25 April 2011

Easter: Not for Sissys

 This year, since I had to work on Easter Sunday, I asked my family if they would be willing to come over to our house and celebrate on Saturday instead. In the end this was a fantastic turn of events because Saturday was sunny, warm (hot at times!) and beautiful from morning until  night. Sunday was a cold and rainy day! We win! Everyone who came brought the most amazing dishes: spring salads (even a rabbit cobb salad prepared with one of Nic's own rabbits), scalloped potatoes with anchovies, asparagus bread pudding, brown bread and tomato gratin (Brown Tom), yogurt cornmeal cake with rhubarb, nutella cups, lemon bars and banana whoopie pies!
Kevin and I prepared all day on Friday (which was also our 4 year anniversary! Yowzas!). I braised a 3 pound lamb shoulder in my tagine for 6 hours with onions, prunes, garlic and meat stock. It was the most tender, succulent meat I have ever tasted. 6 hours in a tagine will do that I guess. We roasted an 18 pound ham with a maple syrup, bourbon, mustard glaze that I don't think we will ever be able to finish. I sauteed tiny new carrots with a similar glaze, adding curry for flair.  For a healthy option I made a bulgar salad with spring peas, plum tomatoes, shallots, and a shiitake mushroom vinaigrette. On Saturday I took the lamb I had braised off and layered it between to two layers of scalloped potato slices, creating a lamb pie called Champvallon. I also tried Smitten Kitchen's recipe for her "Lighter than Air Chocolate Cake" which is a flourless bittersweet take that requires a dozen eggs all separated and whipped forever. Instead of making a plain whipped cream frosting, I followed her directions for a white chocolate mint whipped cream instead. Deeeelightful. It really had a light texture with a deeply dark and barely sweet flavor. The mint was an excellent addition.
Lynne made Smitten's lemon bars- we love Deb so. They are sooo good. I highly recommend trying that recipe if you are in the mood for a lemon bar that is dynamic and lemony, not so sweet it burns the back of your throat.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Thanks for all the sweet messages about Hiro. Ouch we miss him so much!

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