In the Italian culture (and many others), pork is traditionally eaten on New Year's Day. It is believed to bring good luck throughout the year. Brunch is a perfect setting for succulent bacon dishes. Not only may it bring you good luck in the coming year, but it can assist in curing a nasty Champagne headache. If you are hosting a late afternoon meal, you can even make a pork roast and turn it into sandwiches.
Make-ahead meals are always a time saver. For a New Year's Day brunch, they will keep you from waking up at the crack of dawn to cook. Muffins or biscuits can be made the day before and just reheated if you like them warm. You can prepare a casserole or quiche ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to put it in the oven. You can even set up your slow cooker the night before and have a pork roast or other brunch dish ready as your friends revive and show up.
Instead of a formal sit down brunch, prepare it buffet-style so your guests can serve themselves as they please. Have large platters of nibbles, like a gourmet cheese tray and meat board or a smoked fish platter with bagels and cream cheese. You can even do a bread basket with a variety of breads, muffins, scones and biscuits (remember, not everything needs to be homemade) paired with a few flavored butters and jams. Be sure to have a heartier dish, like scrambled eggs, you can make ahead of time and keep hot in a chafing dish. Belgian waffles with a toppings bar is always fun, especially for the kids.
You may not be thinking about cocktails after a night of New Year's Eve toasting but a few brunch cocktails may just be what you need (you know, the hair of the dog…). A Bloody Mary is always a standard brunch drink, but you can also you use any leftover Champagne for a Mimosa or Bellini. A few cocktails will give everyone a nice drink for a New Year's toast. Have a few non-alcoholic beverages for the kids so they can clink their cups to the New Year, too.
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