It’s the last day of my Christmas Brunch menu! Being the ultimate host and hostess means putting the finishing touches on the meal that bring it all together. This includes the small details of the brunch, like Maple Bacon with Sea Salt and a festive cocktail to start the morning. It also means doing enough preparation before the meal, so that when your guests arrive you are able to visit and enjoy the morning. Today I have included the final two “recipes” and a prep list so that you can cook as much in advance as possible. Even if you don’t make the menu in its entirety, seeing a prep list is a big help for future holidays and menu planning. Merry Christmas Cooking in Red Socks readers!
Mimosa Cocktail Bar
There is nothing like a delicious cocktail to take the edge off and add to the festive spirit. I saw this Mimosa Bar on Pinterest a few weeks ago and thought it was the perfect addition to a celebratory breakfast. You can also use the remaining juice for your guests that aren’t having cocktails when they sit down, so it’s a multipurpose minibar. What I like best about the Mimosa Bar is that it’s explanatory and doesn’t require someone to “man the bar” while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Mix it up and add a lot of different juice to try, or maybe make a recipe card with one special mimosa for your guests to try. It’s a quick and easy addition to the brunch, but one that your guests will notice right away.
Makes: 6 servings
1 large bottle of chilled champagne
16 oz orange juice
16 oz grapefruit juice
16 oz pomegranate juice
16 oz apple cider (or apple juice in the summer)
6 champagne flutes
- Chill the juices and champagne the night before. Pour the juices from their large containers into pour-friendly serving pitchers.
- Place the champagne, juices, and glasses out for your guests to make their own cocktails.
Maple Bacon with Sea Salt
I like this recipe because it’s noticeably spectacular compared to your average bacon. Brushing the strips with maple syrup adds a sweetness that caramelizes over the baking process. The result is chewy but crispy strips of bacon with a touch of sweetness. When purchasing the bacon, go directly to your meat counter and skip the prepackaged bacon. You’ll get a fresher product and better selection. Using thickly sliced bacon instead of traditional thin slices is also a way to dress up the brunch. Your guests will have less, which also ends up being a healthier choice in the long run.
Makes: 6 servings
Baking Time: 20 minutes
12 thick slices applewood smoked bacon
1/4 cup good maple syrup
a pinch finely cut sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil.
- Place all of the bacon strips in one layer across the sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and drain the fat into a disposable container. Lay the bacon back on the sheet on the opposite side and brush with half of the syrup. Bake another 10 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the oven and flip once more. Brush with the remaining syrup and top with just a pinch of sea salt. The bacon is salty as it is, this just give s that extra burst of flavor to the syrup when you eat it.
- Serve immediately.
The Prep List
And finally, the little printout that will help put together any large menu so that you enjoy the cooking process and enjoy your holiday. This is exactly how I make any prep sheet for myself, whether it be for a dinner party or major holiday throughout the year. Having a checklist is a huge help in the kitchen and an easy way for others to notice what needs to be done and to help make it happen! Having the timeline the day of is essential as well.
The Day Before
HOLIDAY BAKED OMELETTE
- Make the omelette all the way through until it needs to be baked. Pour into the baking dish, cover, and place in the refrigerator.
EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST
- Make the Cinnamon Butter
- Make the Eggnog Maple Syrup
- Make the batter for the French toast, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
ALMOND SPICED PEARS WITH FRESH BERRIES
- Cook the pears all the way through and refrigerate them overnight.
- Toast the almonds and set aside for the next morning in a ziplock bag.
BUTTER LETTUCE SALAD WITH BRIE AND CANDIED WALNUTS
- Remove the pomegranate seeds from the rind. Drain and put in a ziplock in the refrigerator overnight.
- Make the candied walnuts, set aside overnight.
The Day Of For Brunch at 11:00 am
Preheat one oven to 325 degrees (for the omelette and keeping the French toast warm) and one oven to 375 degrees (for the bacon).
- Make the salad and lay onto a serving platter. Do not add the dressing until just before serving. Keep in the refrigerator until serving.
- Start the bacon in the 375 degree oven. When finished, keep in the 325 degree oven to keep warm.
- Put the ingredients for the Mimosa Bar out on your counter for serving.
- Put the omelette in the 325 degree oven. Set a timer for 35 minutes.
- Remove the pears from the refrigerator and keep at room temperature until serving.
- Make the French toast. Keep the cooked pieces in the oven, covered with foil, until ready to serve.
- Lay all of the dishes out on a buffet for serving.