STYLE

Mom will feel special with mini frittatas, citrus-jicama salad, decadent brownies

05/07/2012 04:38 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT
Cookbook authors Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat spend a lot of time in the kitchen creating and testing recipes, but they also like to be pampered by their families and say a Mother's Day brunch is just the ticket.

Here are some recipes to try from "Bite Me and their new book "Bite Me Too" that any mom is sure to love. Gnat says you can also accompany the feast with french toast or pancakes.

Mini Zucchini and Provolone Frittatas

Filled with zucchini, Parmesan and provolone, these easy, protein-packed eggs are made in muffin tins. Charming for brunch, delicious served at any temperature and perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or packed lunch, these minis are darling, Albert writes in "Bite Me Too."

You can mix and match anything into a frittata," says Gnat. "You can throw in any combination of different cheeses and vegetables to suit your taste."

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) chopped zucchini

1 large garlic clove, minced

8 large eggs

2 ml (1/2 tsp) kosher salt

1 ml (1/4 tsp) freshly ground black pepper

175 ml (3/4 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

175 ml (3/4 cup) shredded provolone cheese

30 ml (2 tbsp) thinly sliced fresh basil

125 ml (1/2 cup) flour

2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add zucchini and cook for 4 minutes, until lightly golden. Add minced garlic, cooking for 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk eggs, salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan, provolone, basil and cooked zucchini. Gently fold in flour and baking powder just until flour disappears. Divide mixture evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until frittatas feel firm to the touch and appear slightly golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before removing from tin.

Makes 12 mini frittatas.

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Orange, Jicama and Spinach Salad

When this salad came across my plate, I did a bit of digging into jicama (HICK-ah-mah), a popular root vegetable in Mexican cooking, writes Julie Albert in "Bite Me Too." While unattractive on the outside, once peeled, this crunchy tuber is a beauty. Not only is it excellent raw or cooked in salsas and stir-fries, but it also brings a refreshing twist to any salad. Tossed in a citrus and cumin dressing, this sweet, salty, spicy and textured salad of oranges, jicama, onions and baby spinach is going to become a regular on your mealtime schedule.

Lime Cumin Dressing

50 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice

50 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

15 ml (1 tbsp) honey

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cumin

1 ml (1/4 tsp) kosher salt

Salad

250 ml (1 cup) thinly sliced red onion

3 medium oranges, seedless

1 small jicama (about 500 g/1 lb), peeled and cut into matchstick strips

2 l (8 cups) baby spinach

30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame seeds, toasted

Dressing: In a blender or food processor, combine lime juice, olive oil, honey, parsley, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to use. (It can be made 3 days in advance.)

Salad: In a small bowl of ice water, place red onion slices. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes as this will mellow the strong taste of the onions.

For the oranges, slice away peels, remove white pith and cut segments out of orange. Place in a large bowl. Add well-drained and dried onions, jicama and baby spinach. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat lightly.

Meanwhile, to toast sesame seeds, place in a small skillet over low heat. Stir constantly until seeds are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle on salad.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Rx Brownies With Fudge Frosting

These decadent brownies, found in "Bite Me," are a prescription for any chocoholic, say Albert and Gnat. They would make an ideal treat to cap a Mother's Day brunch or any time you need a chocolate fix.

4 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped

175 ml (3/4 cup) butter

500 ml (2 cups) sugar

3 large eggs

250 ml (1 cup) flour

Fudge Frosting

125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar

50 ml (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, sifted

50 ml (1/4 cup) milk

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter

15 ml (1 tbsp) corn syrup

250 ml (1 cup) icing sugar

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Coat a 33-by-23-cm (13-by-9-inch) baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper.

For the brownies, in a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt on high heat for 1 minute, stir and melt for 30 seconds more or until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs. Add chocolate mixture and flour, stirring until flour has disappeared. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Frosting: In a large saucepan, mix together sugar, cocoa powder, milk, butter and corn syrup. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in icing sugar until smooth.

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