My wife and I invited two other couples over for brunch last Sunday. We like getting together with friends, particularly in our home instead of an expensive restaurant. We'd rather see friends more often over a simple, home cooked meal, than less frequently for a pricey dinner out.
Although we host a lot of potlucks, we've found that brunches tend to be the most budget-friendly entertaining option.
Unlike dinner parties- where the focus is usually on costly meat or seafood main dishes-less expensive ingredients like breads, eggs, and other dairy products are the star attractions.
And if your guests expect cocktails before a dinner party, wine with it, and a nightcap afterwards, at a brunch an inexpensive bottle of champagne mixed with orange or cranberry juice is libation enough for most.
Last weekend we treated our guests to, well, some of our leftovers from dinner the night before. They were whipped up into a different type of egg dish...one that's both a delicious, economical main dish and fun for a group to make. If you haven't tried "boiled omelets" createdin ziploc-style plastic bags, you don't know what you're missing.
- Give each of your brunch guest their own quart-sized ziploc-style bag (freezer bags work best), with their name written on it in permanent marker.
- Guests crack a couple eggs into their baggie, add a dash of milk, and choose their own omelet ingredients from a large selection displayed on a serving tray.
- At our most recent brunch, the "fixings" were mostly from an extra shish kabob we grilled the night before. We chopped the grilled beef, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms,and green pepper for the omelet smorgasbord, and added some shredded cheese for guests to choose from as well. Even if you don't have a spare kabob, baggie omelets are a great way to use up leftover meat, cheese and veggies.
- Seal the bags with no air trapped inside, shake well, and drop them in a large pot of boiling water for 15 minutes or until the egg is fully cooked. You'll be amazed at what perfect omelets emerge at a cost of less than $1 apiece.
One disclaimer: some folks say it isn't a good idea to use these baggies in boiling water. Many others, including some geeky engineer cooks-and I truly mean that as a high compliment-beg to differ. But no matter how you prepare it, you can't go wrong with brunch as an entertaining option. Bon Appe-cheap!
Photo courtesy of .snow via Flickr Creative Commons