Brunch Easy

The thought of throwing a brunch gathering on a Saturday morning with your best girl pals sounds like a great idea in theory.

However, when it comes to putting things together, one might be discouraged by the amount of work involved. 

We enlisted the help of Nicole Ong (who always serves up the most amazing home-cooked meals) and The Wedding Stylist to deconstruct and break down the mechanics of brunch to make it the most non-intimidating, totally achievable event by the wannabe home cook.

What you'll achieve:

A meal experience that will definitely impress your friends without tiring you out, so that you can partake in the merry-making. 

Added Bonus:

In the time of COVID-19, you get to save money and create even more meaningful bonding experiences with air-hugs and air-kisses.

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PART ONE: THE PLANNING

Why have a Gathering? 

Why Ever Not? It could be a work promotion, girlfriend's birthday, or simply to catch up with your friends.

Menu

Can also be interpreted as "What is easy to make but yet looks impressive"?

This Brunch menu consisted of: 

      1. White cannellini beans and roasted red pepper dip
      2. Burrata and grilled peach salad
      3. Shakshuka 
      4. Deconstructed apple cobbler

Decor 

You can look up your favourite Pinterest decor pictures, but for our brunch event, we enlisted the help of decor experts from The Wedding Stylist (yes they do more than just weddings) and got first dips on attractive rates for table flowers, menu cards and place cards, napkins and table linens.

Speaking to Wenxin from The Wedding Stylist enabled us to set the colour theme and vibe of our brunch table. 

Door Gifts

Entirely optional but such a lovely gesture. Personalise them if you can. We were blessed with Eelyn's gift of embroidery and she made specific quotes for each of the guests, ranging from Korean love symbols to Korean actors to yoga mantras.

Music for the Meal  

Create a playlist that encourages leisurely, non-rushed savouring of your home-made meal while ensuring that the music isn't too exciting that your guests would rather sing along instead of engaging other guests. 

 

PART TWO: COOKING UP JOY in Nicole's words

White Cannellini beans and roasted red pepper dip
Notes
  • Prep Time: 1/2hr
  • Can be made the night before for better flavour
  • It's easy and healthy as a lot of dips on the shelves are very processed with a lot of sugar
Ingredients
x 2 red peppers, quartered
x 1can of white Cannellini beans (soaked in water), drained and rinsed
x 3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp chopped basil
Juice of 1 lemon
Dash of chill flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Method
  1. Drizzle red peppers with olive oil on a tray and bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes, together with the garlic cloves
  2. In a food processor, add the peppers, garlic, beans and blend until smooth
  3. Add in the lemon juice and chopped basil. Puree
  4. Add in chilli flakes and salt and pepper to taste
  5. Remove and serve in a bowl
  6. Leftovers can be used as a spread on sandwiches
Burrata with Grilled Peaches Salad
 Notes
Ingredients
1 ball of burrata cheese
1 large red onion
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 peaches, sliced into halves or quarters
3 cups of arugula or any greens of your choice 
Method
  1. To make the caramelised onions: Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over low heat and cook the onions slowly for about 20 minutes or till brown and jammy. Add balsamic vinegar and cook a little longer if you wish
  2. To make the glaze: combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat and let bubble until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside
  3. To grill the peaches: Brush the peaches lightly with olive oil, then place the cut side down on a hot skillet and let sizzle till charred to your liking. This might take 5 minutes. Set aside
  4. Assemble the salad. Layer with arugula, then peaches and then caramelised onions. Break the burrata and distribute all over the salad and finish with balsamic glaze
  5. Serve immediately

Engagement & Interactive Activity for your Guests

While you are starting the baked eggs, get 1 of your guests to juice up 1 Grapefruit and add them into a serving jug.

Top up with sparkling water and add a sprig of rosemary. The meal drink is ready. 

Shakshuka
Notes
  • Perfect for clearing the fridge, using whatever you have in there
  • It's basically a tomato stew, and you can throw in veggies, or any other protein to make it a bit more substantial
Ingredients
1 large bottle of passata 
1 large box of tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
250g of cooking chorizo (chopped), or any other meat preference like guanciale, pancetta
A packet of spinach, or any other veg of choice like asparagus, or broccoli etc 
6 eggs
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
parsley or cilantro for garnishing
Method
  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Heat a large cast-ironed skillet with olive oil, fry the onions till soft (about 5 minutes)
  3. Throw in the chorizo and continue frying till cooked
  4. Add the tomatoes and crush them with the back of your wooden spoon lightly and stir (about 5 minutes)
  5. Now empty the bottle of passata and let it stew for about 6 minutes
  6. Add the spinach in and continue to stir. Taste and season with salt accordingly 
  7. Remove skillet from the stove 
  8. Make 6 wells, drop an egg into each
  9. Sprinkle the sliced garlic around 
  10. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 - 12 minutes
  11. It's ready when the whites are opaque and yolks are still a bit runny 
  12. Remove and sprinkle the feta cheese and parsley around and finish off with some cracked pepper and serve

Congrats: Baked Eggs are done

Start Eating!

Deconstructed Apple Cobbler
Ingredients
x 2 pints of good vanilla ice cream
1/2 packet of digestive biscuits, crushed 
1 cup almond, rough chopped
2 apples, skinned and diced
A pad of butter
Sprinkling of cinnamon powder
Method
  1. Heat a pan with butter and throw the apples in to stir, add cinnamon and continue stirring till cooked and soft (about 12 minutes)
  2. Assemble by layering the digestive biscuits, then the apples, then a large scoop of ice cream, then sprinkle more digestives and nuts on top
  3. Serve immediately

Congrats: You are the greatest hostess! 

Special Thanks To:

Chef in Residence: @knickieo

The Best Guests: @celeste_chong @hellyparsonseat @strawbrolly

Photographer: @justrealle_
Florist: @ccleedesigns; Linen: @fellowfolks
Stylist: @theweddingstylistsg

Videographer: @theo900


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