Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Brunch: an elegant way to bring the family together for the holidays

(ARA) - Holiday meals are special times to bring the family together and entertain loved ones. While entertaining during the holidays is enjoyable, it requires meal planning and a lot of time in the kitchen - especially when hosting a large group. Serving brunch is a perfect way to create an elegant meal with ease. Adding slight touches to typical brunch dishes can turn a usual weekend occurrence into a special holiday meal.

For example, instead of omelets, make frittatas. Instead of bacon make praline bacon, or prepare latkes in place of breakfast potatoes. Little twists like these are creative ways to tell your guests that they are attending a special meal for a holiday occasion. "Entertaining holiday guests with brunch is a great way to prepare a meal that really impresses your guests, without spending all day in the kitchen," says celebrity chef Michael Symon. "And since there isn't a 'traditional' holiday brunch menu, you can be super creative." Preparation of these more unique dishes is easier than you may think.

The right equipment is crucial to a successful, stress-free brunch. The Calphalon Unison Nonstick Frittata Pans are an easy-to-use nonstick cookware set that can help execute that delectable Baked Polish Frittata. The two nonstick pans' handles interlock and clamp together so you can flip frittatas on the stovetop. The Calphalon Unison Frittata Pan is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, for adding that crispy finish to egg dishes in the oven. And, it is also dishwasher-safe, so clean-up for your holiday brunch will be a breeze.

If you are cooking for a sizeable crowd, you may want to invest in a nonstick griddle that fits over two burners so you can prepare several dishes all at once. Look for a nonstick griddle with a removable rack so you have the option of roasting foods as well as making delicate dishes like eggs and pancakes. And if you're craving a menu with extra fun and distinction, consider a kabob grill pan that spans two burners and features removable skewers. A grilled feast of fruit and breakfast meat kabobs will certainly make an impression.

"Holiday visits and meals are awesome opportunities to build memories," Symon says. "And it's important to treat your guests well by serving dishes made with useful cookware for a holiday brunch they'll never forget."

To create Michael Symon's unique frittata, follow his recipe for baked Polish frittata:

Baked Polish Frittata

1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons rye flour
1 1/2 ounces milk
2/3 cup sour cream
4 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons melted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked chopped spinach
2 red peppers, diced small
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Saute scallions and garlic in oil and place on the bottom of an oiled Calphalon Unison Frittata Pan. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, milk, sour cream, eggs, herbs, butter and seasoning. Add vegetables to the scallions and garlic in the frittata pan. Pour the egg mixture on top and cover with crumbled feta. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

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