Cathy Riva's Father's Day Brunch Menu

The celebrity event planner shares her recipes and tips for creating a memorable Father's Day brunch

June 14, 2011

I recently had the distinct pleasure of meeting celebrity event planner and NYC mom Cathy Riva, and I was absolutely blown away by her talent and creativity.  Cathy's entertaining prowess knows no bounds, so of course I was thrilled when she agreed to contribute a Father's Day brunch menu to Macaroni Kid EATS!  The showpiece of this fabulous brunch menu is a genius idea that takes virtually no time to execute - simply use cookie cutters to create DAD-shaped toast!  I love the idea of transforming a humble piece of bread into a dish worthy of even the most upscale Father's Day celebration.  And Cathy's other recipes sound just as appealing - read on for some of her tasty tips!

Celebrate Dad with a brunch that will make him wish it was Father’s Day every day. Here are a few ideas and recipes to keep a smile on his face.

Dad’s Toast and Jam
Have the kids help create a little fun for dad with this easy to make toast and jam.  Simply press a copper cookie cutter in the shape of DAD into a piece of whole-grain bread and then either toast it or place it in the broiler for about 30 seconds on each side.  I find that The Baker bread is wide enough for this cookie cutter.  When the toast is ready, place a spoonful of jelly in a sandwich bag and cut a small slice off the end to make it like a pastry bag to outline the word "DAD" on the toast.

Apple and Bacon Pancakes
1 1/2 tablespoon packed light brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 medium golden delicious apple, peeled and chopped in food processor, (about 1 cup)
4 slices bacon, cooked and cut (don’t overcook the bacon, the fat gives the flavor)
1/4 tsp of salt
1 teaspoon canola oil, divided

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and the 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar in a small bowl.
Whisk egg, egg white and buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients, apples and bacon until just combined. (The batter will be thick.)
Brush a large cast iron pan or non stick skillet with 1 teaspoon oil and place over medium heat until hot. Test by dropping batter to see if it sizzles.
Cooking 4 at a time, use about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and gently spread it to make them about 3 inches in diameter. Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Repeat with the remaining oil and batter, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Soufflé
Equipment: six 10-ounce ramekins

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons truffle oil (optional)
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup crumbled or diced aged goat cheese or Manchego cheese- do not use non-aged goat cheese.

Fill a large skillet with 1 inch of hot water and bring to a boil.  Add asparagus. Partially cover and  cook the asparagus until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.  Drain; refresh under cold water.  Blot the asparagus dry with a clean kitchen towel, then cut into 1/2-inch slices.
Position rack on lowest level of oven; preheat to 375°F. Coat six 10-ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.  Place ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Whisk in flour and cook, whisking often, for 2 minutes.  Turn off heat and slowly whisk in hot milk.  Return the heat to medium-low and continue whisking until the mixture is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.  Whisk in 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and whisk in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, and truffle oil, if using.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the asparagus and cheese.
Place 8 egg whites in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer, slowly increasing the speed, until they begin to foam.  Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue to beat until the whites hold their shape; do not overbeat.  (You’ll know they are ready when you lift the beaters out and the peak doesn’t flop over.)
Using a rubber spatula, gently stir one-third of the whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until blended.  Divide the soufflé mixture among the prepared ramekins, filling them almost to the top. (Discard any leftover mixture or prepare another ramekin for another soufflé.)
Bake the soufflés on the bottom rack until puffy and golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 145°F, 20 to 25 minutes. Do not overcook—the centers will look soft.

For more tips and recipes check out Cathy's Celebrate Everyday blog!