April 2019 Class
Spring has sprung!! My garden looks fantastic but that has nothing to do with me! Thanks to all the rain we got this year in San Diego, my grass is bright green! The flowers perfume the air and the birds are busy sitting on nests. This is a perfect menu for entertaining for Easter, some of the dishes work for Passover, or just for a lovely spring supper. Easter is my sentimental favorite holiday since I met my husband at my mom’s table for Easter dinner. I love to bore my children being all nostalgic on how Aunt Becky and my Mom set it all up. I love setting a pretty table decorated with flowers from the garden and a few bunnies, but the star is always the food.
So what are we cooking?
Salmon Pâté with Crostini:
I just got back from a visit to New York with my son and the first thing on our agenda was to get a proper New York bagel with a smear! His was with plain cream cheese mine was lox and cream cheese. This salmon pâté is inspired by that decadent combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese. A little bit more elegant version of that flavor profile. We just slightly puréed the smoked salmon with cream cheese so there are nice pieces though out the cheese. Then, we add the flavor goodies; shallots, dill, lemon juice, capers, everything you put on top a gorgeous bagel. But today we’re going to serve it with crostini, but you could certainly serve it with a bagel, chips, or crackers.
Herb Crusted Lamb with Mint Salsa Verde:
We’re going to marinate a boneless leg of lamb with garlic and fresh herbs which is going to adds tons of flavor and really complement the mild taste of the lamb. Lamb has really gotten a bad rap as being a very gamy tasting meat. It’s not. The meat is very mild tasting, and after being perfectly roasted we will serve it with a mint salsa verde. Many different cuisine have their version of a salsa verde, or green sauce. The combination of crushed garlic, herbs, and oil can transfer a dish from being good to great. In France it’s called pistou, in Italy it’s pesto, and in Argentina its a cimichurri sauce. Today we are are adding mint along with a little lemon, which compliments the lamb so beautifully.
Yukon Gold Potato Gratin:
Is there anything better than potatoes with roasted meat? I love Yukon Gold potatoes! They are so versatile because they bake and smash equally well. The exterior peel is so thin that all you have to do is wash them. You don’t even need to peel them which is an added bonus because it saves you time and you get all those great vitamins! The interior is a golden yellow color with a creamy, sweet texture that pairs so beautifully with the herb infused milk. Then topped with Parmesano Reggiano and breadcrumbs which are then cooked until golden brown. The perfect compliment of roasted meat.
Carrot Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Icing:
I think most southern families have their version of a carrot cake. It’s a classic. This is my take on my Mom’s recipe. The carrot cake batter is not light and fluffy, its more dense like a muffin batter. So I’ve added yogurt and I love the traditional addition of crushed pineapple to add flavor and help keep it moist. The cake is studded with roasted pecans and then covered in a decadent cream cheese icing. Just a slice of heaven. A perfect way to end a delicious spring meal.