Recipes to pamper your mum at home this Mother's Day

The Spot's scrambled egg & softshell crab
PHOTO: Instagram / @thespot.sg

This Mother's Day, any pampering you plan for her will have to take place in the home. The circuit breaker measures have been extended until June 1, so dining out won't be an option. Thankfully, restaurants and hotels have been sharing their recipes of brunches and bakes that are perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Just make sure to get her a nice gift to go along with it - and you might want to give these recipes a go or two before the big day, unless you're already a consummate home chef or baker. If you're still learning, get some fine ingredients from your nearest grocer and practice away. Mother's Day is just under two weeks away.

We've divided the recipes into brunches and bakes so you can pick something that suits your mom's tastes (and your home-cooking abilities). Here's to a great Mother's Day.

Brunches

WAKANUI's spring lamb chop with buckwheat seed salad

New Zealand steak and lamb restaurant WAKANUI, headed by chef Ryohei Kenyoshi, features select meats from the Canterbury region in the South Island of New Zealand.

Fine New Zealand meat is grilled over Japanese bincho-tan charcoal to best bring out its mellow flavours.

This recipe has been adapted for home use, switching out the charcoal grill for pan searing: But we're sure that your mother will appreciate this labour of love, especially if you get some fine New Zealand lamb for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 300g Lamb chop (6 chops)
  • 100g Buckwheat seeds
  • 1L Water
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 80ml Chicken stock
  • 8 tbs Extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g Shallots, finely chopped
  • 100 g Beetroot, cubed 1cm
  • 50g Honeysuckle, fresh or frozen
  • 70ml Lamb Stock
  • To taste, Salt and freshly ground black pepper

(Serves 2)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Toss cubed beetroot in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until a fork can be easily inserted through the beetroot. Set that aside.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a large pan and bring it up to a high heat.
  5. Salt and pepper both sides of lamb chops and pan sear them for 30 seconds on each side. Next, sear them on the bone side and flesh side for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Set the lamb chops aside.
  6. In a medium sized pot, bring the water, to a boil and add buckwheat seeds to it, along with one bay leaf. Boil it for 20 minutes or until the buckwheat seeds become al dente.
  7. Drain the buckwheat and in a separate bowl, toss it with chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and finely chopped shallots. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. In a sauce pan, combine honeysuckle, and lamb stock. With an immersion blender, puree the mixture until a smooth consistency is achieved.
  9. Warm the puree over medium low heat and season to taste.
  10. For plating, place buckwheat salad onto the serving plate and lay 3 pieces of lamb chops on top of it.
  11. Serve honeysuckle sauce and baked beetroot on the side.

The Spot's scrambled egg & softshell crab

The Spot's eclectic menu features modern European food paired with South East Asian ingredients. Combined with a genial dining atmosphere and extensive beverage list, the restaurant helmed by chef Lee Boon Seng has carved out a niche as cosy all-in-one restaurant, bar and lounge.

Their decadent scrambled egg topped with crispy softshell crab and red curry emulsion is a fusion concept that best showcases what the Spot is all about: Great dining with a dash of creativity.

Perfect for an adventurous mother who loves European food. Or Japanese. Or Thai. Note: this is one of the more difficult recipes, so plan ahead.

Scambled egg

Ingredients:

  • 5 Fresh whole eggs 55gm/ea
  • 50ml Whipping cream, whipped, 35.1 per cent fat, Elle et vire
  • 75ml UHT milk / Fresh milk
  • 15g Butter, unsalted, Elle et vire
  • To taste, fine salt and black peppercorn, milled
  • Fresh chive, chopped

(Serves 5)

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole egg until smooth. While mixing, add in cream, milk, and salt. Place aside.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, then add in the egg mixture and cook over low temperature while stirring.
  3. Egg mixture is ready once it comes together in a soft yet thick consistency. Add in chopped chive and a little black pepper.
  4. Remove scrambled egg from the saucepan immediately so as to not overcook from residual heat.

Deep-fried softshell crab

Ingredients:

  • 10pcs Softshell crab 70-80gm/pc
  • 1L Deep frying oil
  • 100g Tempura flour
  • To taste fine salt and black peppercorn, milled

Method:

  1. Clean the softshell crab in ice water, remove the gills and scoop out the guts from inside the body.
  2. Turn the crab over and pull off the bottom part of the shell, called the apron.
  3. Use a kitchen towel to pat dry the cleaned softshell crab.
  4. Season the crab with salt and pepper. Dust with tempura flour.
  5. In the saucepot, preheat the deep-frying oil to 180 deg C.
  6. Deep fry the softshell crab until golden and crispy, then transfer to kitchen towel to absorb the extra oil.

Red curry paste

Ingredients:

  • 100g Red Thai curry paste
  • 20g Dried red chili, soaked and seeded
  • 60g Thai belacan
  • 30g Lemongrass, sliced
  • 30g Shallot, peeled
  • 3g Blue ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1g Coriander seed, toasted, powdered
  • 20g Yellow ginger, peeled, sliced

Method:

  1. Soak dried chili in hot water and leave it overnight. Remove the seeds.
  2. Combine soaked chili, lemongrass, shallot, blue and yellow ginger in a food processor, and blend until fine paste.
  3. Add in the red curry paste, belacan, and coriander powder, and blend it into a fine paste.
  4. In a saucepan, cook "Rempah" paste in slow heat until dried and the oil is released. Keep the paste for the red curry emulsion.

