Mother’s Day is around the corner and it’s time to spoil momma for a change. Which means you better cook up something delicious for her.
Cooking is a delicious way to show love. And while there may be more expensive, more pizzazz-y, more creative ways to say “I love you,” there isn’t a more down-to-earth, more nourishing, more doable, tastier way to show your deep appreciation than by taking time to prepare and serve your loved one a homemade dish.
Moms certainly know it; they’ve been cooking for us since we were infants. So, come Mother’s Day, why not show how much you care, admire and adore Mom by cooking something special for her — something that a professional chef would make for his own mom?
We asked local chefs to share a recipe for the dish they cook for their mothers on Mother’s Day — a delicious dish that you can now make for yours.
Andre de Waal, Andre’s Lakeside Dining, Sparta
Andre de Waal, chef and owner of Andre’s Lakeside Dining in Sparta, wants to fess up. He has never cooked for his 77-year-old mom, Karin de Waal. “I was always at work.” So as an homage to her, he offers the recipe for the first dish he served in his restaurant inspired by his mother’s recipe.
Fresh Pasta, Smoked Salmon Butter and Peas
The chef’s mom, Karin de Waal, uses canned salmon and frozen peas.
For the butter sauce
2 cups white wine (like an inexpensive pinot grigio)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2-3 bay leaves
3-4 turns of the peppermill
2 tablespoons cream
12 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into large chunks
For the pasta
1 pound sugar snap peas, blanched (cook for two minutes in boiling water, then transfer to a bowl with ice to cool)
1 pound fresh pasta (pre-cooked, or packaged pasta: my favorite: Deverde’s tagliatelle), cooked according to package directions
1 recipe butter sauce
8 ounces smoked salmon, cut into small dice
Fresh dill and chives for garnish
Make the butter sauce: Reduce first five ingredients till moist, or glossy, but not pourable. Add cream and simmer 1-2 minutes. Over medium high heat, stir in butter until melted. Take care to keep stirring so the sauce doesn’t separate. Season with salt and pepper. Strain and reserve in a warm place or thermos or serve immediately. (This sauce can not be reheated as it will separate.)
In a saute pan, with a few drops of oil, stir fry the sugar snap peas to reheat.
Add the precooked pasta and a few drops of water to prevent sticking. Toss for a few minutes to heat through. Remove from the heat and add the warm butter sauce at the very last minute toss in the smoked salmon and top with the dill and chives.
Serves: 6 to 8 as an appetizer..
David Burke, Ventanas in Fort Lee, Drifthouse in Sea Bright, David Burke at Orange Lawn in South Orange
Celebrity chef David Burke, a Fort Lee resident, is the chef at Ventanas in Fort Lee, Drifthouse by David Burke in Sea Bright, David Burke at Orange Lawn in South Orange, and David Burke Tavern and Woodpecker by David Burke, both in New York City. His 83-year-old mom loves pasta but she’s no fan of red sauce. She also loves pot roast, which Burke calls “a luxury.” This braised short rib dish is her favorite dish. Burke adds an egg on top for breakfast the next day. Plus, he loves to make it for her because, he said, “I get to remind her that pot roast is supposed to be moist.”
Braised Short Ribs
5 pound bone-in beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
4 cups low-salt beef stock
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Season short ribs with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of drippings from the pot.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes.
Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes.
Add all herbs to the pot along with garlic. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven.
Cook until short ribs are tender, 2-2 1/2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce from pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls over mashed potatoes with sauce spooned over. Or with pasta.
Ariane Duarte, Ariane Kitchen & Bar, Verona
Ariane Duarte’s mom, Cathy Cipriano, still lives in the same house in Verona where Duarte and her two siblings grew up. Cipriano loves lamb and this carrot purée dish is, Duate says, a wonderful accompaniment to lamb. As for her mom’s age? “The lady never tells,” she said.
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Vadouvan Carrot Purée
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, large dice
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup vegetable stock
Place all ingredients in a sauce pot, cover and cook on low heat until carrots are tender (approximately 45 minutes.)
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, taking care, as always, with hot ingredients in the blender. Remove from blender and serve.
Michael Merida, Rockin’ Roots, Hillsdale
Michael Merida is chef and owner of Rockin’ Roots, a plant-based cafe and juice bar. He adores his mother-in-law, Elyn Nimmo, 73, whom, he says “is the kindest woman I know.” He lives a half mile away in River Vale. His mother-in-law worked in a bakery as a teenager and he loves to make her a chocolate tart (recipe follows). “It reminds me of her,” he said. On Mother’s Day, he also makes a frittata, something that Nimmo never had until Merida made it for her and his wife the first Mother’s Day after their daughter was born. “Now it has become a tradition,” he said. He serves it with homemade tomato jam.
1 Beefsteak tomato
1 ounce finely chopped shallots
¼ ounce finely minced or grated ginger
1 ounce chopped garlic
1 ounce olive oil
2 ½ ounces white sugar
2 ounces.red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon.chopped chives and thyme
Cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste
Skin and dice tomato (remove seeds).
In a heavy sauce pot, sweat the shallots, garlic and ginger in the olive oil. Then add the tomato. After the liquid has evaporated, add vinegar, sugar and spices (reserve chives until the end). Simmer jam until thick. Then add chives and chill.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, diced
½ small red onion, chopped
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped spinach
8 large eggs
⅓ cup cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup Gruyere cheese grated
In a sauté pan, place the oil and sauté vegetables until soft. Reserve and cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cream, cheese and spices and whisk until combined.
Add the vegetables. Ladle mix into 6 ounce ramekins or flexi molds (round shape). Bake in 350 oven for 10 to15 minutes.
To serve: place arugula in a bowl and drizzle with lemon and olive oil. Place frittata on top and place some jam on top of the frittata.
Chocolate Tart with Chambord Cream
6 three-inch sweet tart shells
6 ounce bittersweet chocolate (58%-64%)
2¼ ounces butter
3 egg yolks
1½ ounces sugar
Pinch sea salt
Combine chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl. Melt over double boiler. Mix the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Fold egg mix into chocolate mix. Mix until well combined.
Fill tart shells to just below the top. Bake in 330º oven for 6 minutes. Should be just set and mousse like in texture. Take out and cool down.
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons Chambord liqueur
Place all items in mixing bowl of standard mixing machine. Using whip attachment. Whip until cream is thick. Reserve.
To serve: Place a nice dollop of whipped cream on your room temperature chocolate tart.
Humberto Campos, Lorena’s, Maplewood
Humberto Campos makes this soup for the restaurant — and his mom, Sandra Campos. It is a soup that she herself makes and it her favorite soup. The only difference, he says, between the restaurant’s soup and his mom’s is Lorena’s is prepared with all the ingredients chilled, even the blender canister because, he says, it preserves the beautiful green color.
Restaurant Lorena’s Spring Pea Soup
Serve chilled or warmed with croutons and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin oil.
1 pound fresh peas chilled
2 quarts chilled pea stock made from pea pods
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons fine quality olive oil
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 packed cup baby spinach
Combine all ingredients in blender and purée 2 minutes. Pour into a container that is sitting on ice to keep puréed soup cold, if needed.
Season to taste.
Yields: 4 portions
Esther Davidowitz is the food editor for NorthJersey.com. For more on where to dine and drink, please subscribe today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @estherdavido
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