Letting people serve themselves is the simplest way to host a sunday brunch. Preplanning the food table as well as the drinks makes for an event where you can actually sit down and enjoy your quests. After deciding on your menu, choose your serving platters and tools. Set up your buffet table starting with plates, utensils, and napkins, then lay out the food in the order you would like to serve it, savory dishes first, sweets and fruits at the end.
For drinks, set out glasses in a few different sizes, a bucket of ice, and selection of drinks. Have a bottle of champagne open and be sure to offer orange juice and a pitcher of water with lemon slices.
Here is my menu sample with few fresh recipes for a Spring Sunday Brunch:
Arctic Char with Tomatoes & Asparagus
Eggs Cocotte with Mushrooms & Green Peas
Strawberry Scones with Blood Orange Icing
Although the Eskimos and the people of the northern parts of Scandinavia and the British Isles have enjoyed Arctic char for centuries, it is obviously a secret that they have kept to themselves. Possibly one of the best tasting of the anadromous fish (although some species are also landlocked), this polar-dwelling species is fast becoming more and more popular and, I think, with very good reason. It happens to be one of my favorites, I think surpassing the flavor and texture of salmon.
It is actually more a member of the lake trout or brook trout family than that of the salmon; although it more closely resembles salmon in color and texture, it has the size and shape of trout. Most of the char currently in the marketplace are imported from Canada, with the limited supply of wild saltwater fish being supplemented by successful farming not only in Canada but also in the United States and Scandinavia. The wild fish can run up to 25 pounds in weight, with market weights ranging from about 5 to 10 pounds. However, the farmed fish are generally smaller, closer to the size of trout.
Arctic char has a high fat content. The smaller fish have an orange pink color and the larger ones are bright orange to rich red. If you see it on display at your fish-market and have not tried it as yet, I urge you to make it your choice for dinner that night.
- 1 1/2 lb. arctic char fillet, skin intact (If you live in Bucks County PA, Madara's Seafood is the best place to buy arctic char)
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- fresh herbs for serving
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Preheat an oven to 365°F. Place the salmon, skin side down, in the baking dish and place the tomato slices on a top. Season well with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Bake the salmon until it is opaque on the outside, 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs.
To make the asparagus: Set the pan over medium-high heat and warm the olive oil. Add the asparagus and cook, tossing occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water and cook, tossing occasionally, until the water has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the fish.