Red curry emulsion

Ingredients:

  • 500ml Coconut milk
  • 500ml Coconut cream, Kara
  • 50g Palm sugar, Thai
  • 250g Red curry creme paste, above preparation.
  • 400ml Water 100ml Tamarind water
  • 10g Lime leaf
  • To taste, fine salt and white peppercorn, milled

Method:

  1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the curry paste with coconut milk, cream, lime leaf, water and bring to simmer for 20mins.
  2. Season the sauce with palm sugar, salt and pepper, tamarind water, and strain through fine strainer.

Garnish and assembly

Ingredients:

  • 20g Baby red radish, shaved and soaked in ice water
  • 50g Salmon roe
  • 2g Coriander cress/coriander leaf
  • 8ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • To taste sea salt flake

Method:

  1. Place the scrambled egg on the plate, arrange the deep-fried softshell crab onto the scrambled egg.
  2. Foam the curry emulsion with hand blender/whisk and dress over the plate.
  3. Arrange the shaved radish, salmon roe and coriander cress.
  4. Lastly, sprinkle some sea salt and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil.

Jing Yaa Tang's mapo tofu

One Michelin-starred Jing Yaa Tang residing in The Opposite House hotel, Beijing, features an array of traditional favourites from across China.

Highlights include dishes that take direction from Beijing's signature roasted duck as well as culinary influences from throughout the region. For Mother's Day, try your hand at this well-known and heartwarming staple, mapo tofu. This hearty dish is well-suited for an Asian-themed celebratory feast.

Ingredients:

  • Tofu (1pc)
  • 50g Minced beef
  • 5g Scallion
  • 5g Minced ginger
  • 5g Spring onion
  • 20g Fermented Soy bean
  • 5g Sugar
  • 8g Sesame oil
  • 8g Chili oil
  • 5g Rice wine
  • 25g Soy sauce
  • 15g Soy bean paste
  • 8g Chili powder
  • 3g Sichuan peppercorn chili powder

Method:

  1. Cut tofu into 3cm cubes, boil with hot water for 5 minutes
  2. Fry the minced beef until golden brown
  3. Fry ginger, scallion, soybean paste, chili powder, add tofu, rice wine and water until it covers 2/3 of the tofu. Add sugar, soy sauce and half of the minced beef, cook with low heat for 5 minutes, reduce the sauce and add fermented soybean, stir fry it for 2 minutes.
  4. Plate it and add another half of the minced beef, sprinkle the spring onion and Sichuan peppercorn chili powder (there is no need for additional salt, as the fermented soybean is already salty).

Bakes

Singita's Sweni Lodge beetroot tart

Luxury safari hoteliers Singita are known for their extensive vegetarian and vegan options at their lodges.

From trendy, superfood-filled health bowls, loose-leaf teas and healthy versions of decadent desserts, Singita offers up a slice of wellness that pairs well with exotic game drives.

For now though, try out their dulcet and easy-to-make dessert that will satisfy any health-conscious mom.

Ingredients:

  • 250g cooked whole beetroot, boiled and peeled
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons treacle sugar
  • The juice of 1 orange
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 egg, whisked

Method:

  1. Place the vinegar, orange juice, sugar and rosemary into a small pan and simmer over a very low heat for roughly 5 minutes or until you have a syrupy consistency. Allow to cool.
  2. Scoop out 8 "balls" of cooked beetroot using a melon baller and place them into the vinegar and orange juice mixture. Coat the beetroot evenly with the syrup.
  3. Place your puff pastry on a floured work surface. Using a round template (e.g. a tea cup, saucer or side plate) cut out a round piece of puff pastry. Remember that the size of your template will determine the size of your tart.
  4. Next brush the round of puff pastry with the egg wash and place on a greased baking tray.
  5. Place your beetroot balls on top of the puff pastry, arranging them in a symmetrical pattern. Keep any leftover vinegar and orange mix for plating.
  6. Place the tray in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for ± 10 - 12 min or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Doubletree by Hilton's signature chocolate chip cookie

The signature cookie is almost synonymous with Doubletree's unique brand of hospitality. Receiving one upon your arrival at a Doubletree hotel signified the brand's commitment to warmth and small, personal touches.

It was even the first food to be baked in orbit during experiments aboard the International Space Station (though they've yet to open a Doubletree in space).

The recipe has been released for home bakers during the coronavirus period: Imagine waking your mother, or children's mother, to the smell of a freshly baked tray of cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts

(Makes 26 cookies)

Method:

  1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don't overmix.
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  5. Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
  6. Preheat oven to 150 deg C. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and centre is still soft.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.

Walt Disney World Resorts' beignets

If you're looking to create something magical together with your children for their mother, look to these fluffy, deep-fried desserts that come smothered with icing sugar.

Your children will find it a delight to shape the pastries into Mickey Mouse (or honestly, whatever shape they'd like) - though we'd recommend that the adults present take over the deep-frying.

Other recipes they've published for their baking-from-home series include churro bites and grilled-cheese sandwiches if you're ever at a loss for what to make for a meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (40 deg C)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

(Makes ten large beignets)

Method:

  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine sugar, shortening, salt, heavy cream, egg, flour and boiling water in a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture. With the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the dough just until combined and smooth. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll to half-a-cm thickness and cut individual beignets with a Mickey Mouse-shaped cutter or cut into 6 - 8 cm squares. Cover with a towel and let dough rise until doubled in size in a warm, draft-free area, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Using caution, heat 8 cm of vegetable oil to 175 deg C in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning as soon as they brown on one side. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels to drain. Dust warm beignets with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

This article was first published in The Peak.