Springtime, the season of new beginnings, offers a great theme for ushering in the beginning of your new life together. And since Sunday brunch has always been a favorite dining experience, in these times when couples are looking to trim wedding costs, I offer a spring brunch as a great option to consider for a wedding reception.
A brunch allows you to go as high end or as economic as you like. Items like egg dishes, waffles and French Toast are considerably less expensive than a filet of beef, or salmon dinner. Additionally, people will probably drink far less alcohol at brunch than at dinner (hint- a champagne that will be mixed with orange juice for Mimosas does not have to be as high quality as one that has to shine on its own).
If, however, you're feeling extravagant you can add a seafood or sushi bar, or Crab Cakes and Poached Salmon with a selection of sauces showcasing springtime herbs such as Creamy Dill, Gribiche (a French variation of Tartar sauce full of delicate chervil, Chives and tarragon) or Sauce Verte, a classic sauce of herbs, capers, olive oil and lemon juice.
Here are some further menu ideas to get your juices flowing:
– Start with a couple of passed Hors D'oeuvre – Mini Potato Pancakes topped with Smoked Salmon, Sour Cream and Chives and Mini Blintzes topped with Apple or Blueberry Compote.
– Add a waffle, pancake or French toast station along with bacon and sausage. There are all sorts of interesting gourmet sausages now available. I particularly like chicken Apple for brunch.
– Have a chef or two preparing made to order Eggs Benedict and Florentine, or Omelets. If you want to save money on party staff, serve frittatas which can be baked ahead of time, and served on a buffet at room temperature. Be as creative as you want with frittata ingredients- artichoke (another spring vegetable) frittatas are great, as are asparagus and shrimp, mushroom and potato, zucchini and leeks-just about any combination of ingredients you can dream up are good in frittatas.
– Serve great salads that show off the essence of spring- tender baby greens garnished with early English peas and pea tendrils along with a healthy hand of those springtime herbs, tossed with a lemon vinaigrette, or blanched asparagus with a creamy cilantro lime or Green Goddess Dressing.
– Take advantage of the fact that spring is the beginning of strawberry season with a chocolate fondue station or a shortcake dessert station (you can add other berries to your shortcake station).
So enjoy a great brunch with the rest of the afternoon for celebrating, and savor the fact that you have saved yourself money on your reception.