Mothers Day 2012
May 11 8:23 PM

Mothers Day Brunch Suggestions

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict on toasted English Muffin, with side of Asparagus.

(No, silly, it’s not smoked salmon eggs, it’s poached Eggs Benedict with Wohlner’s Smoked Salmon complete with Hollandaise Sauce of course. And because asparagus is often classically served with hollandaise sauce the sauce does double duty here. btw, Wohlner’s Smoked Salmon is fully cooked, as most everyone knows. We smoke in our own smokehouse. We also cure and smoke own Canadian bacon.

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict on Puff Pastry (instead of English Muffin)

Why not try something truly special for Mom. Sure, Smoked Salmon Benedict is very special but let’s gild the lily for her by substituting rounds of puff pastry for the English muffins. Thaw out frozen puff pastry from Wohlner’s freezer (use Pepperidge Farms brand) and cut out rounds about the size of an English muffin (or cut into squares if you prefer.) Bake puff pastry as directed on the package. Start with baked puff pastry as your base, then a piece of Wohlner’s Smoked Salmon, a poached egg, and then Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with fresh dill or chives.

Alton Brown’s Method for Poaching Eggs

I like my yolks more runny than he, so I’d cook them for 5 or 6 minutes versus Alton’s 7 to 8 minutes, but it’s all a matter of preference and timing.) Click here for poaching recipe and method

Champagne Mango Mimosa

Peel and pit 3 Champagne Mangos. Puree flesh in a food processor and run puree through a sieve to strain. Spoon 1/6 of the mango puree into a Champagne Flute and top with 4 ounces of Champagne or Dry Sparkling Wine. Garnish with ½ of a strawberry.

Bistecca alla Florentina and Asparagus with Butter and Parmesan

Bistecca alla Florentina is the famous beef steak from the city of Florence in Tuscany. It’s grilled Porterhouse size T-bone steak which runs 2 to 3 pounds and is served sliced where it feeds a few people (or Mike). Besides being the size of a few steaks it is truly two different steaks in one. On one side of the T shaped bone is the tenderloin (aka Filet), and on the other is the strip (NY Strip.) The bone itself is important because it adds a lot of flavor to the meat; the filet side is much more flavorful when cooked attached to the bone. Plus the filet portion is much larger on a porterhouse, so it’s well worth it.

Cooking Bistecca Florentina

Grill this big steak about 4 or 5 minutes per side over medium high direct heat to develop a flavorful crust. Then move the steak to a cooler part of the grill (or turn down the heat) and cook until the desired temperature (you may even do this step in your oven at 300f. The Tuscans like this steak rather rare which means it also more flavorful. Cook until an instant read thermometer reaches 120f for very rare, 125f for rare, and 130f medium rare. Don’t overcook a lean steak like this.

Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with medium coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

Mario Batali Fresh Herb Seasoning For Bistecca Florentina


  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Finely mince all the fresh herbs (ideally use all the herbs Mario suggests, however if you only use one of the herbs then be sure to use fresh rosemary!) Add plenty of coarse kosher salt and/or sea salt.
  2. Coat the steak with some olive oil, then rub the seasoning mixture into the steak.

Wine Pairings

  • Serve the wine of Tuscany, a Chianti, preferably a Chianti Classico, or Brunello which is a close cousin of the Chianti, a sangiovese clone.

Side dishes

Wohlner’s recipe for Asparagi a la Milanaise(Asparagus in Butter and Parmesan). For our recipe click here.

Or try Sautéed Fresh Spinach for an authentically Tuscan vegetable with Bistecca Florentina.


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 pounds fresh spinach—stemmed, washed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/4 cup of oil until smoking. Add the garlic and cook over high heat until lightly browned, only for 15 - 20seconds—not longer.
  2. Immediately add the spinach in large handfuls and cook, tossing, until wilted, 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Serve the spinach with the steak.

