A tapas-style take on Mother’s Day brunch

By ALISON LADMAN

The Associated Press

A tapas-style meal made up of a variety of small, appetizer-like bites is something we tend to associate with evenings and cocktails. But we thought the same idea of small plates would lend itself perfectly to a Mother’s Day brunch. So we came up with a variety of tapas ideas suitable for Mom’s big day.

Use these ideas as a jumping off point. Accompany them with mini muffins, mini bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, and fresh berries served in shot glasses and topped with yogurt and honey. And nobody says you need to give up the cocktails. Mimosas, anyone?

SMOKED SCHMEARED POTATOES

Start to finish: 30 minutes (10 minutes active)

2 medium red potatoes

Olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup garlic-herb cheese spread, such as Boursin

Half an 8-ounce package smoked trout

Heat oven to 400 F.

Slice each potato into six ½-inch-thick slabs. Brush the potato slices with olive oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the slices on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Allow to cool. Spread a bit of the cheese onto each potato slice, then top with a piece of the smoked trout.

Makes 12 pieces

Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories; 30 calories from fat (43 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 4 g protein; 75 mg sodium.

CHORIZO HASH-STUFFED MUSHROOM CAPS

Start to finish: 30 minutes (15 minutes active)

12 cremini mushroom caps

Salt and ground black pepper

1 tsp. olive oil

½ small yellow onion, chopped

1 link (about 4 ounces) fresh chorizo sausage, casing removed, crumbled

1 small potato, grated

2 Tbsp. water

¼ cup grated manchego cheese

Heat oven to 400 F.

Arrange mushroom caps, open end up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil. Add onion and chorizo and saute until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and water, then cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.

When mushrooms are roasted, spoon the sausage mixture into the caps and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 pieces

Nutrition information per serving: 50 calories; 25 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 3 g protein; 150 mg sodium.

STUFFED BABY BELL PEPPERS

Start to finish: 15 minutes

6 baby bell peppers

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar

½ cup ham, finely chopped

¼ tsp. smoked sweet paprika

2 Tbsp. chopped scallions

Cut tops off the peppers, then slice them in half top to bottom. Remove and discard any seeds and ribs from the halves.

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar, ham, paprika and scallions. Spoon a bit of the mixture into each pepper half.

Makes 12 pieces

Nutrition information per serving: 45 calories; 30 calories from fat (67 percent of total calories); 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 2 g protein; 90 mg sodium.

STRAWBERRY CROISSANT SKEWERS

Start to finish: 15 minutes

2 croissants, each cut into 12 cubes

6 strawberries, halved

4 ounces edam or other semi-soft cheese, cut into 12 pieces

Honey

Ground black pepper

On small skewers, thread a piece of croissant, followed by a strawberry half, a piece of cheese, then a second piece of croissant. Drizzle lightly with honey and sprinkle with black pepper.

Makes 12 pieces

Nutrition information per serving: 80 calories; 40 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 4.5 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 3 g protein; 160 mg sodium.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Alison Ladman is a recipe developer for the AP.

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