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ARCHIVES: WHAT’S FOR DINNER…SPRING INTO EASTER! …Fish Taco’s for Lent?…Left over Easter Ham?



 

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6-pc. Non-Stock Everyday Essentials Steel Cookware Set by Scanpan*

10-pc. Nonstick Exclusive Cookware Set with Bonus Roaster by Swiss Diamond

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

 

Intimate Easter Dinner for 4

Easter Dinner Menus: Crudites with Wasabi Dip

Easter Dinner Menu for 8

Easter Dinner Menus: Limoncello Collins

Easter Dinner with Chile’s Wine Visionaries

Easter Dinner Menus: Cannellini and Green Bean Salad

Plus: More from The Huneeus Family’s Easter with a Latin Accent

Cal and Mike’s Excellent Easter Dinner Menu

Easter Dinner Menus: Lemon Cake

 More from Easter with a Chef and Musician

Easy Italian Easter

Casa Tua, Miami Beach’s tiniest boutique hotel, is all about casual luxury and light Italian cuisine—just like this Easter lunch at the owners’ Biscayne Bay home.

It takes confidence to open a quiet five-room hotel in Miami’s scene-crazed South Beach. But Italian-born real estate investor Miky Grendene has never lacked that. Driving his Vespa through the Milan streets one day in 1989, the Padua native thought he spotted his friend, actress Talisa Soto, but when the woman turned out to be a look-alike model named Leticia, Grendene set up a fake casting call and urged Leticia’s agency to send her. The ruse worked. Now living in Miami with their two children, Miky and Leticia have spent the past three years creating Casa Tua, South Beach’s tiniest, calmest and most unusual new boutique hotel.

The Mediterranean Revival property, an anomaly in South Beach’s Art Deco district, was built as a private home in 1925 by architect Robert A. Taylor and is listed on Miami Beach’s roster of historic places. By the time Miky bought it, in 1999, the building was a dilapidated apartment house. With the help of architect Michele Bonan, the Grendenes gutted it and planted gardens and tall hedges to shield it from the street.

Inside, Casa Tua feels like an intimate private estate. The rooms are stocked with Loro Piana cashmere throws, Tréca mattresses from Paris and Santa Maria Novella toiletries. One suite is furnished with saddle-stitched leather night tables and 200-year-old Chinese chests, and another, inspired by designer Givenchy’s bedroom in Cap Ferrat, France, is done in understated navy-and-cream. The dining room, dominated by a 15-foot-long chestnut table custom-designed and built in Italy, is adjacent to an open kitchen with an enormous cobalt-blue Molteni stove, one of only two in the United States, Miky claims. (French superchef Alain Ducasse owns one, too.)

“Casa Tua is more than a restaurant, less than a hotel—basically, it’s a home,” Miky says. “But we try to give you the possibility to experience things. You can touch the linen and buy it, taste our food and learn how to make it.” Indeed, many of the items at Casa Tua are for sale, such as the linen sheets, the Taschen art books and the artwork hanging in the lounge. Cooking lessons with chef Sergio Sigala are offered weekly, allowing guests to attempt house specialties such as t

una tartare flecked with olives and sun-dried tomatoes, or minestrone di frutta, a fruit soup served with panna cotta.

Parties at their Biscayne Bay home give the Grendenes a chance to try out their latest food and design obsessions on friends. For an Easter lunch, they stole Sigala away from the Casa Tua kitchen to create a menu of traditional and modern Italian dishes. The meal started with a lettuce soup flavored with watercress and herbs that revealed the Italian penchant for pleasantly bitter flavors. There was a light spring salad of asparagus, scallions and beautifully caramelized scallops, the sweetness of the seafood brought out by a hint of balsamic dressing. And then it was on to Miky’s favorite recipes from Sicily: a roasted veal loin marinated in olive oil and thyme and served with caponatina, a sweet-and-sour dish made with eggplant, wine vinegar and sugar. The highlight of the lunch was ricotta cavatelli, a hand-rolled pasta, served with speck, a smoky cured ham from northern Italy.

