Whether you’re hosting a New Year’s Day brunch or looking for fun hors d’oeuvre ideas for the celebratory midnight hour, may we suggest … waffles?
Served hot off the waffle iron, those large dimpled squares beg to be drizzled in syrup, topped with berries or slathered with whipped cream. Go classic with a buttermilk batter or turn those waffles savory by adding sharp cheddar and crumbled bacon to the batter.
Make them small — an inch or two across — and those tiny waffles become a whimsical, late-night appetizer with savory toppings. Chris Borges, the executive chef at San Francisco’s Taste catering, tops tiny waffles with maple-glazed bacon, pickled pears and a tangy, sweet-spicy chile jam for cocktail parties, brunches and brunch cocktail parties.
Don’t worry if your waffle iron makes large waffles. That’s what knives are for, Borges says, "Cut up the waffles and put anything on them — maple, bacon, a savory jam."
Or you can follow the suggestion of San Francisco food writer and waffle expert Dawn Yanagihara: "By spooning small dollops of batter onto the center of each section that makes up the waffle-iron grid, you can make several minis at once."
Big or small, sweet or savory, you’ll want Champagne — or better yet, a clementine mimosa or another sparkling cocktail to wash it all down.
A MIMOSA BAR
Throwing a New Year’s brunch? Champagne, cava or sparkling wine are always appropriate, but if you’re looking for something more colorful, consider setting up a mimosa or Bellini bar.
Mimosas » This classic brunch cocktail is simply equal parts sparkling wine and fresh orange juice, but you can dress that up by varying the juice choices. Offer carafes of fresh-squeezed blood orange and clementine juice, in addition to the OJ.
Bellinis » To make the traditional Venetian cocktail, pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of peach puree into a Champagne flute and top it with prosecco. For winter libations, Giada De Laurentiis suggests pureeing a thawed, 16-ounce bag of frozen peaches with a teaspoon of grated orange zest. Sweeten the mixture to taste with simple syrup. You can use the same technique with frozen strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, but be sure to strain out any seeds before serving.
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