How to Plan Brunch


by Oct 12th, 2010 // Breakfast, Lunch, Recipes

How to Plan Brunch

When I was a kid, my father occasionally had his ‘department’ from work over for dinner. I would dress up like a little waitress and help serve the meal. Even as a child I knew that really meant a lot to the people who came. Today socializing with “work friends” on the weekend is a rare treat that I really, truly enjoy. Before pumpkin week started, I invited the work gang and their little ones over for Sunday brunch. I started my prep work the night before after my kiddos were in bed. For this deconstructed Nicoise I boiled up 1/2 dozen eggs and made the potatoes and then stored them in the fridge overnight.

I also made my signature dish, caramelized carrots, the night before because they taste just as good at room temp. I did everything including putting them in the serving bowl and then just threw the parsley garnish on in the morning.

I shredded the red cabbage and made the dressing for this salad but stored them separately in the fridge overnight.

The next morning my kid and I baked up this unbelievably amazing cinnamon pecan swirl coffee cake. (You can totally make this ahead as well – but my kid would have had my head for doing it without him!)

We also made these super tasty (turkey) bacon, egg and cheese biscuit muffins in the morning.

Then chopped up some fruit, assembled the rest of the item and moved the kitchen chairs to the side and put everything out on the table with a sweet little orchid in the middle.

Everyone dug right in. (No, I do not only hire women! They’re just smarter and got to the brunch table first!) I’ll be posting most of the recipes this week starting with the deconstructed nicoise recipe…

Deconstructed Nicoise Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 mins  Cooking Time: 15 mins

6 large eggs
2 cans tuna packed in oil
4 heirloom tomatoes (variety of colors)
10 mini yukon gold potatoes
8 oz French green beans
1/2 cup assorted olives
4 – 6 large leaves fresh basil
4 – 6 stems fresh greek oregano
4 – 6 sprigs flat leave parsley
handful of fresh chives
2 shallots, chopped small
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
fresh cracked pepper & sea salt

Start by hard boiling the eggs using our Perfect Hard Boiled Egg Recipe. When they are done, peel them and cut them in half. Wash the potatoes place them in pot and fill with water until all potatoes are submerged. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low for 20 minutes. Make sure small bubbles are still rising – it should NOT be all the way at a low simmer. Leave lid off. Meanwhile, blanch the French green beans, cut the tomatoes into quarters and then in half, drain the tuna and chop all the herbs. Make the dressing by combining olive oil, lemon, shallots and dijon until emulsified. After the potatoes have cooked for 20 minutes check to make sure the potatoes are soft.  (They should not be mushy, if they are it’s time to switch recipes and make mashed potatoes instead!) Drain and cover with dishcloth. Allow potatoes to steam in the cloth until they become cool enough to handle. They will continue cooking a bit in the steam which will make them the perfect consistency. Get a large platter and start to assemble the salad by grouping each of the main ingredients in rows. Group the eggs together, then the drained tuna, then the French green beans, then the chunks of tomato and leave room for the potatoes at the end. When the potatoes are done cut them into quarters and dress the entire salad immediately while the potatoes are still warm. Dot the salad with olives, then sprinkle your fresh garden herbs all over the platter and add salt and pepper to taste. Serves a crowd.

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By the way, this awesome deconstructed nicoise recipe was inspired by my friend Anne’s mom, Barbara, who made something like this for us years ago and it really stuck with me. Thanks, Babs!


16 Comments on “How to Plan Brunch”

  1. 1.) Misti
    October 12th, 2010

    That was the best home-cooked brunch I have ever had! Thanks for all that you did for us. Such talent you have in that kitchen of yours. Fun to see the photos… but now I want one of those egg and bacon biscuits.

  2. 2.) CookingWithMyKid
    October 12th, 2010

    Misit, Funny you should comment on those I was just thinking of how you don't love eggs and imagining how great they would be with just bacon and cheese.

  3. 3.) Mara
    October 12th, 2010

    this brunch looks awesome! thanks for sharing! I am going to save the recipes and pull them out next time I host brunch πŸ™‚ One question – when you say "dress the salad" – are you just pouring the dressing over the rows of ingredients? thanks!

  4. 4.) CookingWithMyKid
    October 12th, 2010

    Yes. I should have said "drizzle the dressing over the tuna and veggies" – in fact, I'll change that in the post.

  5. 5.) Dana
    October 12th, 2010

    I had two helpings of the nicoise – it was so good. Can't wait for the posts about the biscuits and coffee cake!

  6. 6.) Jackie
    October 12th, 2010

    This brunch was absolutely amazing…great company and to-die for food. Thanks for sharing the recipes so I can try to pretend I have come cooking skills when its time for me to host a brunch.

  7. 7.) Caroline
    October 12th, 2010

    This totally makes me wish I was back in LA! I'm with Misti, loved seeing the photos – but now I'm hungry! Everything was delicious and you made it seem so simple – plus I finally got to meet Chef Gus πŸ™‚

  8. 8.) jacqueline
    October 12th, 2010

    This makes me a) wish I had been there and b) wish I had a reason and a nice home to throw a brunch party at.

  9. 9.) Jackie
    October 12th, 2010

    Makes me miss our old "bruchs"!

  10. 10.) Macki
    October 12th, 2010

    I'm so glad to see this up! The food looked incredible and tasted even better. There were so many interesting flavors that I never would have thought o put together, but it was all delish for the parents and the kids! Quite the success.

  11. […] funny how sometimes the recipes that take the least amount of effort are what satisfy most. When we planned our brunch we put these muffins on the menu to ensure that there would be something for the kiddos to eat. […]

  12. 12.) Angie
    October 13th, 2010

    For the carrots paragraph, "through" should be "threw". I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.

  13. 13.) CookingWithMyKid
    October 13th, 2010

    Looks like we have a grammar cop on our hands! Thanks for the ticket. It's changed!

  14. 14.) Angie
    October 14th, 2010

    Well at least you know I'm reading your blog posts all the way through. πŸ˜‰ No seriously, I like your blog a lot. I have two sons. My eldest is almost 5 and I love to cook with him and I'm looking forward to seeing what recipes you tackle with your son! Also, you have very nice photographs. πŸ™‚

  15. […] brunch bunch raved about those Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuits but the real show stopper was this bundt cake. […]

  16. 16.) jaime
    October 15th, 2010

    i love how obese i look while i'm picking out the 12 cheese muffins i'm about to eat.

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