Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seasonal Easter Recipes with Wine Pairings!

Grilled Lamb Chops - Serves: 8

16 lamb loin chops, about 4 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried oregano

Parsley Mint Sauce:
2 cups parsley leaves
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 oil packed anchovies
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Season the lamb chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Combine the garlic, oil, lemon juice and zest, rosemary, and oregano in a shallow dish.  Place the chops in dish with marinade and toss to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes turning occasionally and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat a grill to medium high. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a blender or food processor until a smooth paste forms.  Add enough water to make a pourable sauce and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
Remove the chops from the marinade. Grill on the preheated grill for approximately 4-6 minutes per side for medium rare. Alternatively these chops can be broiled or cooked in a cast iron skillet or grill pan for approximately the same amount of time. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving with the Parsley Mint Sauce.

Asparagus and Fresh Pea Salad

Serves: 6-8

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
Olive oil
1 pound shelled fresh English peas
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 large shallots, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim the hard ends off the asparagus. On a rimmed baking sheet lay the asparagus in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 8-10 minutes tossing occasionally, until crisp tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Cut into 1 inch pieces. 
In a pot of boiling salted water add the fresh peas and cook for barely a minute until bright green and tender but still a bit crunchy. Place in an ice bath to stop the cooking, drain and combine with the cooled and cut asparagus in a large bowl.
In a lidded jar combine the red wine vinegar, shallots, salt, pepper, and olive oil and shake to combine.  Add the asparagus and peas and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the parsley, mint and lemon zest and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Blue Cheese Galette
Serves: 6-8

2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices
6 ounces Gorgonzola or Roquefort blue cheese, crumbled
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a 10 inch cast iron skillet layer the potatoes in a spiral fashion beginning in the center. Evenly crumble 1/3 of the cheese, the thyme leaves, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat this 2 more times.  In a small pot combine the butter and heavy cream over medium low heat until the butter is melted. Gently pour the butter cream mixture over the layered potatoes. Top with parmesan and cook for about 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender. Serve by cutting into wedges.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler - Serves: 6-8

4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
4 cups rhubarb, diced
1 cup dark brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Heavy Pinch of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss together the strawberries, rhubarb, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the flour.  In the bowl of a food processor pulse together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining brown sugar and salt. Add the 1/2 cup butter and pulse until crumbs are formed. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the poppy seeds and 1 cup of heavy cream just until combined. Butter an 11x7x2-inch pan and spread the fruit mixture evenly in it.  Drop the batter in big blobs over the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly and golden on top. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Whip remaining heavy cream and sugar to medium stiff peaks and fold in the basil.
Serve warm with whipped cream.

Wine Pairings for  Easter Recipes by Maureen Petrosky
Maureen Petrosky is a professional chef, author and lifestyle expert. Since 2001, Maureen has made regular appearances as a food and wine expert conducting segments relating to hot topics in the culinary industry. Maureen has appeared numerous times on NBC's The TODAY Show, CNN, CNN Headline News, FOX News Channel and the Food Network.

Riesling Kabinett, Prinz Von Hessen, Rheingau, 2007 $14
This is not a sweet Reisling.  It's more like a round bodied Sauvignon Blanc. The soft citrus notes and balanced acidity make it a perfect match for the Asparagus and Pea Salad and a perfect wine to cleanse the palate after the Blue Cheese Potato Galette.  This is also an ideal pick to serve when guests first arrive as an aperitif.

Tamaya, Syrah Reserva, Chile, 2009  $17
This is not a typical super concentrated new world Syrah.  It has a lighter body and is full of fruit but very dry.  It is a perfect match for the delicate Lamb Chops and will blow you away when sipped alongside the Blue Cheese Potato Galette

For Dessert: 
Brachetto d' Acqui, Rosa Regale, $25 
This is a sweet sparkling wine to pair with your Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler.  It is raspberry colored and smells of crushed rose petals and strawberry. It is a perfect match for the Cobbler or it can be sipped alone for a fat free dessert option.

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