Strawberries in Chianti with Black Pepper Ricotta Cream

Here is the perfect dessert to end your night in Florence, or a Mothers Day Meal: Strawberries in Chianti with Ricotta Cream Spiced with Cracked Black Pepper. Not to heavy, not to ponderous, just right. Not too sweet thus very Tuscan. Easy. No baking. No cooking. Prepped a few hours ahead of time. Easily assembled at the last minute. Appropriately served in a wine glass. Most importantly it’s delicious.

TIP: Be sure to just crack fresh peppercorns, not grind them, not even a coarse grind. Ground pepper will make the ricotta cream much too spicy and hot. Use the bottom of a heavy pan to press down hard on the peppercorns to crack them.

For the strawberries:

  • 1 pound ripe, fragrant strawberries
  • 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Chianti Classico

For the ricotta cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp fine granulated sugar

Marinate the strawberries:

  1. About 2 hours before serving the dessert, rinse and dry the strawberries. Hull and cut the berries in quarters or in half lengthwise, according to their size, and place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over the berries and toss them to distribute. Pout the wine over the berries. Using a large spoon, gently turn the berries to coat them in wine. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill, giving them a gentle toss every so often.

Make the cream:

  1. Measure the ricotta into a medium size bowl. Stir in the cracked pepper and set aside.
  2. Place the heavy cream and sugar into a bowl and whip with electric beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream into the bowl with the ricotta and briefly beat until well combined and firm peaks form.
  3. The cream can be made up to 3 to 4 hours in advance. Keep it covered in the refrigerator.

Assemble the dessert:

  • To serve, place a generous spoonful (or two) of the ricotta cream in each of six dessert glasses or bowls and spoon some of the berries and their juices over the top.

Pavlova with Fresh Blueberries and Lemon Curd

Blueberries and Lemon Curd are a divine combination. The sweet acidity of lemon curd brings brightens the delicious taste of fresh blueberries. To make it even better the blueberries and lemon curd float on a cloud of Meringue. You surely want to try this one for Mothers Day, a shower, a graduation party, a birthday party, dinner party, or a holiday.

Pavlova is a baked meringue (basically eggs white and sugar) topped with fruit and whipped cream, or here with lemon curd. It is not difficult to make, although is does take some cooking time and then, like most meringues, it should sit in a warm oven with the door ajar to dry more.

Recipe: Pavlova with Blueberries and Lemon Curd

Note: You can always buy a jar of Lemon Curd for a credible shortcut, but lemon curd is not hard to make.

Andouille Sausage Crusted Pork Chops

I have been waiting a couple months to have thick pork chops on sale the same week as our wonderful Wohlner’s Andouille Sausage-- ‘cause what’s better with pork than more pork. Mike and our butchers make a killer Andouille Sausage which is ideal here.

After we first grill or sauté the pork chops just to get a nice seared flavor, then we’re going to crust the outside of pork chops with andouille sausage and bread crumbs and bake the chops in the oven. It’s a two step cooking process.


  • 4 thick Wohlner’s Pork Chops—double cut if possible
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of Creole Mustard
  • 1 pound of Wohlner’s Andouille Sausage
  • 1 cup of plain breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Preheat the grill if grilling the pork chops( or you can pan sauté the pork chops if you prefer.)
  2. Make Andouille crust: Remove casing from the sausage and cook the loose sausage in a skillet until browned and some of the fat rendered from the sausage. Mix breadcrumbs with the sausage. Set aside the crust mixture.
  3. Salt and pepper the pork chops and grill or pan sauté about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and spread Creole Mustard all over the pork chops. Next dredge the mustard coated pork chops in the Andouille Crust. Place crusted pork chops on a rimmed baking pan and place in the oven until the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145f-150f (about 12 to 25 minutes depending how thick the chops are and how much you cooked them on the grill or stovetop. Internal temperature is the best indicator.)
  4. Remove for the oven and allow resting for five before serving.

Easy and Fast Blender Hollandaise Recipe


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches of cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper and cayenne in the jar of a blender. Blend for 15 seconds.
  3. With the blender running, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is thick. (You can leave it in the blender at room temperature for up to 1 hour. If it is made in advance, add 1 tablespoon hot tap water and blend for a few seconds before serving.)

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by Westin hotel building)
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