Brought to you by our in-house Chef Kai Salimaki
Mother’s Day does not have to be a stressful event! But it does need to be special for all of the Mother’s out there. After all, where would we be without our Moms? Let’s take the time to treat them right and let us help you take the guesswork out of what to make Mom on her special day.
Brunch is typically the no-brainer / go to for all Mother’s Day events. With our world in a tailspin and restaurants not able to service everyone, especially on Mother’s Day, here are two no fail easy dishes to wow on Mother’s Day.
Many people cringe when thinking about whipping up a lovely brunch. As a chef, working Mother’s Day brunch was always crazy. A 100 orders coming in in half hour intervals, eggs taking minutes to cook, having to time it with toast, bacon/sausage, hash browns and so on.
So how does a professional kitchen execute 100s of orders in such a short period of time?
The answer is two-fold:
- Mise En Place. The French culinary term for “Putting in place or Everything in its place”. This means that you assemble all of your ingredients and prep ahead of time to speed up assembly and cooking. Make a quick checklist with your recipe and have all your ingredients lined up and waiting.
- Timing: Understanding the dish you are about to cook is crucial. What will take the longest? How does it all come together? What are the final steps?
Read your whole recipe from start to finish. Follow the steps before you commit to the actual cooking process and make sure you understand everything before you begin. Break the recipe down into the long and short steps.
Eggs in Purgatory
Our first recipe is a one pan wonder full of flavor. Here, we will build flavors and poach eggs in a tomato sauce flavored with local ingredients. Call it Shakshuka or Eggs in Purgatory, these two dishes are very similar but with slightly different flavor profiles.
- 1 pack Diced Pancetta (or bacon, this can be omitted to become vegetarian) (VDG Salumi)
- 1 x Yellow Onion diced
- 1 x Green Pepper diced
- 1 x Red Pepper diced
- 3 x Garlic cloves minced
- 4-6 Eggs depending on how many you are feeding (Mans Eggs)
- 6-7 Basil leafs (Rafferty Farms)
- 3oz x Shredded Parmesan (Vincenzo’s ParmX)
- 3oz x Soft Goat Cheese (Dancing Goat Farms Waltz Cheese)
- Drizzle of a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Nefiss Lezziz EVOO)
- Crusty Bread (Sidewalk Citizen Sourdough) or Toast
- Pinch of Red Chile Flake
- 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika or Sweet Red Paprika (Township 27)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat a large deep saute pan and add about 2 tbsp of canola oil or vegetable oil. Saute the diced pancetta until golden brown and crispy, remove from the pan and allow to blot on a paper towel. Add the onion, peppers and garlic to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add the Paprika and chile flake and mix in with the vegetables. Pour the jar of tomato sauce in the pan and mix everything together, if it is too thick, add a little water to thin out, it should be fairly saucy and not too tight. Allow this mixture to simmer for 5-7min to develop the flavors. Now the fun part! With a spoon, make 4-6 “wells” in the tomato sauce, make sure the tomato sauce is at a very low simmer, not boiling! Crack an egg into a ramekin or small bowl and carefully pour the egg into the first “well” and continue around the pan with the rest of the eggs. Dot the tomato sauce and eggs with the goat cheese and then sprinkle the parmesan cheese all over. Tear your basil leaves and lightly push them into the sauce. With the heat on low still, cover the pan with a lid and allow the eggs to poach in the sauce for 5-7min or until desired doneness. Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the Extra Virgin Olive oil.
For the wow factor, I like to place the whole pan on the table (use a tea towel or doiley!) and allow everyone to serve themselves. Serve with fresh crusty bread or toast for dipping.
Chef Tip: This is a very versatile dish that can be served for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Switch up your vegetables, spices and proteins to suit your mood. Try going Mexican and use queso fresco, salsa and cilantro with crispy tortillas or stick to Mediterranean/North African with Harissa and lamb merguez sausage. The possibilities are endless!
Red Fife Buttermilk Pancakes
Serves: 4 large pancakes or 6 smaller ones
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia: “Red Fife is Canada’s oldest wheat. One legend states that a load of wheat grown in Ukraine was on a ship in the Glasgow harbour. A friend of Farmer Fife dropped his hat into the red-coloured wheat, collecting a few seeds in the hatband, which he then shipped off to Farmer Fife. The wheat grew. The family cow managed to eat all the wheat heads except for one, which Mrs. Fife salvaged. This was the beginning of Red Fife wheat in Canada.”
Red Fife ruled the Canadian prairie for 40 years, until new varieties were introduced at the end of the nineteenth century. It took another turn of the century for farmers, bakers and consumers to begin thinking again about the long-lost flavours and textures of this storied heritage grain.
Pancakes are simple to make, as long as you have all the ingredients ready to go and just a hint of patience. Store bought mixes are a shortcut which in reality only saves you a tiny bit of time and measuring. In all likelihood, you already have all the ingredients to make amazing pancakes in your pantry or cupboard.
- 1 cup Red Fife Sifted and Bolted Flour (Heritage Harvest)
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar (dark or light)
- 1 cup Buttermilk (Vital Greens)
- 1 large Egg (Mans Eggs)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
The key to making great fluffy pancakes is to not overmix your batter. Start by combining all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients (the brown sugar and egg are considered wet ingredients!) in a separate bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients to ensure the baking powder, baking soda and salt are distributed well. Whisk the wet ingredients together as well. Now we need to fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Take half the dry ingredients and sprinkle into the wet ingredient bowl. With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients in, scraping the bowl sides and folding into the middle of the bowl in a continuous motion. Once the first half of the dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in the rest. Don’t be tempted to give it a big whisk or you will let all the air out of your batter. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes to hydrate and develop flavor.
Preheat your pan or griddle over medium heat, too high of a heat will burn the sugars too quickly. Grease up your pan or griddle with a generously oiled paper towel. You can pour your batter or ladle it on to the griddle, whichever is easiest for you. Flip the pancakes once the edges start to brown and you see bubbles forming all around the pancake. Cook time varies but it will most likely be around the 3-4 minutes a side.
To round out your pancake breakfast we suggest the following sides!
- Pork Breakfast Sausage (Bear and The Flower Farms)
- Beef Bacon (Gemstone Beef)
- Vanilla Whipped Cream (Vital Greens)
- Canadian Maple Syrup