Ashley Rodriguezby Emily Fleischaker, Bon Appétit
We're going to talk you through this. Every. Single. Step. It's so worth it. Ready?
Figure out what you're going to cook. We've taken care of you by assembling a menu she will love:
Mom's Blender Chocolate Mousse with Lemon Cream
Assuming you're cooking for four...the pasta only serves two so double it. The soup makes extra (fine, leftovers are like a secondary present for Mom).
This menu does require a blender and a few other things. So before you commit, make sure you've got the following:
-A medium saucepan
-Pots for boiling the pasta and reheating the soup
-A saute pan for finishing the pasta
-A cheese grater
-A blender for both the soup and the chocolate mousse
-A small food processor (If you don't have it, not essential. Use the blender or just a knife)
-Skewers for the brochettes (Probably the least essential thing, if you don't have them and/or don't want to deal with skewering stuff, don't worry about it)
See also: 18 Gorgeous Recipes for Mother's Day Brunch
Plan a trip to the grocery store sometime before Saturday (assuming you're eating the meal Sunday)
Note: For the mozzarella and prosciutto, find an Italian specialty goods store or go to a high-quality market and throw some money down man, the lady in your life deserves it.
Check to see what you already have from the list below. You'll need (but probably have in the house):
-olive oil (make sure you have enough, nearly a whole bottle)
-pepper grinder with black peppercorns
-a stick of butter
-sugar (you'll need only 3 tablespoons, not a ton)
Then you'll need...
-basil (a small package)
-shallot (just one, looks like this)
-cantaloupe (buy the already-cubed stuff to save time)
-asparagus (5 pounds; you can weight it at the market)
-leeks (you need four, they look like this)
-Italian parsley (looks like this, make sure you don't accidentally get cilantro)
-lemons (buy three, it's always good to have an extra)
-a package of tarragon (small package, looks like this)
Related: 31 Refreshing Summer Drinks
-low-salt chicken broth (you'll need 48 ounces, which is a lot, so check the amount in package you're buying as you might need more than one)
-12 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti, anything)
-fresh mozzarella (again, go for quality. Get either the little balls that come in water, or one large ball you can chop up)
-half dozen eggs
-Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese (don't buy pre-grated cheese)
-Pecorino (ditto, no pre-grated)
-prosciutto (high quality)
-bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
-instant espresso powder or instant coffee
Set aside two hours on Saturday (or whatever day is the day before your Mother's Day meal) to make the soup and chocolate mousse ahead of time. Read each recipe all the way through before you start to cook.
See also: A No-Fail French Yogurt Cake
COOKING ROUND ONE: THE DAY BEFORE THE MEAL
Make the soup! Here are a few tips:
-Leeks looks scary but they're not. Just cut off and throw away everything that's not pale white or pale green. Then cut into what's left and fan it open and rinse it really well. Then chop.
-The fat end of an asparagus stalk tastes gross, so cut or snap off with your fingers the last inch or so (that's what the recipe means when it asks for asparagus that's been trimmed.)
-Don't make the parsley/lemon peel/tarragon gremolata until closer to you plan to eat, like 1/2 an hour before, because it will lose flavor.
Then make the blender mousse.
-This recipe is crazy simple. The only part you might want help with is separating the eggs so you have egg whites.
-Don't make the whipped cream until tomorrow/the day you're going to eat.
Diane FieldsCOOKING ROUND TWO: THE DAY OF THE MEAL
First make the brochettes.
-Throw some basil leaves, a shallot, oil, and a little salt in the food processor or just chop them up as small as you possibly can by hand (you can also use the blender). This is just to make a basil-y oil to go over the cantaloupe and cheese. Put this oil in a bottle or something with a lid so you can shake it up just before serving then let it hang out in the fridge.
-You can skewer your meat, cheese, and cataloupe now, then drizzle it with oil just before serving. Or ditch the skewers and just throw everything in a bowl, put in the fridge (take it out a little before dinner so the meat isn't cold), and drizzle before serving.
-Get all ingredients gathered and ready to make your pasta.
Also: Set a nice table. Fresh flowers are a must.
JUST BEFORE THE MEAL
-Reheat the soup and make the gremolata. Put a small bowl of extra gremolata on the table.
-Whip the cream for dessert.
-Make the pasta at the last minute.
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