I love brunch.
December 7, 2011 4:52 AM   Subscribe

Brunch filter: My friend is hosting a brunch on Sunday, and I'd like to bring something a bit more exciting than cut up fruit or muffins (unless they're REALLY good muffins). What delicious item can I make ahead of time (either the night before, or that morning at my place)?

I'd prefer something savory to something really sweet -- I was thinking about a frittata or something, but I'm not sure if that can be served cold (I don't know that I'll have access to his oven), and I'm definitely open to other ideas.

Note that I don't have a car, so I'm going to have to transport things by foot. A frittata might work, because I can carry it in my arms; a bunch of mini frittatas would probably not. Thanks!
posted by cider to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I just found this question (I searched, I swear!) and I'll look through the answers, but other suggestions are definitely welcome!
posted by cider at 4:53 AM on December 7, 2011

I'd do quiche over frittata if you're carrying it --- the crust will help it hold up better. You can make a crust--it's not hard, I use Martha Stewart's pate brisee recipe---or buy dough in the freezer section. Eggs, chèvre, asparagus, some crumbled bacon, and boom, delicious.

You could also get pizza dough instead and do a calzone for another easy savoury option:
1) roll out dough into a long skinny rectangle
2), fill with ham, gruyere, and some cooked onion, or red pepper, a couple chopped tomatoes, cheddar and chorizo, or whatever your heart desires, really,
3) fold over dough, pinch shut, and bake at 450 for 20-30 minutes, or until outside brown and crusty
4) wrap it in tinfoil and take it along, slice when you get there and serve room temp.
posted by Diablevert at 5:10 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know the particular recipe (lots on Google, of course) but an aunt of mine does these bacon and egg salad sandwiches at brunches that are really, really good. Made on regular sliced bread cut into little triangles, of course.
posted by XMLicious at 5:14 AM on December 7, 2011

I've done the two tarts below for brunches. They're both excellent and have been really well received. They're both best slightly warm, but are fine cold as well. And in both cases, if you make your own pastry they're extra good.

Gerard's Mustard tart (NYT link)

Roast Vegetable tart (I double the onion and add a layer of mushrooms seared with cognac; other vegetables to taste. The layering of flavours works very well.)
posted by tavegyl at 5:20 AM on December 7, 2011

Eggs baked in Tomatoes: ie hollow out 5-6 medium sized tomatoes, put in some fresh Oregano or Basil leaves and a splash of olive oil. Crack in whole egg into each tomato. Roast / Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins.

Here is an example: Eggs backed in hollowed tomatoes.

Breakfast Pizza: make a pizza base, top with some bacon, tomato, ruccola or basil, then pour over a thin layer of lightly whisked egg. stick in the oven until the egg is cooked.
posted by mary8nne at 5:22 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Chicken liver pate with balsamico onions + crostini.
I tested this recipe and it was delicious.
posted by leigh1 at 5:23 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

This situation calls for Hashbrown casserole. The recipe I always follow is here (because it's the closest to mom's original recipe), and I just leave the topping off because I find it unnecessary. If you want to dress it up, go with a different type of cheese other than the Cheddar, or (my personal favorite), crumble up bacon and either top it with it, or mix it in with everything.
posted by deezil at 5:23 AM on December 7, 2011

Smitten Kitten: Breakfast Pizza
posted by mary8nne at 5:23 AM on December 7, 2011

Tortilla (as in a Spanish potato omelette).
posted by rhymer at 5:29 AM on December 7, 2011

Crawfish quiche is pretty tasty. You can make the dough for the crust the night before (or use a frozen crust if you are pastry-averse). If you don't have access to crawfish, you can use langostino (Trader Joe's sells this frozen), or fresh lump crabmeat or lobster.
posted by mikepop at 5:30 AM on December 7, 2011

Meant to add, you can pick up one of those insulated bags at the grocery store and it should be nice and warm for serving.
posted by mikepop at 5:31 AM on December 7, 2011

