This Mother’s Day, Alex and I hosted brunch for my mom, his mom, and the rest of our family. Having just completed my night of canning with Ashley, I had some left over cherries in need of a recipe, so inspired by our recent Breakfast Club, I made Ashley’s Cherry Clafoutis. Nothing says brunch like a warm, sweet, tart, creamy clafoutis. Since moms can’t live on clafoutis alone, I also made:
- Kale Panzanella Salad
- Smoked Salmon Crostini
- Baked Brie with Cranberries, Greens and Spring Onions; and
- Maple Sausage Egg Soufflé
Mimosas in hand, we toasted the two most important women in our lives. Thank you, Mom, for your support and teaching me to be independent, creative, and kind. Thank you, Virge, for raising a confident, fun and compassionate man. You are both our heroines and we are so lucky to have you both in our lives.
- 3 c cherries, pitted
- 1/4 c grand marnier (or cognac, or kirsch)
Soak the cherries in the liqueur for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a blender, combine the following on medium speed:
- 3/4 c whipping cream
- 1/2 c milk
- 1/3 c granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste (+)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c flour
In a large cast skillet, add:
- 1 tbsp butter
Allow the butter to melt and coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour about 1/4 inch of the egg mixture into the bottom of the pan and allow to cook until it sets. Away from the heat, add the cherries with their juices to the pan. It will sizzle, so be careful with the alcohol. Pour the remainder of the egg mixture into the skillet, and cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve warm, sprinkled with:
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- Orange marmalade for topping
(+) Vanilla paste is nice because you can see the vanilla seeds when you slice into the clafoutis. If you don’t have any, or can’t find vanilla paste, then use vanilla extract.
Kale Panzanella Salad
- 1/4 loaf sour dough bread, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/s tsp garlic powder
First, make the croutons, by mixing all ingredients on a sheet pan and baking at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then toss the croutons, and bake another 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, place all salad ingredients:
- 10 c kale, finely chopped (*)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 c fresh parmesan crumbs (*)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 c red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1/2 each, salt and pepper
In a small food processor, put all dressing ingredients, process until smooth, then add to the salad and toss. Allow to sit about 30 minutes to soften the kale. When ready to serve, toss in the croutons and mix well.
(*) I like to use my food processor. 10 c of Kale is a whole lot of chopping. The processor will do it in 3-4 batches. I put a chunk of parmesan in the food processor and process to crumble since the food processor is already out.
Smoked Salmon Crostini
- 1 baguette, sliced into 1/4 slices
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 5 oz plain Greek yogurt
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- 2 tbsp dill
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 8 oz smoked salmon
Coat one side of each slice of bread with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, combine yogurt, shallot, capers, dill and lemon juice and stir to combine. Top each baguette with a slice of smoked salmon, and a dollop of yogurt.
For a nice presentation, top with a fresh sprig of dill, or a small lemon supreme (lemon wedge without the white pith).
Baked Brie with Cranberries, Greens and Spring Onions
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 2 stalks of greens (chard, kale, collard, etc.), finely chopped
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 1/4 c cranberries
- 1 tbsp. brandy or cognac
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 small brie wheel
- Pita chips
In a sauté pan, sauté onions on medium high heat until translucent, but not brown. Add in greens, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cranberries and wilt until they are reduced by half. Off the heat, add the brandy or cognac, and allow the liquid to absorb in to the greens and cranberries. Slice the brie wheel in half, fill with greens, and replace the top. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees in an oven proof dish. Serve with pita chips.
- Make the Neighborly Garden Egg Soufflé, but omit diced green chiles, cilantro, butter and tabasco.
- Add 1 lb maple breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled, drippings reserved.
Add the sausage and left over sausage dripping to the egg mixture, and put the mixture in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. The top should be brown and crusty.