waffles per person.
4. Bread such as toast, English muffins or croissants. Plan one or two pieces per person.
5. Bacon or sausage. Plan three to four pieces per person.
6. Eggs any style. Plan two per person.
7. Green Salad. Plan two cups per person.
8. Fruit salad or fresh fruit. Plan one cup per person.
9. Coffee cake or pastries. Plan one slice or piece per person.
Beverages (offering all three choices)
1. Fruit juice, fresh squeezed. Six ounces per person.
2. Alcoholic drinks, Mimosa or Bloody Mary. Serve two drinks per person, five ounces each.
3. Coffee or tea. Serve two or three drinks per person, 10 ounces each.
Here are a few recipes that easily feed a group for brunch.
Fresh Fruit Board with Ricotta Blend, Granola and Wildflower Honey
Serves 10 guests
3 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cups ricotta cheese
2/3 cup wildflower honey (or regular honey)
3 cups granola
10 cups assorted berries and sliced fruit (I used raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, mango, papaya, kiwi, plums, peaches, oranges)
Wash or rinse all fruits and slice ones that are whole. Set out on a large wooden board for guests to choose from.
In a large bowl, stir to combine the Greek yogurt and ricotta, then pour into a medium sized serving bowl. Set out alongside the granola and honey for guests to add to their fruit bowl.
The ingredient measurements are based on 10 guests each making a serving that includes 1 cup fruit, 1/2 cup ricotta blend, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1/3 cup granola. You can certainly adjust as needed for more or less depending on your crowd!
Morning Glory Muffins
Yield 18 regular size muffins
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots, (4 medium)
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, or pecans
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 18 muffin cups with cooking spray.
Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, apple and raisins. Whisk egg, egg whites, apple butter, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full. Combine walnuts and wheat germ in a small bowl; sprinkle over the muffin tops.
Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool.
Make Ahead Tip: Get a head start on your morning muffins the night before by mixing up the dry and liquid ingredients separately (refrigerate liquids). In the morning, combine the two, scoop and bake.
Tomato and Camembert Tart
Adapted from Country Living Magazine
Yield 12 slices
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
4 plum tomatoes
6 ounce Camembert cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 small bay leaf
1 clove garlic
Make the tart dough: Using a pastry blender, combine the flour, butter, salt and pepper until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Using a fork, mix in 2 tablespoons of the oil and the water just until the bottom of the mixture begins to cling together. If necessary, add an additional tablespoon of oil.
Gather into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
Bake the tart: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out the chilled dough into a 14-inch circle and place it into a tart pan; set aside.
Spread the mustard over the bottom of the tart shell. Sprinkle the Gruyère evenly over the mustard and alternately place the tomato and Camembert over the Gruyère.
In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, all of the herbs, and the garlic together and brush two-thirds of the mixture over the tart. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35 minutes.
Remove the tart and brush it with the remaining oil. Serve warm.
Pancetta baked eggs
6 large eggs
8 ounces heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves
Line 12 muffin tins with 2 slices of pancetta each to cover the base and sides.
Whisk together eggs, heavy cream, and grated parmesan a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour mixture into the pancetta-lined tins and top with a pinch of torn basil.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.
Want to learn how to remix traditional brunch into a healthy meal? Join us Thursday, May 10 for an evening in the kitchen with nutrition consultants, health educators and co-founders of Niche, Micca Donohoo, MS, RD, LDN and Kathy Levin, RD CDE, LDN as they partner with us to offer a healthy look at brunch.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org