Brunch is great because you can make all sorts of things and have it be appropriate. Finger sandwiches are great: ham salad, egg salad, carrot salad, cucumbers, turkey/apple/spreadable-brie. Just buy a loaf of bread (or 2, depending on the size of the brunch), make sandwiches spreading the filling on nice and thick. Cut off the crusts and eat them for snacks (okay, dinner while you work, if you're me). Now, for storage/transport, you wrap stacks of 3 sandwiches in wax paper. Then take few paper towels, get them wet and squeeze all the water out, and cover/wrap each sandwich bundle in damp paper towel. Now, slide all your stacks of sandwiches into the now-empty bread bag and put them in the fridge until you're ready to go. Take your sandwiches, a plate, and a serrated knife to the brunch, and you'll just have to take 5 minutes in the kitchen to cut each stack of sandwiches into quarters and arrange on a plate.
posted by aimedwander at 5:37 AM on December 7, 2011

Bloody Mary's
posted by empath at 5:38 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you can reheat something at your friend's place, I'll second Hashbrown Casserole. (It's completely unhealthy, but I made it once and now have to make it for every brunch event or my friends revolt) Feel free to substitute meat or leave out completely.

I also have to make Monkey bread alot.

(My friends are demanding)
posted by FreezBoy at 5:47 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Home fries
posted by mostly vowels at 6:00 AM on December 7, 2011

Best answer: Canadian Bacon strata
posted by hmo at 6:10 AM on December 7, 2011

If you want something a little different, try vegan curry pie:

This is based really loosely on Chinese curry rolls -- you can also make pastry and make them into little pasties, if you really like this idea, memail me for the recipe and cooking times. I bake this in a pie shell because I am basically lazy.

You need:
A (vegan) pie crust (9-10")
A package of SmartGround (12 oz) -- you could use 12 oz of ground meat, too, if you prefer a meat option; you need to grind the filling a bit finer.
An onion, cut in big chuncks
2 cloves garlic, smashed
a couple of scallions, cut into 1" chunks
roughly an 1" of ginger (or 1TSP of pre-grated ginger, if you swing that way)
2 TSP Chinese rice wine (sake will do in a pinch, cider might work, too)
2 TSP soy sauce
1 TSP cornstarch
A bottle of Chinese or Indian curry paste (many to chose from)
2 tsp sesame oil
Maybe salt

Put the garlic, scallions, and ginger in a food processor and work until pretty smooth. Add the onion and process roughly. Heat a skillet over med heat and add some oil. Put the vegetables in the pan and cook over low heat for a while. You can add a little salt to help the sweat, but if you use a commercial curry paste, don't, or the final dish will probably be way salty (managing salt is a trick, since the curry pastes have widely varying salt contents). The onion stuff should get a little dry. Put the soy sauce, wine, and corn starch in the food processor and mix. Add 1/2 of the smartground and process. When the garlic, etc is maybe browning a little and smells good, add about 4 TSP of the curry paste, then stir to combine. Add the stuff from the processor, then the rest of the smartground. stir to combine. Heat through, then take off the heat and add sesame oil. Put in the pie shell and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Maybe cover the top with foil for the last 10 minutes -- some of the vegan shells I have used brown too much.

Let stand for 10-15 minutes, then serve. It will be a little loose, but firm up with more sittting. Or you can chuck it in the fridge, then cut and serve cold later.

If you are very ambitious, you can make your own curry sauce -- try a Tbs of Chinese-style curry powder, Tbs of soy sauce, Tbs of balsamic vinegar, and Tbs of vegetable oil, maybe thin with a little rice wine.

You can pretty easily cut a cold pie into 8-10 wedges for serving. Hot, it's more finicky. I have often eaten this for dinner and breakfast, but you may want to dial back on the spice a bit for breakfast.

