Our mums are pretty special people and what better way to show them we love them by planning an extra special Mother's Day lunch? Mother's Day 2019 falls on May 12 (second Sunday of the month) so, whether you want to host a laid-back afternoon gathering or fancy, five-course family feast - we've got you covered. We caught up with ex-MasterChef contestant, restaurateur and mum, Sarah Todd, to find out how to plan, prepare and style the perfect Mother's Day celebration, plus what to put on the ultimate Mother's Day menu. 
 

HOW TO PLAN A MOTHER'S DAY LUNCH YOUR MUM WILL LOVE 

DRESSED TO IMPRESS

What are the first things you think about when it comes to styling a table?

It has to look inviting and enticing. I don’t want my table to look too stark or too perfect.  You want it to be inviting, to make you want to dive right in.  Keep it looking fresh and colourful and a little bit rustic. 

Easy ways to give your table the wow factor?

Forage around in your garden or local area to add pops of greenery or colour, and use little crates or boxes to create different heights on the buffet table.

Tips for easy entertaining?

Make life simple for yourself on the day and choose dishes that you can prepare the day before.  We all want to enjoy celebrating together. I love making big, one-pot wonders like paella. It might seem fancy, but it’s actually super easy to whip up and your mum will love it!

How to you tie everything together?

Pick a cuisine – that way you know all the dishes will taste nice together and it makes it simple to decide on what dishes to create. Spanish dinner party or Indian. Keep it simple and let the food speak for itself. Then use lots of nice big platters with colourful, tasty food.
 

GRAZE THE DAY AWAY

If you want to to give your mum the royal treatment without going over the top, one of the easiest and most impressive ways to achieve that is with a gourmet grazing table adorned with all your favourite cheeses, dips and deli meats for when your guests (see: mum-of-honour) arrive. This means you can relax and chip away as you please, without having to worry about cooking on the day.

A MOVEABLE FEAST

TO START

PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED PRAWNS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen green king/banana prawns 
  • Clove garlic, crushed 
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6-8 slices prosciutto, sliced paper thin and halved lengthways
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • Good quality mayo or aioli 
  • Basil leaves, to garnish

METHOD 

  1. Peel and de-vein the prawns. Remove the head but leave the tail on. 
  2. Place prawns in a bowl with garlic and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss so that prawns are well coated. 
  3. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the top of each prawn.
  4. Brush a griddle pan or BBQ with olive oil. Cook prawns over medium-high heat for four-five minutes, turning occasionally, until pink and cooked through. 
  5. Arrange on a platter with fresh basil. Drizzle with lemon juice.
  6. Serve with aioli or mayonnaise. 

ROAST BEEF & CRIPSY POTATO ROLLS WITH WASABI MAYO

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 slices rare roast beef (from the deli)
  • 2 potatoes, grated 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, powdered
  • Salt and pepper, to season

For the wasabi mayo
  • 1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp wasabi

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Place grated potatoes in a bowl. Add parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until potato is well coated.
  3. Heat a frying pan over high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the base of the pan.
  4. Once hot, add grated potato and pan fry, stirring constantly, until potato is cooked through. 
  5. Line a baking tray with paper. Spread the fried potato out so that it forms a single layer.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until potato is starting to turn crispy and golden at the edges. 
  7. Place a spoonful of the potato mix to one side of the beef slice and roll. Secure with a toothpick. 
  8. To make the wasabi may - add mayo and wasabi to a bowl and mix until well combined. 
  9. Top beef rolls with a dollop of mayo and serve.
 

THE MAIN EVENT

AUTHENTIC SEAFOOD PAELLA

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 ml olive oil
  • 1 chorizo, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 tbspbutter
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 6 over-ripe tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika  
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (if using a strong chorizo then don’t need)
  • 500 ml white wine
  • Pinch saffron
  • 3 cups bomba or calasparra rice
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 15 vongole mussels
  • 15 green tiger or king prawns
  • 10 mussels
  • 2 crabs, cut in quarters (optional)
  • 3 lemons, sliced in 1/2cm rounds
  • ½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • Tinned artichokes, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Coat the pan with a generously with olive oil. Brown chorizo over a high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook. Set aside. This gives your oil a fantastic flavour and an intense red colour.
  2. Add onion, leek and garlic and cook over a low heat until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Do not colour.
  3. Add pepper and plum tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile in a separate pot, poach your seafood in the chicken stock until just cooked (approximately 5 minutes). Strain and set aside and keep stock for paella.
  5. In a bowl, soak the saffron in the wine.
  6. Add smoked and sweet paprika to the pan with the onion and tomato mixture and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add wine mixture and allow to simmer until reduced by 1/3.
  7. Add rice and all of the stock and allow to simmer until cooked through. In the first 15 minutes you can stir the paella then you must leave and allow a caramelisation on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Rim the entire paella pan with lemon rings and allow to cook until serving to infuse and caramelise, approximately 45 minutes in total. 
  9. For the last 8 minutes, add in all your seafood then top with fresh parsley, artichokes.
  10. Cover with a cloth and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

SIDE KICK

GREEN BEAN, PARMESAN AND PECAN SALAD WITH BALSAMIC DRESSING

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 g green beans
  • 1 cup parmesan, shaved
  • 1 cup pecan nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to garnish

METHOD

  1. Top and tail the beans (cut off the ends).
  2. Place in a steamer basket over a couple of inches of water.
  3. Cover and steam until just cooked but still crunchy, about five minutes. 
  4. Remove and place beans in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. Drain and add to a bowl with the parmesan and pecans. 
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey and salt and pepper. 
  7. Drizzle over the salad and toss to combine. 

DESSERT

PAVLOVA WITH FIG, BASIL AND STRAWBERRY

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 360g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, sieved
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
 
For the cream and topping
  • 300 g whipping cream
  • 1 punnet strawberries, cut into quarters
  • 4 figs, cut into quartered
  • Handful basil leaves

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Line an oven tray with baking paper, brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour. Shake off the excess.
  3. Place egg whites in a large bowl with salt and whip until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time while still whipping until the sugar is dissolved between additions. The meringue should be glossy while all the sugar should be dissolved and not grainy (test by rubbing some of the mixture between your fingers). Reduce the whisk speed to low then add the vanilla, vinegar and cornflour.
  4. Spoon the meringue into a circle on the baking tray. Use a spatula to create a little peak around the sides of the Pavlova.
  5. Place in the oven and immediately drop the temperature to 120°C. Bake for 1 hour.
  6. Whisk the cream until you can form soft peaks
  7. Top the meringue with the cream, followed by fruit and fresh basil.
  8. *Note: This can be prepared the night before.

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