Shake off the winter blues and welcome spring by planning a phenomenal Easter brunch menu. Serve a combination of savory and sweet dishes to satisfy your guests. Since it's brunch, it's okay to mix breakfast foods with food you would commonly eat for lunch or dinner. Don't forget to serve a fun, springtime cocktail, too. Make serving easier by arranging the brunch dishes on a buffet so that guests can pick and choose the dishes they want.
A French toast casserole turns the classic breakfast dish on its head. Since the bread needs to soak in the egg custard overnight, it's a great Easter brunch dish, since the prep work is all done the night before. You just need to bake it Easter morning. The recipe serves about 8, but can be easily doubled for a larger crowd.
Slice a loaf of slightly stale French bread or other crusty bread into slices 1 inch thick. Place the slices in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish, layering them. Mix together 8 eggs, 2 cups of cream or whole milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg in a bowl. Pour over the bread slices. Make sure each slice of bread gets a good coating of the egg mixture. Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts and 1/2 cup of butter. You should get a crumbly mixture. Top the casserole with the pecan mix on Easter morning, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, until golden. Serve the casserole with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Easter isn't Easter without a ham dish. This ham dish combines sweet and savory perfectly and is a great choice for brunch. Use a fully cooked 8 pound, bone-in ham so that it will will be ready in less than three hours.
Trim the skin and excess fat off of the ham. Make several "x" shaped cuts across the surface of the ham. Place a whole clove in each "x" cut. Set the ham in a roasting pan. Combine a pound of light brown sugar with a cup of brown mustard and 3/4 cup of bourbon whiskey. Drizzle the brown sugar mixture over the ham, then place in a 350 degree oven for 2 and a half hours. Baste the ham with the juices from the pan every 20 minutes or so during cooking. Let the ham sit for 20 minutes, then slice.
Mimosas are a classic brunch cocktail. You can make a child-friendly version by swapping out the champagne for ginger ale or seltzer water. Combine two cups of orange juice with a 750 mL bottle of champagne or sparkling wine and pour into flutes for 8 servings.
Roasted asparagus, roasted fingerling potatoes and a fruit salad all make ideal sides for an Easter brunch. To roast the asparagus or potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces and drizzle with olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 500 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Don't forget to serve bite-sized baked goods, too, such as mini-muffins and bagels.
Use these options and your imagination to plan the perfect Easter brunch for your family and friends.