Not ready to dine head-first into packed restaurants for Mother’s Day yet? Feeling confident about your culinary skills after a year-plus of unexpected training? Or are you simply looking for some exciting new ideas for dishes you can make for mom? Regardless of your motivation, celebrity chefs Donatella Arpaia, Ed McFarland, and Michael Schulson are here to help with a few of their favorite recipes.
Okay, so you have dinner plans on Mother’s Day, but still want to spoil the mom in your life with a delicious brunch? Donatella Arpaia is here to help! Better yet, the renowned restaurateur has embraced the many benefits of using an air fryer in her recipes, making for easier cooking.
“If you’re hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch, my Brioche French Toast and Frittata Souffle’ are the perfect combination of sweet and savory! Both of these dishes present beautifully and can be made ahead of time. Should you want to prep ahead, simply place the French Toast in the air fryer on the “keep warm” setting until you’re ready to serve. Remember that small touches make a big difference!!!
Heat up the maple syrup, and have assorted fruits and toppings for added fun. The Frittata Souffle’ can be served at room temperature and can be cut into smaller pieces. I like to add a colorful, fresh side salad, and of course, top the meal off with mimosas + virgin mimosas for the kids! To make things easier, especially if you’re a mom who is hosting, I like to buy pretty disposable plates & plasticware so clean up is easy. Keep in mind that every air fryer is slightly different, so be sure to adjust accordingly. I love my Philips Airfryer XXL because of the size, technology, and the fact that there’s no preheat needed!”
Donatella Arpaia’s Mother’s Day Brioche French Toast (using grill pan accessory)
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more if you like
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 10 slices brioche (thick slice)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup warmed
- Optional Garnish – room temperature hazelnut spread 1-2 tsp.
- Warmed Pure maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar
- Whisk the eggs in a low shallow dish – a pie plate works well. Add the whole milk, sugar, and vanilla extract, cinnamon and whisk again until well combined.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter, brush grill pan with melted butter. Meanwhile, place one slice of brioche into the egg mixture and turn to coat both sides – be sure all the bread is completely soaked before removing. Turn the air fryer on 400 and wait for butter to warm a minute, then transfer as many pieces of brioche that will comfortably fit into your air fryer without touching. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, then pause, open the drawer, and carefully flip the bread and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side.
- Transfer the French Toast to a warm platter and top with warmed maple syrup and a dollop of room temperature hazelnut spread.
TIP: If you want to prep ahead, place French Toast on the baking sheet and keep in the oven set to 200 degrees until ready to serve.
Donatella Arpaia’s Spring Frittata Souffle’
- 8 extra-large eggs
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere and an additional 2 tbsp
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces plus a few sprigs for garnish
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound slender asparagus, ends trimmed, chopped into 1/2 pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- Separate 4 of the eggs, placing the yolks in a medium bowl and the whites in a large one.
- Add the remaining 4 eggs to the yolks and whisk in the cream, Parmigiano, Gruyere, basil, and mint. Beat the egg whites with a clean whisk or electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the egg mixture until there are no streaks. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Take air fryer basket and rub with butter and dust with 2 tbsp grated Gruyere cheese.
- Add the asparagus and tomatoes, spray with a little EVOO, salt, and pepper, and turn the air fryer on for four minutes at 400 degrees. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, stir gently, and set the air fryer to 325 for 20-25 minutes or until the center is cooked. Garnish with fresh herbs.
Thinking about celebrating warm weather and mom in one fell swoop and grilling & eating al fresco for Mother’s Day? Chef Ed McFarland has the perfect pasta salad recipe to complement your meal. This one’s a family favorite for the Chef/Owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar in New York City and The Hamptons.
“My wife and kids love when I whip up this quick, easy, and flavorful pasta salad recipe on Mother’s Day. It’s a perfect dish to eat outside, enjoying a relaxing Sunday, and goes great with a glass of white wine.”
Ed McFarland’s Pasta Salad
- 1 lb. orecchiette
- 1/2 bunch asparagus
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 2 ears corn on the cob
- 1 lb. fresh mozzarella
- 6 mint leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sherry Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients
- 1 t. mustard
- 1/3 c. sherry vinegar
- 1 c. olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Pasta Salad Instructions
- Cook orecchiette in a pasta pot
- Drizzle cooked orecchiette with olive oil and chill
- Add chilled orecchiette to a large mixing bowl
- Pre-blanch asparagus facedown in a pasta pot
- Chop asparagus and add to mixing bowl (reserve a few heads of asparagus as a garnish for the top of pasta)
- Dice red onion and add to mixing bowl (remove onion ends)
- Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters and add to mixing bowl
- Cook corn on the cob and cut each ear in half
- Cut the corn off of the cob and add to mixing bowl
- Rip and roughly chop mint leaves and then add to mixing bowl
- Dice mozzarella and add to mixing bowl
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Lightly mix ingredients with a spatula or by hand
- Add vinaigrette evenly to bowl and mix
- Serve and enjoy
Sherry Vinaigrette Dressing Instructions
- Scoop mustard into a mixing bowl
- Add sherry vinegar
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk while slowly adding oil to emulsify
*Substitute whisking with an immersion blender or regular blender if available
While we’re on the topic of orecchiette, Chef Michael Schulson shared a favorite from his Via Locusta restaurant. Chef Schulson is the Founder/CEO of Schulson Collective, an acclaimed group of restaurants based in Philadelphia and beyond.
“Mother’s Day is about making mom happy! Keeping a clean kitchen and making something that’s full of flavor while working neatly makes my mom really happy. This dish has tons of flavor and really is so simple, so I can promise you that mom will be happy and the kitchen will be nice and clean. Make this dish for mom and have her sit back and enjoy the moment to relax and enjoy her day.”
Michael Schulson’s Orecchiette Pasta
Making Pasta From Scratch
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup Rimacianta semolina flour
- Combine all ingredients in a mixer until a singular ball forms.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and continue to knead by hand until the dough relaxes and becomes smooth.
- Rest for 1 hour or up to 2 days in a tightly sealed bag.
Shape of Pasta
- Cut off a tennis ball-sized chunk of dough and roll it into a cylinder, about 1 inch thick. With a sharp knife, slice the cylinder into about 1/8-inch-thick circles. To make the shape of the pasta, place the pasta piece on the palm of your hand and gently press your thumb into the pasta. Repeat for the whole dough. Continue to sprinkle flour on the pasta pieces throughout the process.
Orecchiette Pasta Plate
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp of garlic
- 1/4 cup Pecorino cheese
- 1 3/4 cup mustard greens
- Full amount of pasta dough or 1 box of store-bought orecchiette pasta
- Cook orecchiette pasta in salted water for 5 minutes.
- In a pan, caramelize the garlic in EVOO until golden brown and toasted.
- Add crushed red pepper to the oil and toast until fragrant.
- Deglaze pan with 3 tablespoons of unsalted water, then add cooked orecchiette to the pan.
- Glaze the pasta in the sauce until it is 3/4 reduced, then add mustard greens and toss until wilted.
- Grate Pecorino in the base of the serving bowl and start to spoon the cooked pasta on top.
With the help of these recipes from Donatella Arpaia, Ed McFarland, and Michael Schulson, you can treat mom to homemade, delicious fare on Mother’s Day and to be able to bring a smile to mom’s face without having to make banana bread or a loaf of sourdough is a win-win for everyone!
What are your favorite Mother’s Day recipes? What recipes are you making this year?