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Mar 28, 2010 05:17 PM

What'll be on your table this Easter?

Since I'm a college student, I'm definitely high-tailing it back home for Easter dinner. (can't exactly roast a rack of lamb in my ovenless dorm kitchenette). I was talking with my mom and trying to figure out a good menu -- any suggestions? Can't decide if we're going with ham, lamb, or something less conventional. I think I might choose a meat that requires grilling, since the weather here in Atlanta has been nice lately and it'll keep my brother occupied for several hours.

I've seen a few menus that looked interesting -- over at Epicurious, they've got a menu from Lidia Bastianich that involves roasting a lamb shoulder (never tried that before), braised artichokes with pecorino, and a yummy-sounding limoncello tiramisu.

What is everyone else planning?I'm definitely breaking out the mandarin orange digestifs.. but other than that, I'm not sure. We're only feeding 5, thank god.

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  1. I'm cooking an orange mustard glazed ham, roasted asparagus (if I can get it reasonably) or peas simmered with new potatoes, homemade rolls with honey butter and Ina Garten's Lime Meringue tart. At least, that's the plan so far...

    1. Going to my best friends and her family's and we had a great time planning the menu.

      2 Fried Turkey's
      2 Smoked Pork Shoulders
      Grilled Veggie Salad topped with Goat cheese and slivered almonds
      Sautéed Green Beans with garlic and parmesan cheese
      Potato salad with olive oil, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, black olives, artichokes, panchetta, parmesan cheese and fresh parsley
      Paw Paw Casserole
      Codfish cakes
      Hot Cross Buns
      Loquat Cake
      Keylime tart

      2 Replies
      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

        Wow. An ambitious feast.

        What is paw paw casserole? And where do you get them? I paw paws in a dessert at a restaurant for the first time a few months ago and loved them.

        But I have never seen them for sale here ever. I gather they don't keep well and are rarely available except right where the trees grow. They must be frozen or preserved somehow outside their habitat, I'm assuming.

        1. re: karykat

          Paw paw casserole is made with the unripe fruit, so it's a savoury not sweet dish - usually layered with cheese and baked. Lots of people have the trees in their garden so you just go and pick a few.

          I've made loquat upside down cake - totally worth the fiddling with the seeds - what kind of cake are you making BGG?

      2. I'll probably do a grilled boneless leg of lamb (or whatever cut of lamb I dig out of my SIL's deep freeze that my parents left her and my brother), scalloped potatoes, and roasted green beans or asparagus. We will likely start with a salad (maybe spinach strawberry or grilled Cesar) and end with a dessert that involves fruit that can be picked out (my SIL hates fruit in things, but likes fruit separately). I tried making Reese's peanut butter cupcakes this weekend, but they aren't quite right.

        1. Mmm. These menus sound divine. So happy that spring ingredients are here! I'm definitely incorporating seasonal ingredients since I've discovered the (cheap!) joys of our mega-farmer's market here in town. I'm thinking lots of peas, asparagus, mint, et. al....

          Some of the things I'm considering so far:

          lemon crab salad over baby greens for a starter
          maybe a chilled soup.. mint/cucumber?
          pea ravioli for a side
          perhaps those pecorino artichokes
          maybe a primavera risotto
          found a divine-sounding recipe for mascarpone-ham-asparagus tarts (from epicurious) that I'm interested in trying
          and as far as desserts...
          if I can scrape up the last of the Meyer lemons at the market, I'd like to try a recipe for Meyer lemon cake with lavender creme...
          If the Meyers are all gone by now, it'll be a lavender & honey creme brulee, I think

          Still totally undecided on the menu but I know what our drinks will be! Ramos gin fizz in the morning (my family's from New Orleans so this is a must)... and the afternoons will bring out the digestifs. I said mandarin orange before, but now I'm thinking maybe the basil, mixed in with some good lemonade.. mmmm.

          1. Oh, all these menus look so good--and Eastery.

            Over my strenuous objections--I want to do lamb or some kind of roast pork--my family is insisting on braised short ribs despite the braising season being over, imo. Spring, folks, it's Spring!

            So, we will be having braised shortribs w/mushrooms and pearl onions and polenta, asparagus with orange butter, roasted fennel, and a tossed green salad. For starters, mini crabcakes w/wasabi mayo and mimosas. After "dinner" (3:00), we'll be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for kids in our family and a few neighbor kids--and then I'll serve dessert and coffee (and maybe a bit of champagne or wine). One dessert will be Christina Mason's Key Lime Raspberry Tart with Pistachio crust:
            Still trying to decide on one or two others--probably pound cake w/strawberries and creme fraiche and maybe something else.

            collegekitchen--I made pea ravioli last Easter; it was a lot of work,; they were beautiful--but they all fell apart in the boiling water. I almost cried. So, if you make them, seal them very well!
            Primavera risotto--made that two Easters ago; was scrumptious and beautiful. May have to do that one night this week!

            Happy Eats and Happy Easter.

            8 Replies
            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              Still sounds lovely, ncw, even if your heart isn't into the braising!

              I'm planning on roasting or grilling two racks of lamb, that have been dry brined the evening before with kosher salt, some crushed garlic and lots of rosemary sprigs from my garden. Lemon orzo is a big hit here. More roasted or grilled asparagus with lemon, and a green salad of mache, arugula, baby romaine, and a lemon-thyme vinaigrette. There will be dishes of black olive relish and roasted provencal tomatoes, that will be made on Saturday. And I'm looking at a Lemon 1-2-3-4 cake, which is a lemon cake with rounds split and filled with lemon curd, topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.

              Am agonizing over the starting course: a fresh pea soup (that's a lot of peas) or a fava bean crostini (again, a lot of shelling). Or something else entirely? It may depend on the weather, long range, it looks cool, possibly wet. Waiting to see what the farmers bring in.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                That cake sounds fab! Maybe I could do that w/my strawberries instead of the pound cake, especially as I have a good bit of lemon curd in the fridge.

                And you are so right going with the lamb. And I am so wimpy, letting the mob rule!

                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  Here's the link to the cake. It looks pretty and simple, hopefully even I can pull it off!


                  Why not braise some lamb shanks, instead of short ribs and make an osso buco? Can you fool them? LOL!

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    I think I may try that too!

                    No, my sister is lobbying hard, but DH is the worst offender: he wants the same ones we had last week. He actually helped on those (most highly unusual!) so he knows just what goes in. Oh well, summer will be here shortly and none of us will be wanting anything so winter-y. And, as you well know, there's nothing like having a bunch of happy eaters at the table.

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      Oh well!! At least Mother's day isn't far behind!! LOL!

                2. re: Phurstluv

                  Would you share the lemon orzo recipe? Sounds like it would be great with lamb.

                  1. re: redthong

                    Sure. I have cooked it both ways before, as a pasta and as a rice. For this I sauteed about a cup of the orzo in olive oil until it was golden brown. Poured two cups of chicken broth over it and let it come to a boil, then reduce, cover, 20 mins. When it was done, tossed it with about 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, and 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a tsp of the grated zest. Came out really well.

                3. re: nomadchowwoman

                  I'm so glad I took your advice and stayed away from the pea ravioli. It sounds delicious but we stuck with simple food this go-round, and it was a success! No crying in the kitchen!