by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Nikola Tzenov
A Mother’s Day Brunch That Dads and Kids Can Create
You have to acknowledge the moms who lovingly prepare home-cooked meals for their families day in and day out. While bouquets of flowers and cards are traditional ways to honor mom, treating mom to a special meal that she doesn’t have to cook will certainly make her day. On the following pages, you’ll find recipes for a Mother’s Day brunch that dads and kids can create themselves.
Frittatas are quick, easy egg dishes that are attractive to prepare for a Mother’s Day brunch. Depending on the ingredients you use, you can also serve them at other meals. Makes 6 servings.
8 thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
Freshly ground pepper
8 large eggs
1 small bunch fresh
Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed and finely chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.
- Add a pinch of salt and the asparagus to stockpot. Blanch asparagus until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Break the eggs into a medium bowl and lightly beat with a whisk or fork. Season with salt and pepper. Add half of the chopped parsley. Add a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
- Heat olive oil to one 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. (Alternatively, cook frittata by dividing olive oil and egg mixture equally between two 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillets.) Swirl the skillet, coating with oil. Pour egg mixture into skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook eggs until set but slightly runny, 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally loosening the eggs at the sides using a heatproof rubber spatula.
- Add asparagus spears in a fan pattern to the skillet. (If cooking with two skillets, add 4 asparagus spears to egg mixture in each skillet.) Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the eggs. Transfer skillet to oven and bake frittata until just set, about 1 minute.
- Using a heatproof rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from the pan and transfer to a warm serving plate. Garnish with the remaining chopped parsley. Cut into wedges and serve.
Cottage Cheese and Herb Frittata
Makes 6 servings.
8 large eggs
½ cup cottage cheese, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup roughly chopped herbs, such as basil, thyme and parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- Heat oven to 500 degrees. Break the eggs into a medium bowl and lightly beat eggs with a whisk or fork.
- Place the cottage cheese in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese into the eggs.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, swirling the skillet to coat with oil. Add the egg mixture and reduce heat to low. Cook eggs until set but slightly runny, about 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally loosening the eggs at the sides using a heatproof rubber spatula. Spoon the remaining cottage cheese over eggs. Sprinkle chopped herbs and Parmesan over the eggs.
- Transfer skillet to the oven and bake until just set, about 1 minute.
- Remove frittata from oven. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from pan and transfer to a warm serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
Spinach Salad with Candied Walnuts and Strawberries
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
For the Salad:
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
1 head Bibb lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
½ pound baby spinach, washed and dried
8 ounces (about 1 cup) Monterey Jack cheese, grated
½ cup candied walnuts (recipe follows)
1 pint strawberries, washed, dried and hulled
For the Dressing:
1 cup canola
or safflower oil
¾ cup sugar
½ cup red-wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly
ground white pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
For the Salad:
- In a large salad bowl, layer romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce and spinach. Top with Monterey Jack cheese, candied walnuts and strawberries. Serve with accompanying dressing.
For the Dressing:
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, red-wine vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika. Chill until ready to serve.
Makes 1 cup
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole walnuts, shelled
- Place sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter; stir in walnuts. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Allow walnuts to cool before using.
Note: This salad creation comes from Barbara O’Brien, former archivist at McDaniel College, who obtained the recipe from her sister-in-law.
Pecan Tart with Strawberries
The key to making the pastry for this tart is to handle the dough carefully and as little as possible. In this recipe, you mix the dough for this tart in the food processor then chill it. Once the dough is really cold, use a box grater to grate it directly into the tart pan, pressing the dough into the bottom and up the sides. This technique creates a thinner, lighter crust than the traditional rolling process. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) plus
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
2 large egg yolks
1½ cups whole pecans
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
3 large eggs
1 pint large strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and the salt. Cut ½ cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons butter into cubes and add butter to the bowl. Process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the egg yolks. Pulse until the mixture begins to form clumps. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until very firm, about 1 hour.
- Using a box grater, grate the chilled dough into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Using the palm of your hand, gently press the dough evenly into the pan, making sure to cover the bottom and sides completely. Cover the dough with parchment paper and fill pan with pie weights or dried beans.
- Transfer pan to the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and weights. Return pan to oven and bake until very light brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer the ground pecans to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Bring the remaining cup butter to room temperature. Place the warm butter and the superfine sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the ground pecans and the eggs, one at a time, pulsing until well incorporated.
- Spread the mixture into the cooled crust and transfer pan to the oven. Bake until the top is golden-brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Arrange the strawberries, cut sides down, in a circular pattern over the crust. Dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar and serve.