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Old 09-05-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
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Turkey-Free Zone

This may be a tad previous but I'm planning a brunch on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year. If the weather is up to it we may go for a walk along the canal bank before eating. The menu will be a turkey-free zone and so far I'm thinking in terms of:-

(Homemade veg soup to warm us up if we go for the walk)

Main Course:
Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels
Sausages from the local butcher (done in the oven) and grilled tomatoes
Cold Spanish omelette (onion & potato is traditional but I might add peas. )
Derbyshire oatcakes with Cheshire cheese
American pancakes with maple syrup

And to finish:
Outrageous brownies (I'll have to practice in order to get them squishy)
Fruit salad

To drink:
Virgin Marys & choice of fruit juices for the drivers and teetotalers
Red and white wine (possibly beer - have to think about that)
Coffee, tea and chocolate.

Any suggestions for alternative dishes including some for vegetarians that don't involve me flapping about over a hot stove either immediately before the guests arrive or during the event? Hot is OK as long as I can prepare it the previous day and shove it in the oven just prior to the guests arriving but I want to be calm, elegant and perfectly coiffed and made-up when the guests arrive.......

Can I make American pancakes the night before and re-heat in the morning?

So far the planned guest list is 24 adults no children. There isn't enough room to sit them all at table so they will be balancing their food on their laps or perching on stools and chairs so can't be too messy to handle. I have two large electric paella pans and two slow cookers that can be recruited to keep things hot.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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Breakfast bread pudding is a great casserole dish that is made the night before and baked in the morning. There are many options for fillings; here's an example: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grammas...bread-pudding/ It can be made vegetarian by leaving out any breakfast meat.

Pancakes can be messy to eat, especially on your lap. You can make dollar pancakes, which are about palm-sized, to make them easier to eat. They're best freshly made, but they can be reheated. One of your paella pans would be great for keeping them warm.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:37 AM   #3
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Celeriac in cheese sauce is good for veg and non vegetarians alike. Peel and slice the celeriac, simmer in boiling water until your knife goes through then drain. Meanwhile make your standard cheese sauce. Place in layers with seasoning ( sometimes I add a pinch of finely chopped fresh sage as well) and cover with your sauce. Sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan over the top. You know how to do this MC I know but someone else might find this new. Make them in those little foil pudding basins in advance and you can freeze them quite happily and reheat in oven on the day.They are very well behaved. Chickpea curry on turmeric rice, but in slightly bigger containers. I use the small 'pie' size foil dishes . Don't forget your jacket potatoes. Make the day before. Wrap each one in foil and then re-heat in oven ( if you still have room ) or remove foil and microwave. Serve with the usual butter, mayo, creme fraiche etc. Hope this helps. I love brunch at that time of year.Brill idea!
Oh, By the way. Mulled wine is a good alternative made with red grape juice instead of the alcoholic wine for the drivers
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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I should have said to put the finished celeriac dishes under the grill to brown before cooling and freezing Sorry folks
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menumaker View Post
Celeriac in cheese sauce is good for veg and non vegetarians alike. Peel and slice the celeriac, simmer in boiling water until your knife goes through then drain. Meanwhile make your standard cheese sauce. Place in layers with seasoning ( sometimes I add a pinch of finely chopped fresh sage as well) and cover with your sauce. Sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan over the top. You know how to do this MC I know but someone else might find this new. Make them in those little foil pudding basins in advance and you can freeze them quite happily and reheat in oven on the day.They are very well behaved. Chickpea curry on turmeric rice, but in slightly bigger containers. I use the small 'pie' size foil dishes . Don't forget your jacket potatoes. Make the day before. Wrap each one in foil and then re-heat in oven ( if you still have room ) or remove foil and microwave. Serve with the usual butter, mayo, creme fraiche etc. Hope this helps. I love brunch at that time of year.Brill idea!
Oh, By the way. Mulled wine is a good alternative made with red grape juice instead of the alcoholic wine for the drivers
Thanks for the ideas, Menumaker. I wouldn't have thought about non-alcoholic mulled wine.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:04 PM   #6
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Pancakes are very easy to reheat. I do it all the time. Just make sure that you leave them out to cool completely before storing, otherwise you'll end up with condensation in your storage container. To reheat, put them in a baking pan (try to avoid stacking more than two or three high) with a clean towel over the top to absorb any excess moisture, and pop them into a medium oven until hot.

I have a nice buttermilk pancake recipe, if you are interested.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Pancakes are very easy to reheat. I do it all the time. Just make sure that you leave them out to cool completely before storing, otherwise you'll end up with condensation in your storage container. To reheat, put them in a baking pan (try to avoid stacking more than two or three high) with a clean towel over the top to absorb any excess moisture, and pop them into a medium oven until hot.

