Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Recipes Supreme

The pollen count is in full swing, the sun hangs a little longer in the sky and the temperatures are climbing everyday. Easter is right around the corner and spring is here to stay. Like so many others, it's my favorite time of year. Little bursts of color cover nearly every inch of the outdoors and I'm close to breathless waiting for my first hummingbird to visit the feeder.
Cooking in spring is meant to be easy. God's already given us the freshest, best ingredients that have waited all winter to show off. Get to kitchen and usher in all the flavor of the season.

Little Beet Salad

Serves 4

 If you can’t find small beets, cut larger ones into 1-inch pieces. Although harder to find than the typical red, look for beets that are different colors, like white or yellow. Choose the beets with the greens attached.

3/4 pound small beets (about the size of a golf ball)
1 cup beet greens
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups mixed lettuce leaves

Remove the tops from the beets and peel the beets. Cut each beet into 4 wedges. Steam in a steamer basket for 18 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Meanwhile, choose 1 cup of the smallest of the beet greens, stack the leaves, and slice into ribbons. Set aside.
Whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, ginger, lemon juice, and salt. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the vinegar mixture.
Combine the lettuce and sliced beet greens and arrange on a small platter. Toss the warm steamed beets with about half the dressing in a small mixing bowl. Pour the beets over the lettuce. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Jalapeño Deviled Eggs

Makes 24

12 large eggs
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cover the eggs with about 1 inch of cold water in a large saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, turn the heat off and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Submerge the eggs under cold water. Peel the eggs while holding them in running cold water. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise.
Remove the yolks from the eggs and place in a medium mixing bowl. Using a whisk, combine the yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, peppers, and salt.
Carefully spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg whites. 

Pecan-Crusted Racks of Lamb

Serves 6

2 (1 1/2-pound) racks of lamb, frenched
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh herbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450˚F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
Place the racks of lamb on the prepared baking sheet. The racks should be lying down with the bones curving toward the bottom of the pan. 
Finely chop the pecans, mint leaves, and herbs. Place the pecans and minced herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Stir in the olive oil. 
Using half of the herb mixture for each rack, spread the mixture on top of the racks. Pat the herb mixture gently so as to coat the entire top side. 
Bake at 450˚F for 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 130˚F for medium- rare. Let the lamb rest  at least 5 minutes before carving. To carve, slice between each bone.

Copyright © 2012 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. All rights reserved.  
Recipes from Quick-Fix Southern by Rebecca Lang, Andrews McMeel 2011

No comments: