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Mother’s Day is around the corner, which means one thing is certain: Mom deserves a meal in bed. Sure, you could scramble some eggs and throw a showering of chopped chives on top for a ritzy finish, or you could look to John Becker and Megan Scott, the pros who’ve penned the newest edition of the “Joy of Cooking,” who have dutifully crafted a Mother’s Day spread that’s poised to make mom happy for many days to come. 

Related Reading: Mother’s Day 2020 Gift Guide: Find the Perfect Gift for Your Mom

Ahead, you’ll find a handful of recipes that’ll make mom proud. For savory lovers, try “Joy of Cooking’s” recipe for salade niçoise, a south of France specialty prepared with hard-boiled eggs, green beans, small potatoes, slow-roasted fish, and lettuce that’s tossed with a mustard and garlicky vinaigrette.

Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated, $19.99 on Amazon

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For the mom who prefers something sweet, why not eschew the traditional pancake for a deluxe Dutch baby, smothered in warm strawberries, rhubarb, and whipped crême frâiche? All you need is your trusty cast iron pan, some fresh fruit, and a hot oven.

And to finish the spread off with something special, shower mom with a collection of decadent chocolate pot de crèmes. This French dessert is lighter than pudding, crafted out of six egg yolks and a splash of milk. Serve these elegantly in white ramekins or spooned in tall, clear glasses. Mom’s bound to be thanking you for weeks to come.

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, $33.36 on Amazon

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Dutch Baby Recipe

A Dutch baby, sometimes called a puff pancake, is an impressive confection that emerges from the oven puffed and golden, like a giant popover. The traditional topping of powdered sugar and lemon juice is hard to beat, but roasted strawberries and rhubarb struck us as the most celebratory springtime brunch treat (whipped cream never hurts either!). Mimosas and candied bacon seemed like necessary embellishments. Note: mimosas and whipped cream aside, this entire brunch is made in the oven, so make the dishes in the order we list them. If you like living on the edge, you could defy our oven temp setting for the bacon and bake it while the fruit is roasting (it might need an extra 5 minutes to finish browning).

Strawberry-Rhubarb Dutch Baby

Serves: 2-4
  • 1/2 cup (120g) milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 8 ounces hulled strawberries (halved if large)
  • 8 ounces rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Whisk together in a medium bowl the milk, eggs, salt, and butter.
  2. Tilt the skillet so that the butter coats the sides. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, place the skillet in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake until the pancake is puffed and richly browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. For the last minutes of baking, add the fruit and bacon back to the oven to heat through. When the pancake is done, remove from the oven, top with the roasted fruit, and serve immediately, straight from the skillet, passing the whipped cream and candied bacon at the table. To make the fruit, preheat the oven to 375°F. Add to a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet the strawberries and rhubarb.
  3. Toss the fruit with sugar or honey.
  4. Spread the fruit in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir the fruit, and roast until tender, juicy, and caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Stir in vanilla or orange liqueur.

Whipped Creme Fraiche Recipe

Plain whipped cream is great, but substituting half the whipping cream with crème fraîche, sour cream, or mascarpone adds welcome tang and complexity. An added bonus: It also holds up better than regular whipped cream, so feel free to make this several hours ahead of time.

Whipped Creme Fraiche

Makes: 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cold crème fraîche, sour cream, or mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk.
  2. Beat with a hand mixer or balloon whisk or in the stand mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Deluxe Niçoise Salad Recipe

Salade Niçoise is a classic entree that takes well to upgrades. Here we offer Slow-Roasted Salmon as a stand-in for canned tuna. If salmon fillets are in short supply, premium oil-packed tuna is an excellent alternative. Grilled tuna steaks are another good option if you have a burning desire to start cooking outdoors again. For the eggs, we offer our easy steaming method—we highly recommend the minimum cooking time for “jammy” or “fudgy” yolks.

Salade Niçoise

Serves: 4-6
  • 6 small red potatoes or 12 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced, grated on a rasp grater, or mashed to a paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound green beans (preferably haricots verts), trimmed
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, separated into leaves, or about 5 cups loosely packed mixed salad greens
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (8 ounces), halved
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup Niçoise or Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley or basil
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • Up to 6 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Place potatoes and salt in a large saucepan.
  2. Add cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. As the potatoes cook, whisk until blended in a medium bowl lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil gradually, whisking constantly after each addition.
  4. Set aside. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and let cool. Meanwhile, add the green beans to the pan and boil until bright green but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let cool and drain well. Place in a medium bowl. Cut the cooled potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices and add to the beans.
  6. Drizzle one-quarter of the dressing over the potatoes and beans and gently toss to coat. Arrange lettuce and tomatoes on a large platter.
  7. Drizzle another one-quarter of the dressing on top. Arrange the green beans and potatoes on the platter, along with hard-boiled eggs.
  8. If chilled, bring the Slow-Roasted Salmon to room temperature or warm slightly in the oven. Top the platter with the fillets, breaking them apart slightly, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Scatter over the top with olives, green onions, capers, parsley, anchovy filets, and salt and pepper to taste.

Chocolate Pots de Crème Recipe

Chocolate Pots de Crème

Serves: 6
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (up to 64% cacao), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl just until blended.
  3. Bring milk just to a simmer in a small saucepan.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in chocolate.
  5. Then, gradually whisk the warm chocolate milk into the egg yolk mixture. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup with a pouring lip. Skim off any foam with a spoon. Stir in vanilla.
  6. Pour the mixture into six 4-ounce ramekins. Cover each ramekin tightly with a piece of foil to prevent a skin from forming. Set the custards in a deep pan large enough to accommodate them without touching each other or the sides of the pan. Set the pan on a pulled-out oven rack and add enough scalding-hot tap water to come one-half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until set but still quivery in the center when nudged, 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the custards from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours before serving. You may store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Header image by Heidi Bridge.

Amy Schulman is an associate editor at Chowhound. She is decidedly pro-chocolate.
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