Spring brunch (cont'd)

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient

NONE

The menu should include food that can remain unrefrigerated on a buffet table for a short while without looking unappetizing or causing health concerns.

SPRING BRUNCH FOR 12 Coffee · Tea · Mimosas Biscuits and Rolls Cold Blanched Asparagus With Vinaigrette Bacon, Ham or Sausage Fresh Fruit Compote Onion and Blue Cheese Quiche Coffee and Tea

Set up a coffee table, with cups and saucers, separate from the buffet.

Brown and white cube sugars are a nice touch but you should have artificial sweeteners available as well. A small pitcher of milk is a must. Rest it in a bowl of ice if the weather is very warm. A small plate of sliced lemons for the tea is also a good idea. Don't forget napkins and teaspoons and make sure there is a small basket for trash.

Mimosas

Traditionally, a mimosa is equal parts of champagne and orange juice served well chilled, but not over ice. You can either keep the champagne on ice next to a pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice and let guests mix their own, or prepare a pitcher or two and set them on the table with the coffee.

In planning, estimate two beverages per person (e.g., for 12 guests you'll need a minimum of two bottles of champagne). Be sure to have fruit juice without champagne available for those who don't want to drink alcohol.

Cold Blanched Asparagus

Blanch the asparagus the night before; shock it in ice cold water to stop the cooking. Serve it with your favorite vinaigrette on the side.

Bacon, Ham or Sausage

Serve whichever your prefer; I think a platter with a little of each is the best idea. Cook the meat earlier in the morning on the day of the brunch, then either keep it warm or reheat it with the rolls. You don't want your kitchen to smell of grease when your guests arrive. An alternative is to buy honey baked ham from the deli, or, for an extra-special treat, serve a platter of thinly sliced prosciutto.

Fresh Fruit Compote

This should be a simple mixture of whatever fruit is fresh and in season. A splash of Grand Marnier or cognac on the compote is optional. Prepare the fruit salad on the morning of the brunch and keep it refrigerated until just before serving. Garnish with fresh mint, lemon balm or lemon verbena.

Onion and Blue Cheese Quiche

This recipe makes one 10-inch tart; I suggest making two tarts to serve 12 people. You'll need a tart tin with a removable base.

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