Happy Easter



happy easter


Buona Pasqua!

We celebrate Easter Sunday as a holy day and a day of sharing with our families and friends. Natale con I tuoi, la Pasqua con chi vuoi -- “Christmas at home and Easter with whomever you wish” is an old Italian saying. Besides all the good food and great conversation we joyously observe the resurrection of Christ. Church bells ring, mass is held and then the feast begins.

Children wake up to Easter baskets filled with chocolates and treats and search all over for colorful Easter eggs hidden throughout their homes. It’s a celebration of life and a celebration of Spring.

Traditionally, roasted baby lamb is served as the main entrée to symbolize the Paschal lamb. But this Easter I am going to prepare a crown pork roast which I’ve never made before. So here is my Easter menu for 2014. Enjoy! Mangia Italiano!

Springtime

Deviled Eggs.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • Sweet paprika for garnish

    PREPARATION

  • Using a medium size bowl, take the yolks out of the eggs and mash them with a fork.
  • Add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper and thoroughly mix together.
  • Using a piping bag with a wide decorative tip, pipe the yolk mixture on top of the egg whites.
  • Sprinkle the top of the eggs with the paprika.
  • Refrigerate until your ready to serve.

    Makes 1 dozen deviled eggs



    Risotto with Peas.

    INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbls of butter
  • 1 bunch of long green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup of Arborio rice
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of peas, frozen
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup of fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

    PREPARATION

  • In a medium size pot, heat the broth to a slow simmer.
  • In a large pot sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil and butter for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is slightly browned.
  • Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed by the rice.
  • Stir in the 1 cup of broth until absorbed by the rice.
  • Add the peas.
  • Stir in the remaining broth 1 cup at a time until all the broth is absorbed.
  • Turn of the heat and stir in the cheese.
  • Plate and garnish with parsley.

    Serves 4 to 6 people


    Stuffed Crown Roast of Pork.

    Roast

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1  pork rib crown roast, 15 ribs
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 3 celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 15 oz can of chicken broth
  • 2 Tbls of all purpose flour
  • Bread Stuffing (recipe below)

    PREPARATION

  • In a medium size bowl, mix together the garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano salt, and pepper to create a dry rub.
  • Rub the inside and the outside with the herbs.
  • Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for better results.
  • Place the carrots, celery and onions in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
  • Place the roast on top of the onions, carrots and celery.
  • Place aluminum foil over the ends of the bones to prevent burning and breaking,
  • Place a cooking thermometer in the meaty part of the roast being careful not to touch the bone.
  • Pour in the broth and wine.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook the roast for 1 and 1/2 hours.
  • Prepare the stuffing.
  • After 1 and 1/2 hours remove the roast from the stove and place the stuffing in the middle.
  • Return the roast to the stove and cook for another 30to 45 minutes.
  • Remove the roast from the oven when a cooking thermometer reaches 150 to 170 degrees.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and let it sit for around 30 minutes before carving.
  • In the meantime make the gravy.
  • Remove all the vegetables from the pan. Serve with the roast
  • Pour the remaining pan drippings through a sieve into a medium size sauce pan.
  • Bring the drippings to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and whisk in the flour to thicken.
  • Carve the roast and serve with gravy.

    Stuffing

    INGREDIENTS

  • 3 loaves of stale or slightly toasted white bread
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped 1 stick of butter
  • 1 Tbls of poultry seasoning
  • 1 Tbls of powdered sage
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper

    PREPARATION

  • In a large frying pan, sauté the onions and celery in the butter until slightly tender.
  • Stir in the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper
  • Cook the mixture until the vegetables are tender.
  • Fill a large bowl with warm water
  • Soak the bread a few slices at a time in the water and squeeze the water out and place the bread in a separate bowl.
  • Mix the onion mixture into the bread.
  • Scoop into the middle of the roast.
  • Any remaining stuffing place in a glass baking dish and cook for 30 minutes.


    Rapini with Garlic.

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • 3 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

    PREPARATION

  • Wash the rapini under cold water and trim the stems and remove bad leaves.
  • In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the rapini and cook for around 3 minutes.
  • Strain the rapini and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Thoroughly dry the rapini using a cloth dish towel.
  • In a large skillet, sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper in the olive oil for 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the rapini and heat through for about 3 minutes.

    Serves 4 to 6 people


    Potatoes with Onion and Rosemary.

    INGREDIENTS

  • 5 white baking potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbls of vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbls of butter
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper

    PREPARATION

  • In 5 quarts of boiling water, cook the potatoes until tender. Around 30 minutes.
  • Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  • In a large skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil and 2 oz of butter until tender.
  • Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the onion mixture, remaining butter, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  • Mash everything together and place the potatoes in a baking dish.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the potatoes uncovered for about 1/2 hour until the top is browned and crisp.


    Ricotta Pie.

    INGREDIENTS

    Crust

  • 2 and 1/2cups of all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 3 Tbls of butter
  • 3 egg yolks

    Filling

  • 1 lb of ricotta
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Zest from 1/2 orange
  • Candied fruit
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

    PREPARATION

  • Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Cream in the butter and egg yolks
  • With your hands work the butter into the dough.
  • Form into a ball.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour
  • Drain the ricotta in a strainer
  • In a separate bowl mix together the ricotta and sugar.
  • Beat the egg yolks and mix them into the ricotta a little at a time.
  • Stir in the orange zest and candied fruit.
  • Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
  • Butter an 8 inch pie tin.
  • Line the dough into the bottom of the pan.
  • Fill with the ricotta mixture.
  • Cover the top with the second piece of dough.
  • Crimp the edges and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Let cool, remove from the pie pan then dust with powdered sugar


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