May 11, 2008

Mudder's Day

In my opinion, Mother's Day is a great foodie holiday. It's a great chance to spoil your mother with a homemade meal or take her out for a nice brunch or buy (or make) chocolates for her. Dads are fine with a slab of meat thrown on the grill - how barbaric! - but moms need something more refined, with subtle flavor notes echoing through various courses. It may be the day for something dainty, like a quiche, which Dad claims is women food, or chocolate-dipped fruit, or Eggs Benedict, which has been one of our regular Mother's Day entrées. Since Eggs Benedict moved to a Christmas tradition, I got to be more creative with the menu:
Mother's Day Menu:
Romaine Salad with Vinaigrette
Rosemary Focaccia
Roast Turkey Breast with Orange and Rosemary
Orange Glazed Carrots
Roasted Red Potatoes
Spring Flower Cake

Roast Turkey Breast with Orange and Rosemary

Roast Turkey Breast with Orange and Rosemary
recipe from Cook's Illustrated
Serves 8 to 10

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 whole turkey breast (6 to 7 pounds), bone-in and skin-on
1 cup water, plus more if needed

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Trim turkey of excess fat and pat dry with paper towels. Mix butter, garlic, rosemary, orange zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in medium bowl with rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Carefully separate turkey skin from meat over breast; avoid breaking skin.

2. Work butter mixture under skin on both sides of breast and rub skin of turkey to evenly distribute butter over breast. Spray V-rack with nonstick cooking spray and set inside large roasting pan. Place turkey in rack with skin side facing up; pour water into roasting pan.

3. Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to roast turkey until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.

Spring Flower CakeI'll have to keep that recipe around for Thanksgiving. Everyone also liked the Rosemary Focaccia, even though the recipe cheats and calls for refrigerated pizza dough. I secretly hate it when people compliment my cooking when I use shortcuts, because it makes me wonder why I usually spend my time mincing, chopping, and otherwise making meals from scratch. The Spring Flower Cake is from the Martha Stewart Living March 2008 issue. It is a vanilla-flavored bundt cake, which is glazed with an orange syrup. It's served with a honey mousse and crystallized edible flowers.

I know you think your mom is the best, but I say my mom is the best, and I'm never wrong.

Mother's Day

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