Sitting under enormous shade trees with a sweeping view of the ocean, guests finished lunch with a semifreddo, a layered dessert of frozen zabaglione custard. To offset the sweetness, the Grendenes also served a bracing, bittersweet espresso granita. It was a characteristically bold twist totally in keeping with their bold approach to the making of Casa Tua.

Tara Solomon lives in Miami Beach, Florida, where she writes the Advice Diva column forThe Miami Heral

[flv=
© Rick Lew

Recipe: Coconut-Custard Meringue Pie

INGREDIENTS

  1. Flaky Pie Crust
  2. 2 cups whole milk
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 4 large eggs, separated
  7. 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (about 6 ounces)
  8. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. Pinch of cream of tartar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch glass pie plate with 1 rolled-out round of the Flaky Pie Crust. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, fold it under itself and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.
  2. Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until nearly cooked through and dry to the touch. Carefully remove the foil and weights. Bake for 10 minutes longer, until golden. Let cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, set a fine strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk with 1/2 cup of the sugar, the flour and salt; whisk until smooth. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the mixture is the consistency of sour cream, about 8 minutes.
  4. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture. Whisk the egg mixture in the bowl back into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain the custard into the heatproof bowl. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the coconut and the vanilla. Press plastic wrap directly onto the custard and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Spoon the custard into the baked pie crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large, stainless-steel bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until glossy. Spoon the meringue onto the custard, spreading it to the edge of the crust and swirl decoratively, using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut on top. Bake until the meringue is golden and the coconut toasted, 7 minutes. Let cool, cut into wedges and serve.

It is essential to prebake pie crusts before filling them with custards to prevent them from becoming soggy.

Beautiful Easter Cakes
Portland, Oregon pastry chef Jodi Elliot prepares the ultimate version of carrot cake: amazingly moist and not too sweet. Here, Elliot’s classic carrot cake with fluffy cream cheese frosting (below) and more terrific cake recipes for Easter.
Beautiful Easter Cakes
Rich chocolate cake
Coconut cake
Chocolate truffle layer cake
Warm strawberry crumb cake
Banana layer cake
Pineapple upside-down cake
More Cake Recipes

Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

FROM OUR COFFEEBREAKWITHFRIENDS TABLE TO YOURS…

HAVE A BLESSED EASTER!

LEFT OVER HAM FROM YOUR

EASTER DINNER???

TRY SOME OF THESE RECIPES!

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Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

From EatingWell:

This healthy update of a traditionally rich ham-and-cheese breakfast strata is made lighter primarily by losing a few egg yolks and using nonfat milk. Gruyère cheese has a delicious, nutty aroma and flavor, which means that with the relatively small amount in this recipe you still get a big impact. To finish the makeover use nutritious, fiber-rich, whole-grain bread instead of white. The results: plenty of flavor, half the calories and one-third the fat of the original.

6 servings | Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 3/4 hours

Ingredients

4 large eggs

4 large egg whites

1 cup nonfat milk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

5 cups chopped spinach, wilted (see Tip)

4 cups whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/2 pound, 4-6 slices)

1 cup diced ham steak, (5 ounces)

1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers

3/4 cup shredded Gruyère, or Swiss cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.

Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, rosemary and pepper; whisk to combine. Toss spinach, bread, ham and roasted red peppers in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.

Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Per serving : 286 Calories; 10 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 167 mg Cholesterol; 23 g Carbohydrates; 23 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 813 mg Sodium; 509 mg Potassium

1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 medium-fat meat

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare casserole through Step 2; refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake as directed in Step 3.

Tip: To wilt spinach, rinse thoroughly with cool water. Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in it. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture before adding the spinach to the recipe.

****************

Split Pea with Ham Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb ham steak, diced
  • 7-8 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 1lb bag of dried split peas (rinsed)
  • 1 bay leaf Salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat olive oil in a dutch oven pot over medium heat. Cook the onion until slightly tender. Add garlic and ham & cook for 60 seconds. Add the stock, split peas, bay leaf to pot and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium low heat for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes then cook for an additional 30-45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. If you want it to be a bit thicker, mix with an immersion blender for a few seconds. Enjoy.