I have a nice buttermilk pancake recipe, if you are interested.
Yes, please.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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When people think vegetarian, they often think of Middle Eastern foods that combine legumes and grains to form complete proteins. Various herbs and spices are used to make these dishes taste great as well. Im going to give you a slow cooker recipe that does the same thing, Chief style. I offer to you my chili cookoff, prize winning recipe for White Chili, without the meat. Everywhere it's been served, it's been a hit. Though this is the first time that I've modified the recipe to omit meat. If it fits into your menu, feel free to use it as is, or modify it.

Chief Longwind's Prize Winning White Chili

Ingredients:
* 16 oz. (2 cups) Great Northern Beans, cooked
* 16 oz. Pinto Beans, cooked
* 1/4 cup Salsa Verde (available in most grocery stores)
* ½ large white onion, diced
* ½ cup chopped green onion
* ½ tbs. Sriracha brand Pepper Sauce
* ½ tbs. Coriander, ground
* ½ tbs. Cumin, ground
* 1 stalks Celery, sliced with leaves
* 2 cups brown rice, cooked

* 1 tsp. Kosher Salt, or 1 ½ tsp. table salt
* 1 ½ tbs. fresh Cilantro, chopped
* 1, one-inch Serrano Chile Peppers, minced
* 1/4 tsp. white pepper, ground (or you can use black pepper)
* 1 cups heavy cream (1 pint)
* 1/4 cup Masa Harina (can be found next to the corn meal at your grocers)
* 1½ tbs. cooking oil

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the diced onion. Sauté over medium heat while stirring until the onion begins to soften (about 2 minutes). cooked rice and stir to combine with the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes and then break it up. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the Masa Harina, and reduce heat to a simmer. Place in the slow cooker and let cook on medium or low setting until serving time (no less than two ours) Taste the chili and correct the seasoning to your taste (add more salt if needed).
Place the Masa Harina into an eight ounce cup along with just enough water to form a thick paste. Stir with a fork until all the lumps are removed. Slowly stir in two tbs. more water. This is called slurry. Stir the Masa Harina slurry into the chili, and again cover. Let it all cook over low heat for an additional ten minutes. Stir and test to see if the chili is thick enough for you. If so, then you are ready to serve up a bowl- full or two to your family. But remember, like all great chili, this is even better the next day. So if you can, cool it in an ice bath and place in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s dinner. Serve it with some good cornbread, or nachos.



Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Yes, please.
Here you are. I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of "Imperializing" it for you.

Your brunch sounds fun. Let us know how it turns out.

American Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes about 14 pancakes

Ingredients
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 590ml buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method
  1. In a large bowl, mix plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs, and then mix in the melted butter (be sure the butter is cool enough that it won't cause the eggs to curdle). Mix in the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the contents of the bowl containing wet ingredients into the bowl containing dry ingredients. Stir just until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix. The batter should be thick and slightly lumpy. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large frying pan (non-stick preferred) over medium-high heat. The pan should be hot enough that drops of water sprinkled onto the surface will dance around for a second or two before evaporating. At this point, lightly grease the surface with a small amount of butter - just enough to make the surface shiny, but not puddle. Wipe off any excess.
  5. For larger pancakes, pour 60ml batter per pancake into the pan. American pancakes are somewhat thick, so it will be normal for them to rise. For smaller "Dollar Cakes", use about a third of this amount.
  6. Once the cake is golden brown on the bottom, it's ready to be turned. In general, this will happen once bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the cake and the edges look slightly dry. Quickly flip it over with a spatula. In the process of flipping, should any of the batter splatter out from underneath, just push it back against the cake.
  7. Once the underside of each pancake is golden brown and lightly pressing on it doesn't cause raw batter to ooze out the side, it's done. Remove it from the pan. Repat until all the batter is used.
  8. Serve each pancake with a small knob of butter and maple or golden syrup.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:10 PM   #10
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MC, if you're looking for foods that are finger- and balance-friendly, might I interest you in swapping out those pancakes for a baked, overnight French Toast? It's a bit like a bread pudding, but with less egginess and more body. I've made several different recipes (all good) in portions more than we can eat at one sitting. It reheats great, and if I'm impatient I'll cut off little strips to dip into maple syrup while the larger portion finishes microwaving. I'd be perfectly happy popping room-temperature, bite-size pieces in my mouth if my chances of sitting to eat were limited. You could probably make it a day or two before your event, then reheat in the same baking dish, covered, and in a low-temp oven.
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