Breakfast of (20) champions.
May 17, 2010 11:33 AM   Subscribe

I seek nifty breakfast and brunch recipes that will easily serve 20 people.

So, I acquiesced to the Mexico vacation. My boyfriend and I are flying out there for 6 beachy days to hang out with friends and enjoy the sun/hide under a huge hat (depending on which of us you're talking to). His group of friends has a tradition where each couple signs up to serve one meal. We chose Sunday breakfast. My boyfriend makes some mean scrambled eggs, and I was thinking about making an enormous batch of ricotta pancakes. What are some other breakfast dishes that do well when quadrupled for a large group of people? We'd definitely love it if we could save on the food expenses, so lox is probably not in the cards, but I still want to make the most of our assignment.

posted by zoomorphic to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
In case you are looking for beverage ideas: mango nectar + sparkling wine + dash of citrus liqueur = one crazy good Mexican mimosa.
posted by hermitosis at 11:37 AM on May 17, 2010

Frittata. That one, or Google for any of 1,000,000 variations. Instead of a skillet, in larger quantity you can just bake it in a casserole (not too deep). Sprinkle cheese on top and finish it under the broiler.
posted by beagle at 11:39 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

various breakfast meats can be made in the oven on a baking sheet or broiler pan (to catch the grease) in fairly large quantities
posted by scrutiny at 11:39 AM on May 17, 2010

Biscuits and jam butters. So easy, so pretty, so delicious. You can sub bagels or scones or...whatever else you like for the biscuits.
posted by iconomy at 11:41 AM on May 17, 2010

Crepes! Make a whole stack of crepes and offer a bunch of different stuffers. Eggs, cheeses, fruits, berries, mushrooms (not all together, mind you) You can discover some surprisingly delicious combinations. My favourite is sweetened strawberries with goat cheese and bacon.
Or if your looking for more of a side dish, fruit salad is a no fail. Add some nutmeg and cottage cheese.
posted by Miss Mitz at 11:42 AM on May 17, 2010

Also, country fried tomatoes are insanely good with scrambled eggs, if you have the ingredients. They do very well at room temperature if you want to make them beforehand. Major noms.....
posted by iconomy at 11:44 AM on May 17, 2010

Best answer: French toast casserole.

Grab a loaf of bread, some milk, some eggs, maybe some vanilla, or raisins, or cinnamon. Or all three. The bread can be pretty much any type, except savory. Brioche would be amazing.

Tear up the bread and throw it in a greased 9x13 pan. Mix about 2.5 cups of milk, 3 eggs, and your delicious add-ins. Pour that in top. I like to poke the raisins down, but I am weird like that.

Put it in the fridge. Oh, yeah, you should have started this the night before.

The morning of: preheat the oven to 425. Put your casserole in there for half an hour. Serve with a pat of butter and a liberal helping of syrup on top.

Ways to make this even more amazing:
- tear the bread into smaller pieces and divide it in half. Put one half in the pan. Cut up three or four apples; layer those on top. Add the rest of the torn bread, and then continue along.
- add booze.
posted by punchtothehead at 11:45 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Portobella and Asparagus Egg Strata which can easily have other veggies/breakfast meats subbed in and out, and can easily be whipped up the night before and left to "soak" overnight in the fridge before popping it in the oven. My mother has been creating variations on Egg Strata for over 25 years and is constantly being asked for the recipe, and I recently began making it as well, only to be shocked at the ease and deliciousness of the recipe.

Also, I know my mother has scaled the recipe to serve over 100, and I have scaled it to serve three. And, with all the substitutions, you absolutely cannot exclude the mustard.
posted by banannafish at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Wine and Cheese Strata. This recipe serves ten, so you just have to double it.
posted by Ostara at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2010

Cheese Wafers can be made with any sort of ground or finely chopped breakfast meats. Chorizo (well drained) would be great. Best of all you could make the rolls ahead of time and freeze them. Then just slice and bake the morning of.
posted by cross_impact at 12:03 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Breakfast pizza! Just undercook the scrambled eggs, put them on top of a pizza crust, add cheese and/or other things you want, pop it in the oven and you're done.

