New Year’s Day Brunch

New Year’s Day Brunch



The ball has dropped. The toasts have been toasted, the kisses kissed, the countdown counted down. Maybe there are overflowing ashtrays, broken glass, a dress balled up in a corner where you left it. Or maybe just two champagne glasses in front of the TV. How you spend New Year’s Eve is up to you; how you spend New Year’s Day, leave to CHOW.

New Year’s Eve is renowned for its excess, yet New Year’s Day gets short shrift, relegated to hangover recovery. This year, celebrate it. This make-ahead buffet allows you to live it up the night before and wake up to a ready-to-eat festive brunch. So whether you find yourself facing a visit from the in-laws or are the designated sleepover house, this spread will take care of a crowd. (Though it never hurts to toss in some good luck.)

Our brunch is engineered to cover all the bases of a good hangover meal: starch, carbs, eggs, and something sweet. Of course, you need not have indulgent party plans as an excuse; simple, make-ahead preparation is welcome any time. There’s a bubbly cocktail for those needing to cut the edge, and three variations of Bloody Marys for anyone who wants something a little stronger. If your guests are DIY types, you can set up a Bloody Mary bar with all the fixings so that they can doctor their drinks themselves.


Sure, everything can be made ahead, but in what order, you ask? Here are rough guidelines:

Up to a Week Ahead

  • The jalapeños for the Bloody Mary bar can be pickled.
  • The ginger vodka and chile tequila can be infused.
  • The salsa verde and vinaigrette can be made, and the nonperishable groceries can be purchased.

Up to 36 Hours Ahead

  • You can make the dough for the caramel rolls.
  • Sear the steak and cook the beans for the salad.
  • Mix the base for the strata.
  • Parboil the potatoes and sweet potatoes for the home fries.
  • Marinate the mango (sans mint).
  • Mix the grapefruit base for the cocktail.
  • Set up the buffet and the Bloody Mary bar.

All that’s left for the day of is combining the salad, throwing things in the oven, and lighting one burner to finish the hash. Before you get started, print out our shopping list to make sure you’ve got everything, and to set the morning-after mood, turn to our music mix.