If it weren’t for my Mother, I would never have learned to cook, parallel park or paint a wall. For me, it’s never been an issue of technique but of patience, mainly my utter lack of it.
Mom would always catch me when I tried to take shortcuts like the time I wanted to “learn to sew” and instead of using a needle and thread I found a stapler. (Note to my mother: you have to admit, the stapler was far more efficient). Or the time I tried to melt a block of cheese to make a bastardized Mornay sauce. Sometimes you just have to do things the right way.
So in tribute to my mother who I can’t join for Mother’s Day, I’d love to share a well planned and executed Mother’s Day Brunch. Proving that yes, I have listened to her all these years.
I plan to have this meal with my mother when I see her next in Portland and I’m hoping that she’ll bring her cinnamon rolls. She is famous for never giving the recipe in its correct form. She likes to say she “measures by hand” but the recipe changes every time so no one but her can recreate it. Pretty sneaky, don’t you think?
2 oz. peach purée
6 oz. prosecco
1. Add prosecco to a champagne flute.
2. Top with peach purée
Iced Tea with Mint Simple Syrup
12 teaspoons of favorite tea (I used Scarlet Glow but you can also substitute 1 bag for every 2 teaspoons if you aren't using loose leaf)
1/2 cup sugar
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
1.To make simple syrup, take a small saucepan and combine 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of sugar.
2. Bring to a boil and add a handful of fresh mint leaves.
3. Stir until sugar has disolved and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
4. Next brew tea (I like to brew it a little stronger if I'm mixing it for an iced tea).
5. Remove mint leaves from simple syrup and discard. Add infused simple syrup to the tea to reach desired sweetness.
6. Refrigerate until cool (this can be done overnight).
7. Serve over ice with a garnish of a lemon slice and sprig of fresh mint. Very refreshing!
Sautéed Mushroom, Tarragon, Shallot and Goat Cheese Salad
2 tablespoons butter
1 container of baby portabella mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
2 cups rinsed and torn boston lettuce
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbled
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1. In a medium sized sauté pan add butter and melt on medium-high heat.
2. Add in mushrooms, shallot and tarragon. Cook in batches so as not to overcrowd about 8 minutes per batch- turning several times.
3. Cook until shallot has begun to caramelize and mushrooms are golden brown.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Plate 1 cup of lettuce per serving and drizzle with a good olive oil.
6. Top with warm mushroom mixture and crumbled goat cheese.
7. Add a bit of cracked pepper and serve warm.
Makes about 1 cup
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick), melted
2 dashes of tabasco sauce (optional)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1. Fill a small saucepan with water to measure 2 inches up its sides. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
2. In a heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
3. Add bowl to the top of the saucepan (make sure no part of the bowl touches the water-- you don't want to scramble the yolks).
4. Whisk yolks until they double in size and add dijon and lemon juice.
5. Slowly drizzle in melted (but not sizzling hot) butter, whisking as you go.
6. Once sauce is evenly mixed and easily coats the back of a spoon, add in tabasco, if desired, and season with salt and pepper.
*If you break your hollandaise, an easy remedy is to add another egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water and whisk until sauce returns to its correct texture.
Perfect Poached Egg
2 teaspoons vinegar (white wine or rice vinegar work great)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Fill a saute pan with 2-inch sides halfway up with water and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce to a simmer and add vinegar and salt.
3. Crack your egg into a measuring cup/teacup. Slowly pour your egg into center of the pan and use a slotted spoon to stir the water until the egg whites gather around the yolk.
4. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes covered.
5. Use a slotted spatula (I prefer over a spoon) to collect the poached egg.
6. Blot off excess water with a paper towel and serve warm. The white should be firm and the yolk soft but not too jiggly.
4 Extra Extra Large Latkes from Linda's Gourmet Latkes (or if you're feeling ambitious: make them yourself)
4 hearty slices of Smoked Salmon
1/4 cup finely chopped chives to garnish
Freshly cracked pepper
1. Warm latkes according to instructions.
2. Top with smoked salmon, a perfectly poached egg and a generous helping of hollandaise sauce.
3. Serve two per plate since these are sooo delicious!
4. Garnish with chives and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!