If you are anywhere near as lucky as me I am seriously thrilled for you.
From the time I was 12 to about 19 I was darn sure my mom was dumb as a stump and mean as hell because she wouldn't let me do what I wanted....When I opened my eyes seven short years later, the hormones had faded and I grew up just enough to realize that I was a pretty lucky girl. She never kicked me to the curb, never beat the crap out of me (although I deserved it multiple times), she's bailed me out of countless crummy situations, never ever gave up on me and eventually became one of my best friends.
As mentioned in at least half of my blogs, she is also my cooking partner, fine dining buddy and my inspiration for many killer meals. She is easily one of the best cooks I have ever met, she loves to cook and feed people and is always looking to inspire herself and others by going outside the box. When she met my Dad 40+ years ago she could hardly cook having grown up in a house with a Mother and Grandmother who did it all for her....Nowadays even though I have the degree in culinary arts, she tends to cook for me more often than I do for her simply because she loves to do it. So it goes without saying that for Mothers Day I tend to go all out for her.
This year I had a hard time focusing...the adult ADD kicked in this week and I just could not hone in on what I wanted to make for her. I was all over the board with beef, pork & seafood... vegetables weren't even on the radar and I didn't even have a dessert in mind to make for the occasion. Truly I was so focused on having days off this week that I couldn't even think about anything other than not having to work.
Saturday morning while I was perusing the farmers market in Ventura I finally started to formulate a plan, but it was still rather scattered and not altogether cohesive. I was going with smoked duck pizza with goats cheese and arugula, smoked trout with roasted fennel & red onions. Things I bought that I thought about making things with but shoved to the side.....golden beets, green onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cherries.....I know I will eventually use them, but this was really starting to tick me off that I couldn't focus!
This morning I hit up the Channel Islands farmers market (new favorite!) and was hoping for some fresh fish/shellfish to pique my interest and light a fire under me.
I found it here....
On a dockside boat selling fresh fish, they had fresh Sand Dabs, which I love....tender and flaky white meat fish. Flat like a flounder or halibut, they are too small to fillet and most fishermen in our area tend to regard them as a pain in the ass and toss them back when they get them.
Not me...I love 'em fried, sauteed, grilled, simply salted, , herb crusted or smothered in sauce. So if you get them, just let me know and I will come pick them up from you. :)
And then I found inspiration at another booth that featured dried fruits of all sorts. The gal that was selling mentioned wrapping aforementioned fruit in bacon and you can imagined what I did at that point.
I drooled a little. For real. Because you know I have this little thing for anything with bacon, right?
At that point I was sold and my menu was DONE!
My menu tonight for my Mom....also known as Mama, Lynn, Lynnie, Lynnerd, Muffy, Fluffy, Mommifer, Ame, Amy, Seeeester and a few other names I am probably forgetting.
First we start out with champagne and toast to her first because she is the best mom in my life, then Nana and Grandma Kenton next and then every other wonderful "mother" I have ever had in my life....Mar Jane, Rik Rik, Debby, Christine, Karen and a number of other kick ass ladies who know that I love you so much.
Brown Sugar & Fennel Salami (from Boccalone in San Francisco, YUM!!)
Pango-A Pineapple/Mango blend of dried fruit from the PH Farmers Market
Bacon Wrapped Figs stuffed with Bleu Cheese
These were so good and gone so fast I couldn't get a picture!
Smoked Trout on Crostini with Grilled Fennel & Red Onion
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream drizzled with Bonny Doon Framboise
Yo Mama.....This Blog's for you. I love you. :)
*I made this recipe up on the fly and am sooooo happy with it. There is not much I would do different, but there is some room for flexibility should you wish to change it up. The Langostino can be substituted for shrimp if you wish, it will be equally as good. However the combo of shellfish and corn is one that can't be beat!
Pan Seared Sand Dabs with Wilted Pea Shoots & Sweet Corn Langostino Sauce
2 Cups Shrimp Stock
3 Ears of Corn, kernels cut off
1 Cup frozen Langostino (Trader Joe's has the best!), defrosted
1/4-1/3 # Fresh Pea Shoots (Ventura & Channel Islands Farmers Market!)
4 Sand Dabs, Cleaned, (Channel Islands Farmers Market!)
3 T Winter Savory, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Reduce shrimp stock to 1 cup. Take 1/3 of the corn kernels and puree in blender or food processor, strain through mesh and add to shrimp stock. Cook gently and season with salt to taste. Add corn kernels and cook for 5 minutes. Chop langostino and add to the sauce.
Spray a large nonstick pan with nonstick spray or oil and heat until smoking. Season Sand Dabs with S&P, add to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on a side. the fish is very delicate so be careful.
Meanwhile, wilt pea shoots in a pan with a little butter or oil until tender.
De-bone fish one side at a time. This fish comes away from the bones very easily, just make sure you get the dorsal and pectoral fins out as they both have little pin bones as well...again, very easy to take out.
Ladle sauce in a lipped plate or shallow bowl, top with pea shoots and fish fillets and serve.
Happy Mothers Day from me and from my beautiful Mommy!