Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brunch Part 5: Sides and Game Plan

This post is the final installment of my brunch recap. In addition to the breads and egg dishes that were served, we had fruit and potatoes. I tried to keep it seasonal (and inexpensive), so I served my favorite citrus: Cara Cara and Blood Oranges, with some chopped mint, and some Wisconsin-grown red potatoes, which we quartered, boiled for about 20 minutes, and then sautéed and smashed up a bit with some butter, dried herbs, salt and pepper. (I was hoping to roast the potatoes but the oven was overpopulated and set at too low a temperature all morning, so stove top it was.)

In case you want to copy my brunch idea which I copied from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and together we can start a brunch cafe sensation across the nation, here is my game plan, inspired by Smitten Kitchen's tips on how to make a good brunch "and still sleep in"... and thirty-one years of watching my Mom entertain with gusto.

Days (or months) before: Make quick breads and muffins and stick in freezer.
2 days before: Cook sausage for Aunt Judy's Egg Casserole. (Btw, if you are making a tofu-based scramble instead of egg dishes, make two days ahead because that will allow flavors to blend and intensify. It can be reheated on the stove with some water on Saturday morning. More on that at a later date.)
Day before: Go grocery shopping for eggs and produce.
Night before: Make Aunt Judy's Egg Casserole and stick in refrigerator overnight. Rinse and drain leeks, rinse and cook greens, and grate cheese for frittata. (Confession: I scored the oranges the night before and put them in the refrigerator, thinking that would save me ten minutes in the morning. It actually made them harder to cut, so don't do that. Just leave them out at room temperature overnight.)
Morning of: Put casserole in oven about 90 minutes before guests are expected to arrive. Arrange breads on platters. Chill champagne for mimosas and vodka for Bloody Marys, and set up your beverage station. An hour before people are expected, slice oranges, chop mint, and arrange on platters. A half hour before, quarter potatoes and put them in a dutch oven on the stove to boil. Start brewing some coffee. Right before guests are expected, start frittata, which will only take about 15-20 minutes and is best right out of the oven. While frittata is in oven, pan fry potatoes and toss with herbs, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a little water and cover pan to keep warm. The casserole can be kept warm by covering it with foil. If the timing isn't quite right, stick it back in the oven while the frittata is cooking. Both egg dishes should rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting. I think that's all. Have fun!

(P.S. I don't know why the font is so big!)


  1. Edith, I love this so very much, I could cry. I absolutely want to copy you. You are totally your mother's daughter with your flair for cooking/entertaining. I can't even imagine how proud she must be! Such a wonderful little homemaker! And side note: the brunch thing sort of makes me want to consider moving to Minneapolis to partake. xoxo

  2. This is the second reference I have heard Nicole make about moving to Minneapolis in as many days. Edith, if you act now, you may be able to snag her while she is in a weakened envious of brunch state!

    You've inspired me as well! What if we all plan a brunch in our respective parts of the world on the same day? World Brunch Day!

  3. Alicia, you make me LOL more than anyone I know.

    And Edith, she's not lying. I have indeed made a few references to moving close to you. I think it's because people wear cozy sweats on a daily basis in Minneapolis? Because that may be the deal clincher.

  4. Sweats = yes. But today we're more excited about our recent opportunities to show some more skin because it feels like summer this week. Sadie and I just had a lakefront lunch with Michael and a coworker. It was gorgeous and I think my chest got some color! P.S. Thanks for the kind words. You should move here.

  5. I love when you reference your chest. Bow-chicka-bow-wow! P.S. Maybe we will.