editor's pick

Mother's Day on the Suncoast - Recipes you can cook for Mom

SARASOTA, Fla. -- One thing I prefer on Mother’s Day is to stay in. While Mom’s everywhere deserve the day off, since I dine out professionally, staying home with grilled porterhouse steaks and maybe starting the day with homemade pancakes before floating around the pool reading the New York Times is sheer heaven.

If you want to cook for Mom this year, scroll down to a few of my favorite recipes. Just remember no matter what, Mom has the day off from doing the dishes too! So have a great Mother's Day and treat Mom right :)

Carrot Cake Pancakes

by Chef Judi Gallagher

I love pancakes but even more I love carrot cake. The nuttiness of the toasted walnuts add a wonderful flavor. This is a perfect Mother’s Day brunch item and you can certainly add raisins if you like. Enjoy Mom!!!

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ chopped walnuts, toasted

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Dash of ground cloves

Dash of ground ginger

¼ cup brown sugar

¾ cup low-fat buttermilk

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups finely grated carrot (about 1 pound)

Cooking spray

3 Tbsp butter, softened

2 Tbsp honey

Combine flour, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine ¼ cup brown sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs); add sugar mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Fold in 2 cups carrot.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium m heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon 4 (1/4 cup) batter mounds onto pan, spreading with a spatula. Cook for 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 1 minute or until bottoms are lightly browned. Repeat procedure twice with remaining batter.

Combine butter and honey in a small bowl, serve with pancakes.

Apple Coffee Cake French Toast with warm apple compote

by Chef Judi Gallagher

If you aren’t serving a crowd you may have some leftover pastry. I freeze the extra pieces and make either a bread pudding or apple french toast with the remaining pieces. Perfect for a main course at brunch or even a Valentine dessert- the coffee cake ring is so sweet and delicious by itself that you won’t have to work too hard to create this dish. You may substitute fresh apricots when they are in season for the apples. Use a splash of apricot brandy or regular brandy instead of the Apple brandy. Mom’s will just love this for brunch in bed!

1 stick unsalted butter- cut into tablespoons

1-bag Macintosh apples- peeled, cored and sliced

2 teaspoons cinnamon plus 1 teaspoon

1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1-cup sugar- separated into half cups

¼ cup Calvados (apple brandy)

¼ cup water (if needed for apples)

1 coffee cake ring

1 jar pumpkin butter or plum butter

1-cup fresh whipped cream

4 eggs

1 cup half and half

In a medium saucepot, add apples, 1-teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ cup sugar. Heat until apples are soft and chunky.

Add water if needed during the cooking process. Blend in Calvados and let sit on stove without heat.

In the meantime- slice the coffee cake on the bias. Heat a large sauté pan and add 1-Tablespoon butter. Whip eggs with half-and-half, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dip the coffee cake slices into the batter, turn to fully cover both sides and add to hot griddle or pan with melted butter. Grill cake slices on both sides until golden brown. Add more butter to the pan as needed.

Arrange French toast slices on a platter. Brush with pumpkin or plum butter. Top with warm apple compote and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Garnish with cinnamon and sugar.

Broiled Salmon with Ginger-Shiitake Glaze

by Chef Judi Gallagher

2 lbs. salmon filet, skin-on

3 Tbsp. canola oil, plus more for the baking sheet

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 tsp ground coriander

½ red bell pepper, finely diced (about ¼ cups)

3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and green parts kept separate)

2 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger

3 ½ oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1 cup)

¼ cup honey

3 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (Sriracha)

1 tsp. cornstarch

Position an oven rack about 8 inches away from the heating element and heat the broiler to high. Oil a large, rimmed baking sheet. Set the salmon skin-side down on the baking sheet, sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. of the oil, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper and the coriander, and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.

In a large, 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, cook the red pepper, scallion whites and ginger in the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, stirring occasionally, until the red pepper and scallion start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to medium high, sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until they soften and start to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the honey, vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce and ¼ cup water and bring to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch with 1 tsp water and stir into the sauce. Return to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Broil the salmon until it starts to brown and becomes almost firm to the touch, about 8 minutes. Transfer to stovestop and spoon the glaze over the salmon. Broil for about 1 more minute so the glaze browns and the salmon almost completely cooks through. Sprinkle with the scallion greens, cut into 4 pieces, and serve.

Un-classic Peach Melba Shortcake

by Chef Judi Gallagher

Serves 6-7

Originally created by Escoffier for a famed opera singer by the name of Melba, this classic takes a new twist with griddled pound cake. I have even topped Belgian waffles with the peaches and raspberry sauce and of course a healthy scoop of ice cream.

Pound cake, sliced and grilled with butter (you may substitute shortcake biscuits).

2 c. sliced peeled fresh peaches

2 TBSP.sugar

1-teaspoon cinnamon

2 c. fresh raspberries

1/2 c. sugar

2 tbsp. water

Vanilla ice cream

Slivered almonds

Peel and slice peaches. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside in large glass bowl.

In a saucepan, bring raspberries, sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Chill, if desired.

Slice pound cake into3/4 inch thick pieces. Spread lightly with unsalted butter. Heat a large non-stick pan to medium and grill pound cake until lightly golden brown on both sides.

Place sliced peaches in individual bowls. Place a toasted piece of pound cake over peaches and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with raspberry sauce and garnish with slivered almonds.

Serve over ice cream.

Steak Florentine with arugula and Parmesan salad

by Chef Judi Gallagher

Serves 6

Steak Florentine is a classic in Italy. My version tops this beautiful steak with an arugula salad.

Each porterhouse steak serves 2


• 2 large garlic cloves, halved

• 3 Porterhouse steaks(each about 1 1/2 pounds, and 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches thick)

• Truffle salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 lemon, halved

• 2 teaspoons olive oil

• 3 cups baby arugula, washed and patted dry

• ½ cup thinly sliced parmesan cheese (high quality aged)

• Squeeze balsamic glaze

• Aged balsamic vinegar

• Kosher Salt and pepper to taste


Rub the garlic cloves over the meat and the bone of the steaks. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator and allow seasoning to permeate the meat, for about 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilling, allowing the meat to come to room temperature.

Place a grill pan over high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the steaks until cooked to desired doneness, turning once, about 5 minutes per side for rare, 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. The key to getting those great grill marks is to place the steak down and not move them. After you flip them, do not shift the steaks.

Allow the steaks to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing, otherwise all the juices will be run all over your cutting board. Run your knife along the bone and carve the meat off the bone. Slice the meat into 1-inch slices. Transfer the slices to a platter. Squeeze the lemon over the steaks. Drizzle with the oil .

Toss arugula with parmesan and toss with kosher slat and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle with balsamic AND OLIVE OIL and a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and serve.

* option- serve on the bone and slice at table on a large cutting board.

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at www.mysuncoast.com