After a long winter, in which many of us cocoon in our homes and hibernate the days away, I feel like spring brings people together again, and back into entertaining mode. We have Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day to celebrate, not to mention birthdays, weddings, baby showers, wedding showers and graduations. It's a fun season, and one that offers plenty of opportunity for family gatherings.
This year I'm in love with the idea of brunch entertaining. In lieu of dinner and evening events, why not gather those you love for a fun mid-morning celebration. It's cost effective (no alcohol to purchase - unless you're offering mimosas), family friendly, and fun and easy to put together.
Throughout this month I'm going to be offering recipes, party tips and helpful suggestions for pulling off the perfect brunch this Spring. By the time Easter comes around you'll be armed with everything you need for your sunrise soiree. This is also the perfect opportunity for me to don my party planner's hat and pass along what I've learned after four years of planning some of the city's most fun events.
Quiche is baked tart filled with savoury items, and thickened with eggs. Easily put together, this is a hearty morning offering that can be made in advance and served room temperature, leaving you more time to mingle with your guests and less time hovering stove-side watching your food.
- Armed with a solid recipe, quiches can be made with a variety of fillings and one of the following bases:
puff pastry (use one roll of frozen dough per quiche)
frozen pie crust (one per recipe)
phyllo dough (four sheets, as per package directions)
Homemade Pate Brisee
- Offer up at least two varieties of quiches when entertaining: one vegetarian and one other option
- Be creative with your fillings. The swiss chard, sausage and feta combination (recipe below) isn't common, but it's certainly a crowd pleaser.
- I usually get six servings with a quiche (not eight). Be sure you make enough to offer at least one slice per person.
Swiss Chard, Sausage and Feta Quiche
- 1 quiche base (see above)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 bunch swiss chard, trimmed and chopped
- 2/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cup cream or milk
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400.
Line your pie plate with whichever quiche base you're using and set aside.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and cook the sausage until browned. Add the Swiss chard and saute until wilted. Remove from the heat and scatter over the base of the quiche. Set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, milk/cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage and chard. Top with the crumbled feta and place the pie plate on a baking sheet.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and the egg mixture has set. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least ten minutes before serving.