Also, Cava instead of Champers for the mimosas.
posted by cestmoi15 at 12:18 PM on May 17, 2010

Egg strata is definitely the way to go. Can/should be made ahead, and way more tolerate of imprecise cooking time than scrambled eggs.
posted by mercredi at 12:35 PM on May 17, 2010

If you don't have a good idea of what type of cookware is available there and what the local market might have, it's probably best to be flexible and have a number of options on hand.

Scrambled eggs + tortillas, meats, cheese could make awesome breakfast burritos that people can customize themselves. Serve with some fresh fruit on the side, maybe some home fries. Mixing some fresh preserves into cream cheese and spreading on some kind of toasted bread is also good for people who might like something sweet. Of course, I'm also a fan of Monkey Bread.
posted by FreezBoy at 1:22 PM on May 17, 2010

I've used this Easy Quiche recipe. I like green pepper instead of broccoli. It is super easy.
posted by wwartorff at 1:27 PM on May 17, 2010

Best answer: Smitten Kitchen's post on How to Host Brunch (and still sleep in) is my go-to page for all things brunch now.

Also, I totally second punchtothehead's French toast casserole suggestion. I made a 9x13 pan of that once and it was devoured by six people (no other dishes were involved), so I'd say that you probably want two pans of that, plus a pan or two of an egg dish, to feed 20 people.

Anything baked is great, because if you are trying to feed scrambled eggs and pancakes to 20 people, you will be at the stove forever.
posted by mandanza at 2:18 PM on May 17, 2010

Crustless quiche couldn't be any easier and you can vary the cheeses and other ingredients. Grease a pie plate and load in about a cup of any variety shredded (or cubed) cheese and whatever other fillings you want. Sausage, veggies, bacon, crabmeat, etc. all work. Then pour the custard mixture (1 cup eggs or eggbeaters combined with 1 cup evaporated skim milk) over. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 300 and bake for another 30 - 35 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. Totally yummy!
posted by DrGail at 2:53 PM on May 17, 2010

Hell yes, French toast casserole - plenty of other recipes with pics online too, if you want to change ingredients. Mmmm.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:18 PM on May 17, 2010

Definitely go with something baked. Our group of ~20 does this same kind of meal assigning when we go to the cabin together, and if you're trying to make pancakes or crepes or even scrambled eggs you'll be standing at the stove all morning. The french toast casserole mentioned above is awesome, as is any variation you could google of "egg bake." Those are particularly great because you do all the work the night before, which makes the morning a lot easier. Here's my grandma's recipe for egg bake:

12 slices white bread, crust removed
3 cups diced ham (from one of those small precooked hams)
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted butter, plus more non-melted butter for the bread
paprika for sprinkling

1. Butter 6 slices of bread and place in a single layer in a 9x13" pan, butter side down.
2. Sprinkle on ham, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and cheese.
3. Dice remaining bread and sprinkle on top of everything else.
4. Beat eggs, milk, and salt. Pour over the top of everything in the pan.
5. Drizzle melted butter over top and sprinkle with paprika.
6. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees and then bake casserole for 60 minutes.
6. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

This will serve 6-8 people, especially if you supplement with some kind of toasty bread (toast, english muffins, bagels, whatever), some fresh fruit (I like grapes because you don't have to do any prep except washing them), and some tasty drinks (OJ, tomato juice, maybe the alcoholic versions if you're group likes that kind of thing). Two or three pans should cover 20 people, no problem.
posted by vytae at 3:52 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Shoot, my #6 and #7 definitely got messed up. If you can't figure out the appropriate order, I'd recommend buying several kinds of cereal for your friends and staying out of the kitchen!
posted by vytae at 3:54 PM on May 17, 2010

Roasted red potatoes with rosemary and garlic are a nice hash-brown-y accompaniment to eggs and such.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:30 AM on May 18, 2010

I also have a night-before french toast casserole to suggest: Melt 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter in a pot. Add 1c brown sugar, 2 tablespoons corn syrup. Stir until melted together. Pour in the bottom of a 9x13. Crustless french bread over top. I don't tear it but that sounds like a good idea. Don't pack it too tight. Whisk together egg mixture: 5 eggs, 1.5c heavy cream, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and (drumroll please...) 1 teaspoon of gran marnier. Pour over top. Store in fridge overnight. Next morning bring to room temp. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake 45-60m until brownish and bubbly. Yum.
posted by Breav at 8:42 AM on May 18, 2010

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