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Celebrating Mom with mix of comforting dishes

Dungeness Crab and Asparagus Quiche (Timothy Grayson)
Dungeness Crab and Asparagus Quiche (Timothy Grayson)

My mother was raised on a farm and learned to cook farm-to-table style before it was chic.

She always used fresh ingredients, seeking out other local sources when the family farm didn’t have everything she needed.

She was not really an ad-hoc cook. She had many recipes written down from relatives and women from church and the local Junior League as well as some clipped from magazines and the local paper.

One Mother’s Day, I gave her a nice binder and plastic sheet protectors to help her organize her recipes. When she passed away, I inherited this binder, each item with notes in her familiar handwriting.

It is comforting to be able to experience memories of my mother through food, her recipes and recollections of helping her in the kitchen, doing things as simple as shucking corn or snapping pole beans on the porch with my siblings.

These days, I try to create recipes using the same local-ingredient philosophy Mom used in her kitchen.

Whether you make Mom breakfast in bed, invite friends and family over for a casual brunch or simply enjoy the occasion together as a family, these easily made recipes can help you create your own special Mother’s Day brunch memories.

Washington Pear, Apple and Ginger Pie

From Timothy Grayson

1 or 2 9-inch pie crusts, chilled (the second crust can be used to make a lattice top)

1 cup granulated white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons cool water

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 Washington pears, peeled, quartered and sliced, core discarded

3 large Washington apples, peeled, quartered, and sliced, core discarded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, lemon juice and pears. Bring to a boil while stirring, cooking about 3 minutes and constantly stirring until slightly thick. Remove from heat, stir in apples. Cool and spoon into chilled pie shell. Top with lattice cut crust (optional) then bake 50 minutes in the middle of the oven, until fruit filling bubbles and crust is browned. Cool before cutting.

Serves: 8

Perfect from Scratch Fruit Pie or Quiche Crust

From Ginny Cogle, pastry chef at Whitworth University

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups of vegetable shortening, chilled

6 to 7 tablespoons ice water

Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork until mix begins to pull together. Gather into two separate balls. Cover and chill, or use immediately. When ready to use, roll with rolling pin, cut as desired, and place in pie tin.

Yield: 1 double crust pie or 2 single pie crusts

Pike Place Market Candied Salmon Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

From Timothy Grayson

For vinaigrette

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3/4 cup maple syrup

Ground black pepper and salt to taste

2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon orange zest

For salad

8 cups mixed field greens

1 pound candied smoked salmon

2 sliced red bell peppers

8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Whisk or use a blender to combine vinaigrette ingredients together in the order listed, adding olive oil slowly at the end. Toss greens with dressing in chilled bowl and top with remaining ingredients.

Serves: 8

Home-Candied Salmon

From Timothy Grayson

1 1/2 cups maple syrup

1 cup of soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound fresh boneless skinless salmon filets

Mix first five ingredients together in a glass bowl. Add salmon, marinate, covered, in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove salmon and wrap in aluminum foil and cook on a hot grill, in a smoker, or in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. The internal temperature of the fish needs to be 140 degrees. Cool before serving.

Easy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

From Timothy Grayson

1 cup of whole milk

5 tablespoons butter, plus more for coating the cooking pan

2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

2 cups of store bought pancake mix

3 large eggs beaten

1 tablespoon of finely grated fresh lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3/4 cup of whole milk ricotta

Heat milk in saucepan and melt butter in milk over medium-low heat. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Allow mixture to cool to lukewarm.

Mix milk mixture into pancake mix. Add beaten eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Gently fold in ricotta cheese. The batter should be somewhat lumpy.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with butter. Scoop ¼ cup batter into the pan to form pancakes. Cook for about 4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more on other side.

Serve immediately with butter and syrup, or powdered sugar and fruit compote.

Yield: 16 silver dollar pancakes

Dungeness Crab and Asparagus Quiche

From Timothy Grayson

1 9-inch pie crust thawed

1/2 cup of fresh asparagus

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 beaten large whole eggs

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup whole milk

1 2/3 cup pasteurized Dungeness crab meat

1 cup grated Swiss cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chopped fresh green onion

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cut fresh asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Add to boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes then pour into colander under cold running water over to chill.

Combine flour, beaten eggs, salt and pepper, milk, crabmeat, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, green onion and blanched asparagus. Pour into chilled pie shell.

Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cut and serve.

Serves: 8

Spokane Mountain  Chicken

From Timothy Grayson

1 cup all-purpose flour

Salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste

8 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness

8 tablespoons olive or canola oil

6 large tomatoes, seeded, peeled and diced

1 cup sliced fresh assorted mushrooms (such as button, shiitake or oyster)

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Season flour with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Coat chicken with seasoned flour. Place in heated oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. Transfer chicken to baking dish. Top with chopped tomatoes and mushrooms.

Mix heavy cream with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in a mixing bowl. Pour mixture over chicken, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Place baking dish in preheated oven at 350 degrees. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella on top of chicken. Bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is fully melted. Serve over cooked rice.

Serves: 8

Smoked Salmon Casserole

From Timothy Grayson

2 tablespoon melted butter

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded

1/2 pound smoked salmon, chopped

1/4 cup of green onions, chopped

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup milk

3/4 cup flour

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom of shallow casserole dish with melted butter. Cover with tomatoes, salmon, green onions and Swiss cheese.

In a blender, mix milk, flour, eggs, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour over tomato/salmon mixture. Bake about 55 to 65 minutes or until the custard is set and a knife comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

From Timothy Grayson

2 pounds ground pork breakfast sausage

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 eggs, beaten

4 cups milk

12 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes

1 pound mild shredded cheddar cheese

Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown; drain grease. In a medium bowl, mix mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add cooked sausage, bread cubes and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover, and bake 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set.

Serves: 6

Timothy Grayson is the district executive chef for Sodexo Dining Services and is based at Whitworth University.