For those of you who haven't already popped the date in your diary, this Sunday is Mother's Day - and to celebrate, Stylist has asked three leading chefs to share their favourite, mum-inspired recipes.
From Pascal Aussignac's light pancakes to Theo Randall's spaghetti with lobster and Vivek Singh's mussel and curry leaf broth, read on for some delicious foodie inspiration and a gastronomic ode to motherhood...
PASCAL AUSSIGNAC – CLUB GASCON
Light and lacy pancakes
To Simone, my beloved mother
Together, every Sunday, we would shop and cook for the week. She would teach me new recipes or techniques. We would cook together a pot-au-feu; make a mayonnaise, chips... Without a doubt it was this weekly ritual of learning and cooking that drove me to inform my family at the age of nine, “I shall be a chef”.
This is my mother’s favourite recipe for light and lacy pancakes – one that I grew up with. Her secret is always the same easy formula of a rounded tablespoon of flour to each egg. You can either use the batter straight away or leave it up to 2 hours in the fridge and thin it down with a little water.
When I was young, my mum always made crêpes to cheer me up. Now we like to share this moment together.
Makes about 6-8 crêpes
1 large free-range egg
1 rounded tablespoon of flour (approx. 20g)
1 pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoom Armagnac or dark rum
1 tablespoon orange flower water
A little sunflower oil for greasing the pan
Caster sugar for serving
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg with the flour, then gradually beat in the milk, next the Armagnac and orange flower water
2. Heat a crêpe pan, about 20cm round, and lightly brush with a little oil (my mother uses a fork wrapped with a little cotton cloth.) When you can feel a good heat rising from the pan, pour in a small ladle of batter (about 50ml) and quickly swirl the pan to coat
3. Cook until thin and lacy. When the batter sets on top, loosen the edges of the crêpes and flip over for a few seconds to brown the underside
4. Then slide the crêpe out onto a clean tea towel or sheet of kitchen paper. Reheat the pan and repeat with the oiling and cooking. Stack the crêpes up on each other to keep them moist and serve simply sprinkled with caster sugar
THEO RANDALL - THEO RANDALL AT THE INTERCONTINENTAL
Spaghetti with Lobster
My mother is a huge influence in my cooking, she instilled from a very early age that food should be loved and that sometimes the simplest dishes are the most exciting. My first experience of cooking was making bread with her which was always very exciting as I used to wait patiently watching the dough rise.
We used to grow Spinach in the garden and one of my jobs was to go and pick it. My mother would boil it, drain it and then toss it with butter and a grate of nutmeg. I can still remember the taste, it was delicious!
1 x 600g lobster, cooked
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
250g ripe plum tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 small red chilli, diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the lobster down with the tail flat on a board and, with a sharp, heavy knife, cut lengthwise through the middle of the tail to make 2 half tails. Pull off the head and claws. Crack the claws with a heavy knife and remove the meat, then remove any meat from the head (keep the head and legs, which make fantastic stock or really good soup). Cut the half tails in half again. Keeping the lobster tail in the shell in this way adds flavour to the sauce.
Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and cook gently for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook rapidly for 5–7 minutes, until the sauce has become thicker and the flavour is concentrated.
Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add the lobster tail quarters, head and claw meat, chopped parsley and red chilli and fry for 1 minute.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the lobster with the tomato sauce. Season, then cook for 2 minutes, tossing constantly, so the pasta can absorb the flavours of the sauce. Add the remaining olive oil and serve immediately.
VIVEK SINGH - CINNAMON SOHO
Mussels in tomato and curry leaf broth
I love this mussel recipe as it's a perfect example of the simplicity of my mum's home cooking that I grew up on. Very few ingredients, simply put together and lovingly cooked.
I often draw inspiration from some of my favourite dishes she cooks, and elements of them in my restaurant creations. The mussel moily recipe here, gets a make-over with smoked haddock, shrimps, etc. And gets turned into a Keralan style seafood pie at Cinnamon Soho...set to open in mid March so watch this space!
2 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5cm/1inch piece of fresh ginger, crushed
1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
12 tomatoes, cut in half
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
1 ½ teaspoons tamarind paste
800ml/ 27fl oz/ 3 cups fish stock or water
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
50g/ 2oz/ ¾cup fresh coriander roots, washed
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
400g/ 14oz fresh mussels
1 Tomato, deseeded and cut into 5mm/ ¼ inch dice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies, split in half
10 fresh curry leaves
A small pinch of asafoetida (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the crushed garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add the curry leaves and halved tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft. Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder and tamarind and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, coarsely crush the peppercorns and cumin seeds together in a pestle and mortar. Add them to the simmering stock with the coriander roots and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine sieve into another pan, pressing down on the mixture to extract all the liquid. Stir in the salt and sugar.
Clean the mussels under cold running water, pulling out the beards and discarding any open mussels that don’t close when tapped on the work surface. Bring the soup back to the boil, add the mussels, then cover and simmer for about 2 minutes, until they open. Remove from the heat and stir in the diced tomato and chopped coriander.
Now quickly temper the soup. Heat the oil in a small pan until very hot, then add the mustard seeds. They should crackle immediately. Add the red chillies next, followed by the curry leaves and the asafoetida, if using, then quickly plunge the mixture into the hot soup. Serve immediately.