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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Palm Sunday Feast

Typically this would have been an Easter Feast, but with our hideous 3-6 pm church schedule (2-6 if you count choir practice, pretty mandatory for us), I knew there was no way I could make it work for Easter. Today was General Conference, so no regular church meetings => stay home and cook all day and eat dinner at an earlier, holiday hour.

The meat was the same as last year, except that I thought ahead and purchased a locally-raised leg of lamb before the end of the farmers' market last fall (last year I was scrambling and ended up with one from New Zealand--the Australian ones were too big to fit in my roasting pan!). I added a vegetable recipe that appeared in the paper (some time in the undetermined past--it didn't show up when I searched the paper's website), par-for-the-course orange and green mashed potatoes, a fruit salad provided by my sister-in-law, and rolls (those ultra-buttery ones that separate into flaky layers) from my great-grandma's recipe made by my mother.

Menu:
Slow-Roast Leg of Lamb with White Wine Reduction
Orange and Green Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus with Thyme, Blood Oranges and Pine Nuts
Salad of Kiwi, Strawberry and Pineapple
Buttery Flaky Rolls with butter and homemade marionberry jam
Rhubarb Cupcakes with whipped cream, diced roasted hazelnuts and crystallized ginger chips (repeat from last night)

I used rainbow chard for the greens in the mashed potatoes, chopping and adding the stems at the same time as the onions, and the leafy parts when the onions had softened and started to brown.



For the roast asparagus, clean a bunch of asparagus, snap off woody ends and snap remainder into two-inch pieces. Toast a handful of pine nuts in a dry skillet, and zest a blood orange, and set aside in a small bowl. Section three blood oranges, chop the leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and add them to the asparagus in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, and toss to distribute evenly. Roast in a single layer in a parchment-lined pan at 475 degrees for 10-15 minutes (10 was perfect for me), then toss with reserved pine nuts and zest. I prepared the pan of asparagus and oranges and set it aside until I pulled the lamb out of the oven. Just be on the lookout for kitchen "helpers" who steal raw asparagus (hi Mom! She's actually a really great sous chef, but she does have a weakness for snitching, as you can see below).



The potatoes just before transferring to their serving bowl:



Simmering the lamb sauce to reduce it further:



My plate, just before digging in (lookit all the pretty colors!):

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4 Comments:

Blogger Swizzies said...

I have to stop reading you and A's blogs when I'm already starving. It just makes me feel deprived. Looks SOOOO good.

Also, you forgot the salmon. ;-)

April 3, 2007 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger MWR said...

What we see here all looks delicious. I still can't believe your mom would snitch an entire leg of lamb, but photos do not lie.

The combination of thyme with asparagus intrigues me. I'm pretty sure I've never combined asparagus with any herb. What did you think of that combination?

Last time I cooked asparagus it was in a risotto and I'll have you know I peeled every single stalk per Marcella's instructions. She's big into peeling things and her advice on the subject is insidious, as the expenditure of labor actually does improve things (peeling tomatoes, for example).

Hazan, of course.

April 3, 2007 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger janeannechovy said...

Did you at least have an asparagus peeler? I don't think I'd even try it, otherwise. I prefer the skinny spears that don't need peeling anyway (if you tried you'd have not much left), but I'm with her on peeling tomatoes.

I think fresh thyme goes with just about anything, and the asparagus recipe was deemed by all (the grownups, anyway--we didn't force it on the kids since there wasn't that much to go around anyway) as worth repeating.

Like I said, she's a good sous but a terrible snitch. :)

April 3, 2007 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger MWR said...

No peeler, just a paring knife. After a few spears, I got the hang of controlling the depth of penetration with my thumb. However, they were pretty skinny ones that I peeled, and I considered that I was wasting some. I think it was a good touch for the risotto I was making, but for most applications I don't think I would bother.

April 4, 2007 at 6:28 PM  

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