Manolo's Food Blog Manolo Loves the Food!

May 6, 2009

Mother’s Day Menu

Filed under: American Food,Holidays — Mr. Henry @ 9:45 am

For Mother’s Day brunch Mr. Henry is serving potato latkes with smoked salmon, avocado, tomato, and crème fraîche. (Since guests of all ages will be there, he will not make his more fanciful latkes of Jerusalem artichoke, parsnips and carrot.)

Potato latke

6-8 Yukon gold or russet (Idaho) potatoes, coarsely grated
1 medium white onion, diced
1 or 2 eggs mildly beaten
½ cup bread crumbs
carrots, grated (optional)
splash of half and half (optional)
grated nutmeg (optional)
squeeze of lemon (optional)
salt & pepper

First dice your onion and squeeze a bit of lemon on it, if desired. Add salt. In the few minutes while you grate the potatoes the lemon’s acids will quickly macerate the onion and soften its bite.

Some recipes call for squeezing water from grated potatoes either with a dishtowel or through a strainer. Some even demand you save the starchy white residue at the bottom of the bowl and rejoin it to the mixture. Normally Mr. Henry soaks them in ice water and then rolls them in a dishrag. It’s quick and it works.

Whichever path you decide to take, do it fast. Daylight is burning. People who skipped breakfast to save room for brunch are getting cranky. People who started pouring champagne before the food was served are getting loopy and loud. If the chef wants peace and harmony for mother, he had better get down to business.

Many recipes call for making cute little individual latkes. Instead Mr. Henry makes two big flat crispy ones. Turning a big piece, however, takes some clever sleight of hand. Scrape it free with your spatula, put a plate or another pan on top, turn and hope for the best. carlo-mollino.jpg

Mix everything together. In an iron skillet with a little vegetable oil fry a thin layer (half your mixture) as brown as you can get it before burning. Place the first latke in a warm oven while you fry the second.

Then build a sandwich with smoked salmon (Scottish, the smokiest), avocado, tomato, and crème fraîche (or sour cream). Slice a pie-shaped portion for each person. An arugula salad on the side, some fresh fruit for dessert, and you’re good for another year of mother love.

And here’s a thought for the day: After brunch, when mother is feeling the champagne and everyone else has gone home, dress her in Roman sandals and snap her photograph seated in a Carlo Mollino chair.

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