Truth be told, brunch parties are my favorite kind of events to host. The start time (usually around 11 a.m.) is convenient for most of my friends, and the whole day is ahead of us, the pace is inherently leisurely. Like any party, with smart planning and careful recipe selection, it can come together effortlessly!
When planning a brunch for a crowd, I like to focus the menu around a dish that can be customized to everyone’s personal tastes. Since I’ve had Mexican on my mind, I made the focal point a buffet-style breakfast fajita bar, where my guests could mix and match their favorite fillings in soft, warm tortillas.
Here are the breakfast fajita fixings I offered, most of which can be prepped ahead:
- Corn and flour tortillas
- Roasted onions and peppers
Scrambled eggs with green onions
- Spiced sour cream made Old El Paso’s new sour cream seasoning
- Sharp cheddar and jalapeno jack cheeses, grated
- Refried black beans
- Refried beans—I prefer to serve the Vegetarian variety so all my guests can enjoy.
- Hot sauces
- Old El Paso Mild Thick ‘n Chunky Salsa
- Old El Paso’s Mexican Cooking Sauces—served in squeeze bottles for a mess-free experience.
To round out the menu, all I needed was some tortilla chips, an easy-to-make pitcher drink (mimosaritas—made with equal parts limeade and champagne) and a small sweet (churros
served with dulce de leche for dipping).
The night before the party, I set up my buffet table, putting out the dishes, glasses and serving utensils I would need. Rushing to find the right bowl or platter the morning of the party is a headache that can easily be avoided! After that was set, I mixed up the limeade for the mimosaritas, mixing one cup brown sugar simple syrup (made by dissolving 1/2 cup brown sugar in 1/2 cup boiling water) with 1/2 cup fresh lime juice. Add water to taste and pop in the fridge.
The morning of the party, I got up early and popped a foil-lined roasting pan of sliced bell peppers and onions (tossed with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper) in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Once they were done, I wrapped them up in the foil they cooked on and kept them warm in the oven.
Meanwhile, I grated the cheese, made the guacamole and seasoned sour cream to set in the fridge to chill. (Leave the avocado pit in the guacamole until it’s time to serve to keep it green and fresh!) The new Old El Paso seasoning packets, make adding an extra touch, like seasoned sour cream, super easy!
Next, I cooked up the chorizo, warmed up the refried beans and prepped the tortillas for the oven. I like to wrap them, five at a time, in foil packets and pop them in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Heating them in small batches ensures they’re warmed all the way through.) Just before guests arrive, heat the oil for the churros and fry them up. You’ll want to be able to give this your full attention, so make sure everything else is set before you start deep-frying! Once the churros are finished, scramble up your eggs and get ready to listen for the doorbell.
As your guests arrive, hand them mimosaritas, ideally in a salt-rimmed glass. Once guests have served themselves, move the chips, salsa and guacamole from the buffet to the dining table for continuous snacking.