Easter Sunday is a mere three weeks away, so what better time than the present to learn classic recipes typically served during Easter lunch.
For the next three weeks, I'll be sharing some of the foods that remind me of my family's traditional Easter lunch, starting with my very favorite — deviled eggs.
I have always been a HUGE fan of deviled eggs. I like all forms of eggs, but this way is my very favorite. Besides Easter, deviled eggs are typically served with dainty finger foods at parties. But they're so tasty and easy to make, they really can hold their own for almost any occasion.
My version is very simple and may be missing a few ingredients some other versions you've tasted. That's exactly the way I prefer my deviled eggs — simple. But additions are easy to make based on your taste preferences.
After seeing Ina Garten make these indulgent, cheesy, poofy, giant Cheddar-Dill Scones on her TV show Barefoot Contessa, I immediately jumped online, printed the recipe, and baked some up.
Yep, I'll confirm that they taste as good as they look on TV.
They're so soft and cheesy straight out of the oven, it's hard to resist eating more than one. If you only want to make eight scones, you can halve the recipe easily. The full recipe makes 16 of these bad boys. (Each are about the size of your hand.)
Ina Garten's new book "How Easy is That?" is out on shelves at bookstores now.
I tried her recipe for smoked salmon deviled eggs for a brunch I helped host this past weekend. And you know what? It was pretty easy.
The eggs turned out tasting similar to lox, but a creamier and fluffier version. Guests all commented about how tasty they were, so I'd say this recipe is a keeper.
The trick to perfectly boiled eggs is to bring the eggs and cold water to a boil, then turn off heat and let them sit covered for 15 minutes. Then soak the eggs ice in cold water, and lightly tap the shells all around to break them so that cold water will run between the shell and the egg. The eggs will contract and the shells should peel off easily.
This Gorgonzola Penne with Chicken dish won $25,000 in a recipe contest through Taste of Home. $25K? Dang.
Since it was deemed worthy of the hefty monetary prize, I had to try it.
I'm not a big fan of chunks of chicken in my pasta, so I subbed in shrimp instead. The prep was simple and the cooking was easy. I'd say it turned out pretty freakin' tasty. Even my lactose-intolerant friend scarfed it down, knowing full well what the consequences would be.
Penne pasta and shrimp are tossed with in pungent Gorgonzola cream sauce, made of cream, white wine, sage, and garlic. Thanks to the addition of the light orange shrimp, the dish wasn't completely a monochromatic and bland white.
Here's my version:
Lacking greens, the rich and creamy pasta pairs well with a fresh salad with tart flavors. I made an Spinach Apple Salad to go with it. You can do it too. It's easy! Just a cup of diced apple, a few raisins, chopped red onion, and spinach. Toss it with a simple dressing, and voila:
Read on to get the recipes...
Chilly weather calls for chili.
I like my chili basic just beans and meat. No bell peppers, cheese, nachos, corn meal, celery, beer or anything else please. Here's an exceptionally easy recipe for some blue ribbon-worthy simple chili.
The meat and onions are browned on the stove top first before being added to the remaining ingredients in a crock pot. Just set that pot on low and let it simmer for 1 to 6 hours. The longer it sits, the better it gets.
The chili turns out thick and chunky. With such a short list of ingredients, you'll be surprised how flavorful (and spicy) it is. No thin, tomato soupy chili here, that's for sure.
Blue Ribbon-Worthy Chili
2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove minced garlic
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 (8 ounce) jar Pace Picante Sauce (I used "hot")
1 packet chili or taco seasoning mix
1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef, onion and half of the seasoning mix. Saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease.
Add the meat mixture, along with the ground black pepper, garlic, tomato sauce, picante sauce, the rest of the seasoning mix and kidney beans to crock pot. Mix well, simmer on low for at least an hour. (I let mine simmer for 5 hours)
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