I’m starting with dessert today as this ranked high as the favorite dish of the Easter celebration feast! It’s an absolutely delicious Martha Stewart recipe and easy to put together. Since I’m short on photos I’m pulling the photo from her website. I did not top the pie with toasted coconut thinking it would mar the creamy, sublime text. It looks pretty, but I think I was right!
COCONUT KEY LIME PIE
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup fresh or bottle Key Lime Juice
7 large egg yolks
1 Graham Cracker pie crust (recipe follows)
2 cups cold heavy cream
2 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted (if you’re using as topping)
I used Nellie & Joe’s Famous 100% Key Lime Juice. You can get it online. It was Mom’s favorite and her Key Lime Pies were famous!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together condensed milk, coconut milk, lime juice, and egg yolks until smooth. Pour into crust (I made the crust two days before the party.) and bake until set, but still slightly wobbly in center, about 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, 1-1 1/2 hours, then refrigerate 3 hours (or up to a day; I made the pie the day before the party and topped with whipped the cream just before serving.)
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. To serve, top pie with whipped cream and if you like, sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Tip: Cream will whip faster if you chill the bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 1/2 hour (or longer) before whipping.
GRAHAM CRACKER PIE CRUST
You hardly need a recipe for this, but here are the proportions Martha uses.
12 Graham crackers
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar and butter and pulse until combined. Firmly press crumbs into bottom and up sides of a 9″ pie plate. I used a spring-form pan and press crumbs halfway up sides. Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in a plate on a wire rack before filling. I placed in the refrigerator for 2 days which worked well.
THE MAIN EVENT…
LAMB ROAST STUFFED WITH SPINACH AND CHEVRE
This recipe came from Emeril Lagasse, but I made a few tweaks. There are a lot of ingredients and many steps, but it is incredibly flavorful and not complicated. All the herbs and combination of different chevres make this dish very special! This is also a “stolen” photo. Mine looked nearly identical, but had more spinach since I doubled the amount.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
1/2 cup chopped leek, white part only
4 cups fresh spinach, stemmed and cleaned (I used about 8 cups as I knew it would shrink.)
1 clove minced garlic (I used 2 large cloves.)
1 1/2 cup Chevre (I used 4 oz. Herbed Chevre; 4 oz. plain Chevre, and added 2 oz. (1/2 container) of Garlic/Shallot Boursin.)
I also added 1 Tbsp. of finely minced rosemary to the cheeses.
1 (5 lb.) leg of lamb, boned and butterflied (Mine was 6 lbs.)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary plus fresh rosemary sprigs
1/2 cup cracked black pepper (That sounds like a ridiculous amount of black pepper so when it came to this step-coating the leg once it is stuffed and tied–I just liberally covered the roast with freshly ground black pepper, but it was not nearly 1/2 cup.)
2 Tbsp. chiffonade of mint (I used about 4 Tbsp.)
Essence–Emeril’s Creole Seasoning:
I made this a few days ahead of time and still have some left. It’s great on chicken or other meats, like pork.
2 1/2 Tbsp. paprika (I used 2 Tbsp. and 1/2 Tbsp. of smoked paprika.)
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight jar. It makes about 2/3 cup which is more than you need for this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the pan is smoking hot, saute the shallots and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add the spinach and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the heat and turn into a mixing bowl. Stir in the cheese to the spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the lamb on a work surface. Remove any silver skin, obvious big pieces of fat and tendons. Rub the entire lamb with the remaining olive oil, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Spread the spinach filling evenly over the meat. Roll the lamb lengthwise and tie with butchers twine. This is a little tricky because the lamb is slippery from the oil, but go slow and keep pushing the stuffing toward the center and you’ll get the roast all tucked and tied. Pack the outside of the rolled meat with the cracked black pepper. Again, use your judgment, but 1/2 cup sounds like too much for my taste. Instead of garnishing the cooked roast with the Essence I sprinkled it on before roasting. Place the roast in a shallow roasting pan and roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes before carving. Garnish with mint and Essence.
The last recipe of Easter 2016!
SCALLOPED SWEET POTATOES
AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH CASSEROLE
My friend Paula made this for me some time last year and I loved it. I brought it to Christmas dinner at our good friends, Joyce and Jim and Bonnie and Richard’s festive table and it was a big hit, so I decided to include it in Easter. I think what makes it stand out is the use of fresh sage. Instead of 2 cups milk, I used 1 cup milk and 1 cup half and half, which made it a little richer.
Another photo from the internet. Fortunately my casserole did not get overly browned on top as the one in this photo did!
2 sweet potatoes, quartered lengthwise
1 butternut squash, quartered and seeded
2 Tbsp. olive oil, or as needed
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk (or combo of milk/cream)
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh sage (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced sage.)
1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese (I used about 1/3 cup.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and 8×8 baking sheet. Brush sweet potatoes and squash with olive oil. Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking sheet; set squash aside.
Bake sweet potatoes for 5 minutes. Add squash to sweet potatoes and cook until almost tender. The recipe calls for 10-15 minutes, but my veg took closer to 20-25 minutes to get ‘almost tender’. Maybe my chunks were larger. Just test with a fork and you’ll know when they’re ready. When they are, remove from oven and cool.
Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion until tender, about 10 minutes. Add flour and stir until well combined. Add milk and sage, season with garlic salt and black pepper. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened, 5-10 minutes.
Remove and discard skins from sweet potatoes and squash. Thinly slice potatoes and squash. Butter a baking dish bottom and sides. I used my favorite 13 1/2″ oval Polish baking dish. It’s Boleslawiec pottery; very pretty royal blue and cream pattern. I saw it for sale all over Poland when we visited a few years ago, but I bought mine at Home Goods!
Arrange sweet potato slices in bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer half the squash atop sweet potatoes. Pour a little less than half the cream sauce over squash. Sprinkle with half the Asiago cheese. Repeat layering with remaining squash, cream sauce, and Asiago cheese respectively. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 more minutes.
The only recipes I have not included are the mini-Beef Wellington’s which we had as part of the appetizer tray and the Asparagus and Peas with warm Tarragon and Bacon Vinaigrette. I just made the mini-Wellington’s again so will include when I do an upcoming blog on appetizers. The asparagus dish just wasn’t that good…too many textures and flavors did not seem to meld.
I guess that means Easter 2016 is over….ON TO THE NEXT FESTIVE PARTY!
|From left to right starting in front: Diana, Jerry (behind), yours truly, Steve, Paula and Jack…Debby is taking the photo.
|And here is the lovely Debby V. with her adorable husband, Steve!
|Me and Paula enjoying a hug before the main event is served!
|Diana and Jerry licking their lips after the intermezzo course
of Blood Orange, Cucumber and Lavender Granita.
|The Boys of Easter 2016: Jack, Jerry, and Steve.
TUNE IN AGAIN SOON FOR ANOTHER EPISODE OF:
NEXT UP, BEEF TESTICLES
(AKA…ROCKY MOUNTAIN OYSTERS)
…DONE JUST RIGHT!