Since pie shells tend to come in twos, you can also bake a quiche, thus providing vegan and non-vegan options, plus, even though it's "night before" cooking and not terribly hard, you will look like a kitchen wizard!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:13 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I had a brunch last weekend and a friend brought bay scallops wrapped in bacon. We just threw them in the oven and they turned out perfect.
posted by floweredfish at 6:30 AM on December 7, 2011

I'll have to check on the exact recipe, but I love something like this. It's sweet, but of course you can control it.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:01 AM on December 7, 2011

posted by HandfulOfDust at 7:21 AM on December 7, 2011

Seconding rhymer, Spanish tortilla is great for this because it is served at room temperature but delivers on that eggy potato-y thing you want out of brunch.

You can look up recipes, but the general procedure is to thinly slice potatoes and onions, saute them in lots of olive oil until they are soft (don't brown them), mix them into a bowl of beaten eggs. Then the legit way to do it is to cook the egg/potato mixture in a frying pan until it is set on the bottom and then flip it using a dinner plate to let it cook on the other side. I usually punk out on this and cook the top under the broiler instead. Let it cool, cut into wedges, and it is easily transportable with no prep to do at the destination.
posted by yarrow at 7:21 AM on December 7, 2011

Jalapeno cheddar scones (from Smitten Kitchen); they are phenomenal.
posted by dormouse at 8:36 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I went to a brunch once where a friend brought Baked French Toast. The crowd went wild. This Pioneer Woman recipe looks pretty simple to prep the night before and bake off (45min to an hour baking time) in the morning. You can't really go wrong with something that suggests ripping up a loaf of crusty bread and covering it eggs, sugar, cinnamon and syrup, right? Add fruit/nut/booze fanciness as you wish.
posted by Atalanta at 8:41 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Cups made out of bacon. Fill with scrambled eggs or salad.
posted by nonasuch at 8:45 AM on December 7, 2011

Any of these quiche or frittata recipes could be made in a muffin tin! Mini frittata! Way easier to do in advance and then eat at room temp, I'd think.
posted by kickingthecrap at 9:53 AM on December 7, 2011

Candied bacon.
posted by theora55 at 10:04 AM on December 7, 2011

Smitten Kitchen's Dreamy Cream Scones are pretty amazing. I was also going to suggest homemade chocolate croissants, until you said savory is better than sweet. With those you also run the risk of making all the other guests feel like slackers, as they are both complicated to make and amazing to eat.

You could do a truly amazing bloody mary bar, if you bring every possible fixing (celery, several kinds of olives, bacon, peppers, etc.).
posted by vytae at 10:05 AM on December 7, 2011

Response by poster: You guys are great! I can't wait to go through these suggestions more carefully. Thank you!
posted by cider at 1:51 PM on December 7, 2011

This calls for Creme Brule' French Toast. You can soak it overnight and it is divine.
posted by jasondigitized at 5:39 PM on December 7, 2011

Lisa Fain's Apple Jalapeno Scones are yummy. Splendid Table's Green Apple and Greens Frittata. Dutch Baby (self link to LJ) possibly, if you don't have far to go (mine don't ever really collapse, but they don't stay warm forever...though in cast iron, which is what it should be made in, it would longer)? Doughnut Muffins are awwwwwesome, where it's all in the texture and ineffable quality of resemblance. I haven't made it yet but Melissa Clark's Sticky Cranberry Gingerbread looks good. It pains me I can't recommend Lemon Ricotta Pancakes as they wouldn't be make ahead.
posted by ifjuly at 7:04 AM on December 8, 2011

Response by poster: hmo's suggestion of a strata led me to a slightly different strata recipe, and I wound up making that. It went over well, and was a good contrast to all the pastries, french toast, and pancakes. It wasn't OMG THE MOST DELICIOUS EVER, but it was pretty good, and I would consider making it again. Thank you so much for all of your help!
posted by cider at 5:42 AM on December 12, 2011

« Older What Christmas dessert should I bring this year?   |   format that bullet style cat newline dog newline... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.