Eat Now | Mother’s Day

AN AT-HOME SPRING BRUNCH TO REMEMBER THANKS TO CHARLIE BIRD CHEF TIM MEYERS.

So, it’s that time of year again to honor the only person you could call upwards of 10x per day without looking borderline psychotic: “mom.” (Sure, we all have smart phones and/or Google, but somehow what kind of dish soap to buy just sounds better when coming from your across-the-country mama, no?) If May crept up on you this year like it did us, chances are you’re late on snagging those Mother’s Day reservations too. To save ourselves (and perhaps some of you), we sat down with Charlie Bird’s chef Tim Meyers to put together an at-home, DIY brunch menu with your family’s leading lady in mind. As it happens, Meyers just revealed a myriad of entirely new brunch fare at his West Village restaurant— think fig focaccia with honey and anise butter, smoked trout with crème fraîche and dill, and a spring frittata with morels and asparagus— meaning these recipes haven’t just won the Charlie Bird seal of approval (though that’d be reason enough to pick up the whisk), they’re brand-new and a timely ode to the spring season. The restaurant has always been a favorite for seasonal small plates at night— CITIPHILES Julie Ann Orsini and Casey Fremont are self-proclaimed fans— but it’s quickly becoming our new brunch standby. Let’s be honest, Meyers had us at “quinoa pancakes.” Below, the chef reveals his knock-out Mom’s Day breakfast, including the aforementioned healthy ‘cakes, spring frittata and an escarole salad for that requisite touch of green. 

salad

ESCAROLE SALAD (serves 6-8)
*9 fillets good quality anchovies
*1 clove garlic
*1 pinch chili flakes
*1/4 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 tbsp Dijon mustard
*1/2 c EVOO (plus more for frying croutons)
*1/2 loaf crusty Italian bread
*2-3 heads escarole
*1 1/2 c shaved parmesan 

For the Salad:
1. Start by tearing the bread into bite size pieces. Fill a straight side pan with about an inch of oil, turn the heat to medium and add the bread. Allow it to slowly toast until crispy and golden brown. Carefully strain out the croutons, give them a light dusting of salt and lay them on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
2. To prepare the dressing: add anchovies, garlic, chile flakes, lemon juice and mustard to a blender and blend on a low speed. With the blender still on, slowly drizzle the extra virgin olive oil into the top of the blender until you get a creamy, emulsified dressing. We don’t add any extra salt to this dressing because the anchovies pack a real punch!
3. You’ll want to clean up your escarole. Tear off the dark green outer leaves and either compost or save for a soup. Tear up the more yellow tender inside leaves and give them a quick rinse. Be sure to shake them off and pat them dry when you’re done.
4. Assembling the salad is easy. Start with some croutons in a bowl. Add the dressing, be sure they are all coated, then let them sit for two minutes. You want them to soak up a little dressing, but still stay crunchy. Now, add the shaved parmigiano and the escarole hearts. Toss to fully coat. Serve.

fritt

MOREL ASPARAGUS FRITTATA (serves 2-4)
*10 eggs
* 1 1/2 c heavy cream
* 1/2 c wild Oregon morels
* 1 bunch green asparagus
* 1 whole shallot, peeled and sliced very thin
* 1 clove garlic, sliced thin

1. Crack all the eggs and whisk them together vigorously with the cream. Add a teaspoon of sea salt to this mixture and whisk a bit more.
2. Slice the morels into rounds about ¼” thick, then do the same with the asparagus (remember to trim off roughly the bottom 20% of the stalk which will inevitably be too woody to eat).
3. Warm a nonstick pan with a spoonful of butter or olive oil. (I prefer to use a smaller pan about 6″, because I can make a thicker frittata with better overall texture.)
4. Add the mushrooms to the hot oil and allow them to cook for 5 minutes until golden brown and a little crispy. Add the asparagus, garlic and shallots. Cook with the aromatics until they become tender, then add a teaspoon of sea salt to the pan.
5. Add about 1 cup of the egg mixture to the pan and stir it vigorously with a rubber spatula for a minute or so until small curds begin to form and it looks like soft scrambled eggs. 
6.Lower the heat and don’t touch the pan for another minute or two while the custard sets. After, slide it onto a plate and cover it in copious amount of grated parmigiano reggiano. Serve.

pan

QUINOA PANCAKES (serves 3-4)
*1 c all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 c quinoa flour
*1 tsp sea salt
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp baking soda
*1 3/4 c buttermilk
*2 eggs, separated
*2 tbsp sugar

1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients so they become aerated and evenly distributed.
2. In a different bowl, combine the buttermilk and the egg yolks until homogenous.
3. In a third bowl, whip the egg whites while slowly adding the sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form.
4. Gently add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. Don’t stir so much that the batter is perfectly smooth; lumps are encouraged! Using a rubber spatula, softly fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.
5. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and pour some batter in. (The pancakes cook quickly and should puff up when you flip them over.  If they don’t, chances are you’ve overtaxed the batter. They’ll still be delicious though!)
6. Top with lightly whipped cream and fresh clementines (in-season apricots are right around the corner and we’re really looking forward to more summer fruits to garnish the pancakes too!). Serve.

ch

Chef Tim Meyers; Inside Charlie Bird.

5 King St.; 212.235.7133; charliebirdnyc.com CP

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