Hey! Feed Mom this – She’ll love you for it

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I do think all mothers need a day off from cooking.

So take mama to lunch, but surprise her with a breakfast that is fast, easy and can even be prepared the day before. The breakfast dishes below contain one sweet and one savory. You probably know which your wife or mother prefers, or you should know.

Serve either with fresh orange juice, with champagne (Mimosa) if so desired, or even start the morning with a Bloody Mary or just a Virgin Mary.

Potato and Bacon Cake

This dish can be made ahead and refrigerated tightly covered, just cook according to directions.

It has four ingredients

so even children can help.

Serves 8

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

Coarse salt and ground pepper

¾ pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1 ½ -inch pieces

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large pot, bring potatoes to a boil over high heat in salted water. Reduce to a rapid simmer and cook seven minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to pot. Meanwhile in a large cast-iron or heavy skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until browned but not completely crisp, seven minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels and drain.

Pour all but 2 tablespoons fat into a small bowl. Return skillet to heat and cook one-third the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, three minutes. Transfer to an 8-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep); sprinkle with one-third of the bacon. Press firmly with the back of a large spoon to pack mixture very tightly. Cook remaining potatoes in two batches. Layer each batch in pan with bacon, pressing as you go. Spoon ¼ cup reserved bacon fat over mixture. Cover tightly with foil; bake one hour. Remove foil; bake until potatoes are crisp and golden, 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Invert onto a plate.

French Toast

Makes 12 slices

6 large eggs

2 ½ tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

1 tablespoon sugar

Coarse salt

1 ½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest plus 2 tablespoons juice

1 ¼ cups whole milk

6 tablespoons sunflower oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for serving

1 loaf brioche (20 ounces) cut into 1/2 –inch slices

Pure maple syrup, for serving

In a large shallow dish, beat eggs with a fork. Beat in liqueur, sugar, large pinch of salt, and orange zest and juice. Add milk and beat until combined.

In a large heavy skillet, heat 4 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until sizzling. Gently dip brioche, one slice at a time, into egg mixture to coat and add to skillet (do not crowd pan). In batches, cook until golden brown on both sides, five minutes per batch, flipping once. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined wire rack. Repeat with remaining brioche, adding remaining oil and butter as needed. (Reduce heat if brioche is browning too quickly.) Serve with butter and maple syrup

Some things to remember before doing toast: zest before juicing. Dip the bread just before cooking, and be gentle with brioche bread. If the pan over-browns, wipe it out with a paper towel and start again with new oil and butter.

OK Dads, get cooking. Happy Mother’s Day to all! (And Dad, don’t forget to clean up afterward.)