preparing Easter dinner . . .
Some people rely on a baked ham for Easter dinner. We like it too – especially with scalloped potatoes, but some hams are dry and can also take a long time to use up leftovers – eggs benedict and pea soup being the best in our book!
This year, we’re having a roast leg of lamb. People don’t have lamb as often as beef, pork and chicken, it seems. But for an occasion like this, a harbinger of Spring finally, the aroma of rosemary, garlic and roasting lamb in the oven is tantalizingly appetizing.
I’ve been preparing our dinner in small increments so that I am not hounding the stove at the last minute. The brussels sprouts weren’t cooked through enough the last time we had them at Thanksgiving – so I started cleaning, parboiling and preparing them with fresh bacon and butter. They’re now ready to heat up in a nice serving bowl when the lamb comes out of the oven.
Usually, I don’t make potatoes – unless they’re mashed with the Thanksgiving turkey and gravy. Lately, however, I’ve been cutting russet potatoes into segments, not cubes, rolling them in olive oil and a little butter and baking them with the skins on. Today, I’m planning to put them in on the front end of searing the lamb at 425 degrees and pulling them out when I turn the oven temperature down to 325 for the lamb to continue roasting slowly. When the lamb is done (135 meat thermometer for medium rare,) I’ll take it out and let it rest. The roasted potatoes and cooked brussels sprouts will go back into the oven to heat up before serving.
One other thing I’m trying out today is to use a little maple syrup (sugar free) and melted butter on the shallots and carrots surrounding the leg of lamb. That will add a little glaze to these vegetables and go along well with the mustard, rosemary, garlic lamb marinade that Julia Child published years ago and that we always have with leg of lamb.
Wow! the kitchen is already smelling pretty great with garlic, rosemary and bacon filling the air! Yesterday, I made the carrot-orange cake and cream cheese frosting. I was surprised at how much time it took and I’m glad I didn’t wait until today to make it.
Last of all, I ironed the damask napkins that one of my daughters gave me for Thanksgiving and set the table.
When family arrives, we’ll pop open a bottle of Italian Prosecco and snack on some roasted nuts and olives while the crabmeat dip is heating in the oven. I hope we’ll still have room for dinner!!
Happy Easter everybody – and Happy Spring!