Easter with a twist

April 2, 2013

And a fair-to-middlin' Easter dinner it was.

And a fair-to-middlin’ Easter dinner it was.

This was Easter dinner: Ham, potato salad, asparagus, pineapple, deviled eggs.

But it wasn’t just your ordinary Easter dinner. Oh, no, I was not going to do something as routine as THAT.

So I glazed the ham with char siu sauce and grilled it. I sprinkled the fresh pineapple slices with curry powder and grilled them (I was rummaging  for my Jamacian jerk seasoning, ran across the curry powder first, decided that would do nicely). And I tossed the asparagus spears with olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, grilled them as well, then dusted them with freshly grated Parmigiano.

The potato salad was normal, which is to say, outstanding. The eggs I deviled with some of the leftover dressing from the potato salad. Bad choice. Won’t do that again.

Overall, mixed results. The ham in char siu sauce was OK, flavor-wise, but the damn thing was tough, which I had not expected. I think I’m going to seal it in a vacuum bag and sous vide it for a day, see if that will tenderize it. Had a good flavor, though.

The pineapple — I should have gone on and looked for the Jamaican jerk. The curry powder, while interesting, and not half bad, did not blend as well with the pineapple as I think the JJ would have.  Grilled fresh pineapple, though, is a marvelous thing. It would have been good with barbecue sauce and a light vinegar/spice glaze, too.

Sweet Baby Jesus asparagus.

Sweet Baby Jesus asparagus.

But the asparagus. Oh, my, the asparagus. The asparagus was about the best thing I’ve cooked on a grill in a long, long time. I grilled it until I started to see brown spots (OK, a couple of black spots where the flames flared up). The combo of roasted/grilled asparagus, the smoky flavor from the grill, and the lemon was marvelous. Combine it with the grated Parm, and it was absolutely Sweet Baby Jesus territory. I will SO be doing this one again.

It’s not a recipe so much as a technique. Wash your asparagus (I used a one-pound bunch). Break off the tough ends. Pare the stalks if necessary. Dry them on a paper towel or dish towel, and then put them on a plate; drizzle them with olive oil (I suppose you could just as easily use melted butter), and sprinkle the zest of one lemon over them. Cut the nekkid lemon in half and squeeze that on the spears as well. Toss them to make sure they get nicely coated. Put them in some sort of grill basket and stick them on a medium hot grill for about five minutes on a side. I grated about 1/3 cup of parm to sprinkle on top while they were still good and hot. You can do it in the oven the same way, if you’ve a mind to. Hard to beat, although it’s a tossup whether it’s better like this, steamed with butter and lemon, or steamed with full-blown Hollandaise. I suspect I will have to try them all three ways on consecutive days, and probably still can’t name a favorite.

Oh. They’re pretty wonderful wrapped in proscuitto and baked until the proscuitto is crispy, too. Just sayin’.

Elsewhen in the kitchen: This, my friends, is COFFEE. Sho’nuff coffee. Five pounds of it.

Coffee. Lots o'coffee. Five pounds of it.

Coffee. Lots o’coffee. Five pounds of it.

You may remember I order my coffee from Cafe Brazil in Dallas. I order it five pounds at a time, because five one-pound bags fit perfectly into the flat-rate boxes CB uses to ship, and it costs as much to ship five pounds of coffee as it does one pound, so it makes perfect sense to buy  five at a time, yes? Yes. Except I usually order five one-pound bags. Not paying a great deal of attention to what I was doing, I chose “five pounds” from the drop-down menu on the website. So five pounds is what I got. Guess I’ll get busy and bag THAT in smaller bags, as well. Thank you, Mr. Vacuum Sealer.

Being that I’m a temporary Lady of Leisure these days (and enjoying it thoroughly, thank you very much!), I cleaned out the fridge this morning, a particularly necessary thing being that I am leaving town for a week tomorrow. I was pretty ashamed. There are things in there that were old enough to retire, let alone old enough to vote. Next step is to put away two huge baskets of clean laundry and clean my bedroom, at least to some degree.  Then when I get back, the next project is to go through and start pruning and throwing away and such, because I am going to be moving sometime in the next two or three months, and I really don’t want to have to move a lot of the junk that’s gotten moved the last two or three times.

Hope you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em had a fine Easter. When I get back, y’all can come help me pack, and I’ll cook for you.

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