Earn some serious points on Mother’s Day with these dishes from local restaurants and chefs.
It’s Mom and Grandma’s big day! That means it’s your turn to take over the kitchen. Before you start heating up Hungry-Mans, consider celebrating your favorite lady in style with a day full of sophisticated and heart-felt dishes. While gifts are great, amazing meals are guaranteed to make it her best Mother’s Day yet. She will be even more surprised and impressed if you clean up the mess in the kitchen afterwards.
1/4 cup milk
1 bunch of asparagus, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 cup Taggiasca olives (or Kalamata)
1 cup Asiago cheese, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmigiano, grated
Salt and white pepper
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
 Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.  Place grapeseed oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and then garlic and sauté until garlic is lightly browned. Add the reserved eggs to the pan.  Randomly sprinkle the olives on top. Gently loosen the edges of the pan with a silicone spatula to prevent sticking. When the egg mixture begins to form and bubble, cover evenly with Asiago. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmigiano.  Place in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until the eggs are set. Remove from oven and invert onto a platter. Slice into 8 or 10 small wedges and serve.
Not only are frittatas delicious, they are also an easy way to clean out an overstocked fridge. They transport very well, so pack a few slices for the perfect Mother’s Day picnic. Get creative with the leftovers, using them for sandwich filling or easy breakfast tacos. This recipe from the culinary team at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana blends the egg mixture with asparagus, Taggiasca olives and Asiago cheese. It’s eggcellent!
Featured ingredient – Taggiasca olives
This recipe from Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana features a small, fruity Italian olive from Linguria, Italy — the beloved Taggiasca olive (named for the village of its origin). These olives offer well-balanced flavor without bitterness and are ideal for fine meats, fish, buttery cheeses or even aperitifs. Pick up a jar in The Market at Michael Anthony’s.
Love you berry much!
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both Australia and New Zealand and, with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. This berry pavlova, paired with a berry cute Jell-O cocktail, has “I love you” written all over it.
4 egg whites
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt
Skin of 1 zested lemon
1 pint assorted berries
2 tablespoons rum
1 tablespoon honey
 Marinate the berries in rum. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, slowly.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the lemon juice, corn starch and whisk for 2 minutes or until glossy and combined. Add the lemon zest. Spoon 6 rounds of the meringue onto a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.  Using a small spoon, make an indent in the center of each meringue. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 30 minutes or until crisp to the touch.  Cool in the oven for 1 hour. Whisk the yogurt and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Top meringues with the yogurt cream and rum-marinated berries. Drizzle honey and dust with powdered sugar.
(Makes 6 glasses)
3 cups Jell-O (assorted flavors)
1 bottle sparkling wine
Make the Jell-O as instructed on the package. Pour into a separate shallow tray so you can cut into 1-inch cubes. When set (and when the wine is cold), scoop the Jell-O into the glasses, add ice and the cold sparkling wine. Enjoy!
2 bunches of local beets, washed and peeled
1 handful of baby arugula
6 slices of goat cheese, medium log
3 ounces roasted pistachio, cracked
1 ounce balsamic vinegar
2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce honey
3 shallots, sliced
Salt and pepper
 Heat oven 400 degrees. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast in the oven until tender (20 minutes). Next, remove from oven, cool down and slice the beets. Set aside.  Cook the shallots in olive oil until golden. Add the honey and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, season the arugula with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil.  Place the arugula in a large serving platter and arrange all the sliced beets around the salad. Place the slices of goat cheese on top of the arugula. Then, place a teaspoon of the shallots dressing on each slice of goat cheese. Finally, sprinkle with cracked pistachios and serve.
Just beet it
If your special lady loves beets, this recipe from Nunzio Patruno of Nunzio Restaurant + Bar is sure to please. The roasting technique brings out the taproot’s natural sweetness, which is enhanced by tangy goat cheese and crunchy cracked pistachio. You can’t beet it!
I only have pies for you
While most moms choke down overcooked Mother’s Day fare with a smile, a few are lucky enough to have their special meal prepared by somebody who actually knows what they’re doing. Be like Christopher Carge, executive chef at Poseidon, who had a blast creating this simple tomato pie with his little girls.
1 unbaked pie crust (directions below or store bought)
5 large tomatoes (different colors, if possible)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
½ pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1 inch strips
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
Ingredients (pie crust)
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, diced, chilled
1/4 cold water
 Start by heating your oven to 375 degrees. Making the pie dough, add flour and salt to a stand mixer and mix. Next add the butter and continue to process until it resembles crumbs. Slowly add cold water a tablespoon at a time until a dough ball is formed.  On a floured surface, roll dough out for a 9-inch pan. Press the dough into the pan and prick the bottom with a fork, don’t worry if it’s not cookbook perfect. I had my kids help make the dough. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or a weight. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.  For the filling, slice the tomatoes and lay them on a kitchen towel for 10 minutes to release water, then line crust with a single layer of tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over top of tomatoes. Chop herbs and sprinkle over tomatoes, then add sliced cheese over top.  Bake for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and the cheese starts to bubble. Let cool, then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with aged balsamic. Cut and enjoy!
Grow your own
Fresh basil is essential to home cooking, but those packages at the grocery store really add up quickly. It is much cheaper in the long run to buy an established basil plant and grow your own leaves. Each plant will produce about 1/2 a cup of basil each week. If garden space is an issue, simply pot the plant in a sunny windowsill to enjoy fresh basil for months.
Show your love with this tart classic, which is named after the small key limes that are naturalized throughout the Florida Keys. WiseGuys chef Chaun Bescos kicks this delicious but surprisingly simple dessert up a notch by using Nellie & Joe’s 100% Key Lime Juice. Life is short. Eat dessert first!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons sugar
Directions  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. For the crust, melt your butter and mix together with sugar and graham cracker crumbs. The mixture will feel like damp sand.  Press the crumb mixture into a greased 9-inch spring form pan, making sure to press it in well and to go up the sides of the pan like for a cheese cake. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and set aside for the filling.
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup key lime juice (Nellie & Joe’s is great)
 For the filling, whip the egg yolks until pale and and foamy. They should double in volume. This makes a lighter finished product which is nice in the deeper format.  After the yolks are right, whisk in the sweetened condensed milk. Once well incorporated, add the lime juice and mix well.  Pour into your springform crust. Bake it for twenty minutes at 350 degrees. Let rest for 20 minutes before eating. It is best lightly chilled.
Nellie & Joe’s 100% Key Lime Juice
Nellie & Joe’s has long been considered the consummate lime juice of choice for discerning chefs who rely on quality, consistency and convenience. In addition to this recipe, it’s also a great marinade for meat, seafood and poultry dishes, or as a pop of flavor in mixed cocktail drinks. Purchase a 12-pack of 12-ounce bottles for $60 at keylimejuice.com.