Bow-Ties with Peas and Ham

Ingredients

    • 1 pound bow-tie pasta (farfalle)
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 10 ounces (2 cups) frozen peas
    • 1 cup half-and-half
    • 1/2 pound cooked ham
    • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta; return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add peas and half-and-half; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Cut ham into strips. Add to sauce; cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss sauce with pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan.
  • Prep Time20 minutes
  • Total Time20 minutes
  • YieldServes 4 to 6

COFFEEBREAKWITHFRIENDS Lite Tips!…

Try cutting the Butter down to 1T…and use 2T Olive oil…Saute the Ham in the butter -olive oil mixture…cut half n half  in half…and use low fat cream cheese about 2 heaping Tablespoons…add to the ham mixture…season to taste with salt and pepper…even a pinch of nutmeg???  Toss with Pasta and  and 1 cup of Shredded Asiago Cheese!!!  Let us know what you think???

*********

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

Giada De Laurentiis

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Show: Everyday ItalianEpisode: Kids’ Cooking Class

Everyone Love Pasta!…

flv=

CLICK HERE TO PRINT RECIPE!

^^^^^^^^^^

FRIDAY DINNERS DURING LENT

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO FAST…?

Try this fun FISH DISH!

Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos


with Red Cabbage Slaw, Tomato and Avocado Salsa and Pineapple Hot Sauce

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

Prep Time:

1 hr 0 min

Inactive Prep Time:

5 min

Cook Time:

50 min

Serves:

16 small tacos

Ingredients

* 4 (8-ounce) mahi mahi fillets

* 2 tablespoons canola oil

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* Citrus Vinaigrette, recipe follows

* 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas, cut into 2 1/2 to 3-inch circles, and deep fried

* Red Cabbage Slaw, recipe follows

* Tomato and Avocado Salsa, recipe follows

* Pineapple hot sauce, store bought or recipe follows, for drizzling

Preheat grill.

Brush fillets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Remove from grill and drizzle with some of the Citrus Vinaigrette. Let rest 5 minutes and then flake with a fork.

Fill each fried tortilla with some of the mahi, top with the Red Cabbage Slaw, Tomato and Avocado Salsa, and drizzle with Charred Pineapple-habanero Hot Sauce.

Citrus Vinaigrette:

* 3/4 cup orange juice

* 1/4 cup lime juice

* 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

* 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 1 heaping tablespoon honey

* 1/2 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute.

Red Cabbage Slaw:

* 1/4 cup rice vinegar

* 1 tablespoon sugar

* 2 tablespoons canola oil

* 1/4 head red cabbage, finely shredded

* 1 large carrot, cut into fine julienne

* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

* Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tomato and Avocado Salsa:

* 4 plum tomatoes, chopped

* 2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

* 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

* 1 serrano chile, finely diced

* 1 to 2 limes, juiced

* 2 tablespoons canola oil

* 1 to 2 teaspoons honey

* 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Charred Pineapple-Habanero Hot Sauce:

* 1 ripe pineapple, preferably Golden pineapple

* 2 tablespoons canola oil

* 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped

* 1 container frozen pineapple puree, thawed

* 2 habanero chiles, chopped

* 1 cup rice wine vinegar

* Salt and pepper

* Honey

***********

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LET’S NOT FORGET DESERT!

Key Lime Tarts are the perfect compliment the Wonderful Flavors of these Tacos!

Key Lime Tarts


Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Prep Time:–15 min

–Cook Time:-12 min

Level:-Easy

 

Serves:

24 tarts

Ingredients

 

* 24 Key Lime Cooler cookies

* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

* 1 egg

* 1/2 cup sugar

* 2 tablespoons lime juice, preferably Key lime

* 1 teaspoon lime zest

* Fresh sweetened whipped cream

* Mint leaves or lime zest, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill 2 (12-muffin) mini muffin tins with paper cups and spray cups with cooking spray. Place 1 Key Lime Cooler cookie in the bottom of the cup, flat side down.

Prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar, lime juice, and zest until well mixed. Fill the cups to the top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove tarts to cool. When completely cool, fit a star tip in a pastry bag and fill with the whipped cream. Pipe the whipped cream on top of the tarts. Garnish with tiny mint leaves or lime zest.

 

 

Enjoy!

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