The Gleeful Gourmand: Easter at The Gleeful Gourmand

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter at The Gleeful Gourmand

I love Easter, possibly even more than I love Christmas as far as holidays go. There's just something about how the whole world seems to decorate for it with trees budding and flowers starting to show their splashy colors. The world seems fresh and new again, and the food of the season reflects that. This year we're trying a few recipes we've had great success with, and also some new ones as well. Here's what our menu lineup for Easter Sunday dinner looks like. Hopefully you'll find some inspiration:

Main Entrée: Crispy Rack of Lamb with Honey and Mascarpone Sauce. Buck made this last summer when his mom was in town for her birthday. It's truly delicious, and puts a new fresh spin on the typical lamb dish served with mint jelly (For the record, I've always hated mint jelly, and have preferred to use a fig jam or fig sauce). It takes a bit of time as far as prep work, and you'll absolutely need a meat thermometer to make sure it's at the correct temperature, but it's ridiculously delicious. You can find the recipe: here.

Sides: We're still wondering if we're going to have some sort of roasted potatoes, or perhaps another vegetable to go along with these sides, but for now we'll be making a refreshing Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, and Hot Cheese Drop Biscuits, which are possibly the world's easiest biscuits to make. These two actually complement each other really well because they both use buttermilk. Recipes down below.

Dessert: My mom's annual Strawberry Cake. It wouldn't be Easter without it. Light, airy and full of fresh strawberries. I'll be taking some pictures and posting the recipe later because this dessert is actually perfect for any spring or summer get-together.

Happy Easter, and happy eating!

Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, minced
Coarse Kosher salt and pepper to taste

• Whisk first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

6 large tomatoes, cored, and cut into 3/4 inch wedges
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley
Blue cheese crumbles (if desired, I don't use them)

• Place tomatoes and shallots in large bowl. Add oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Sprinkle with green onions and parsley. Serves 6.

Hot Cheese Drop Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk

• Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; cut in cheese and shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
• Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 450˚ for 9 minutes or until golden. Serves 2 dozen.


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