Recipes for a great Mother's Day

Spoil your favorite lady with a special Mother's Day brunch. Recipes include Bellini Cocktails, Asparagus Quiche and Grilled Sausages and Honeyed Yogurt with Strawberries

It’s time for kids and dads to jump in and give Mom a day off. Yes, Mothers’ Day is this month. It’s a day for breakfast in bed or better yet, a wonderful family brunch. With a little luck the sun will shine and you can enjoy it on the deck or in the garden. Toast mom with a special cocktail and help her celebrate her day.

Bellini Cocktails
Makes about 2 cups peach puree, enough for 8 cocktails

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. frozen peaches, thawed, but still cold
Cold sparkling wine and/or lemon-lime or peach soda

Puree peaches in batches in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard solids. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Pour 2 ounces peach puree into champagne flute, add 3 ounces of sparkling wine and serve immediately.

Asparagus Quiche and Grilled Sausages
Serves 6-8

Savory Flakey Pastry (recipe follows)
Olive oil
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 T. all purpose flour
Pinch nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c, milk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. your favorite chicken or turkey sausage links

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and arrange rack in the middle of oven.

Roll out pastry dough on lightly floured surface. Line a deep, 9-inch pie pan with the pastry and crimp the edges, leaving about 1/4-inch for shrinkage. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and shallot, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let vegetables cool completely.

Combine cheeses in a medium bowl, add flour and nutmeg, and toss to combine.

Put vegetables in pie shell. Sprinkle with the cheeses.

Put eggs and mustard in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in milk. Gently pour the egg mixture over vegetables and cheese, leaving at least a 1/4-inch margin at the top of the pie shell.

Carefully place quiche in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Lower temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes or until the custard is set and the quiche is golden brown on top. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

While quiche is baking, preheat grill or a grill pan to medium-high. Cook sausages until grill marks form and sausages are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side, or according to package directions.

Savory Flakey Pastry
If you can, make the pastry the day before. It will make your busy Sunday morning a little easier. You can even let the kids roll it out and get it into the pan. Just cover and refrigerate overnight.

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3 T. solid vegetable shortening, cold, cut into small pieces
2-4 T. ice water

Blend flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle with ice water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and process until dough comes together in a ball. Remove dough from the food processor and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Honeyed Yogurt with Strawberries
Serves 6

Honeyed Yogurt
32 oz, nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. (or to taste) honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Juice of 1/2 orange
Grated zest orange of 1/2 orange

Strawberries
1 pint strawberries, stems removed and quartered
1 T. (or to taste) honey
Juice of 1/2 orange
Grated zest orange of 1/2 orange

Prepare honeyed yogurt: In medium bowl, whisk together honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice and zest. Add yogurt and whisk until smooth. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to combine the flavors, longer, even overnight, is fine.

Prepare the strawberries: Up to 30 minutes before serving, combine the strawberries, honey, orange juice and zest. Let sit until ready to serve.

Spoon yogurt into dessert or wine glasses. Top with a generous spoonful of strawberries, add another yogurt layer and top with more strawberries.

Susan Nye writes for several New England magazines and newspapers. She shares stories and recipes on her blog Around the Table at www.susannye.wordpress.com.

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