This hearty Mother's Day dinner is as beautiful as it is delicious. Moms may like pretty things, but it doesn't mean they don't also want a dinner that leaves them satisfied.
To round out this recipe, a quick salad or some green beans and rice pilaf would be perfect.
And instead of giving your mother a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day, consider a flowered cake.
This beautiful and easy-to-make cake features the flavors of lemon and honey and is swathed with a cloud-like blanket of honey meringue.
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It then is crowned with masses of sugared edible flowers.
Be sure to buy flowers that are safe to eat, as many flowers are sprayed with pesticides.
Most grocers sell edible flowers with the herbs in the produce section.
ORANGE PISTACHIO AND GOAT CHEESE CRUSTED PORK CHOPS
Start to finish: 45 minutes; Serves: 4
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
4 ounce log soft goat cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Four 6-ounce bone-in or boneless pork chops
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 375 F.
In a small bowl, combine the orange zest and juice, pistachios, goat cheese, allspice, salt and pepper.
Arrange the pork chops in a small metal roasting pan. Spread a quarter of the pistachio mixture over the top of each chop. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chops reach 155 F at the thickest part. Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. In a small glass, mix the orange juice and the cornstarch, then add to the pan, stirring until thickened. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer, if desired. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper. Serve the sauce with the pork chops.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 477 calories; 196 calories from fat (41 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 108 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 47 g protein; 2 g fiber; 982 mg sodium.
LEMON HONEY TRIPLE-LAYER CAKE
Start to finish: 1 hour 20 minutes (40 minutes active), plus cooling
For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 cups ginger ale
For the filling:
1 cup water
1 bag Earl Grey tea
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs yolks (reserve the whites for the frosting)
2 tablespoons butter
For the honey meringue frosting:
1/2 cup honey
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the sugared flowers:
1 egg white
Pinch of salt
Edible flowers or petals
Heat the oven to 325 F. Coat three 9-inch cake pans with baking spray, then line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper.
To make the cakes, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to combine the sugar, honey, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the butter and beat again.
In another bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder.
With the mixer on, beat the ginger ale and flour into the honey-sugar mixture in 2 additions, alternating. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the filling, in a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the water, tea bag, lemon juice and honey. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and steep for 3 minutes. Discard the tea bag.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the 3 egg yolks. While whisking, add a small amount of the hot lemon water to the egg yolks. Continue to whisk while adding small amounts of the liquid until half the lemon water is incorporated. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan and whisk to combine. Continue to cook until the mixture returns to a simmer and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until cold.
Once the cakes and filling have cooled, assemble the layers.
Use a large, serrated knife to carefully slice the top dome off each layer horizontally to create 3 level layers of cake. Be sure to remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes. Place one layer of cake on a serving platter, then spread half of the filling over the cake. Add a second layer and repeat with the filling. Top with the third layer of cake, overturning the final layer so the bottom is up. Set aside.
To make the meringue, in a small saucepan over medium, heat the honey until simmering.
In a large bowl use an electric mixer to beat the 4 egg whites and the cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the hot honey while continuing to beat. Continue to beat the whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Frost the cake with the meringue, swirling it with the back of a spoon.
To sugar the flowers, in a small bowl beat the egg white and salt until frothy. Using a small, clean paintbrush, paint the flowers with the egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Decorate the cake with the flowers.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 679 calories; 255 calories from fat (38 percent of total calories); 29 g fat (17 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 226 mg cholesterol; 100 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 1 g fiber; 325 mg sodium.