Thursday, March 25, 2010

Menu Planning: Easter

I'm looking forward to another cooking extravaganza in a few weeks for Easter. My mother always asks me to pull together a menu for holiday gatherings. I try to keep it simple, meaning I like recipes that can be made ahead and ones that are served hot from the oven. It makes the cooking process more enjoyable and much more manageable, especially if you are dealing with only one oven.

We discussed serving a tender prime rib, but when I came across a recipe for grilled leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic and mustard on Bon Appetit, I couldn't resist. One of the reasons Bon Appetit is such a great resource for entertaining is because they offer preplanned menus of a specific cuisine for a certain number of people. If you want a southern brunch menu for 8 or an Italian style meal for 10, they've got it. I found most of my favorite recipes under the "farm feast" menu option and am looking forward to a fresh and inspiring gourmet meal for the upcoming holiday.

The lamb recipe caught my eye in part because of the way it's prepared- on the grill! Timing wise, this will work out great as it will free up the oven for other dishes. The contributing ingredients are fairly typical: 8 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup dry white wine, 2 tbs. chopped rosemary, 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, 2 tbs. lemon juice and fresh rosemary and parsley for garnish.

Although I don't care for ham all that much, my grandfather insists that it be served. So, we'll also be making a ham. Our sides will include corn pudding; spring vegetables; asparagus, green onion and cucumber salad; chilled pea and mint soup; mashed potatoes as well as a traditional carrot cake and berry cobbler.

So, who's hungry?

I will make sure to follow up post-Easter with lots of great pictures.

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