Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Dinner

In an effort to mix things up, we did not have a traditional ham dinner yesterday, but instead grilled steak and veggies! It was a nice summer meal and now I'm so excited for the weather to warm up!
I marinaded some NY Strip steaks in Lawry's Signature Steakhouse marinade for about 5 hours. I skewered up whole button mushrooms, halved brussel sprouts, cubed orange pepper and sliced yellow squash. I added plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper before grilling.
In addition, I made scalloped potato gratin by Tyler Florence. This was so yummy and everyone enjoyed it:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme (used 3 or 4 sprigs)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Butter (used Pam)
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling (I think I used more like 1 cup - I love cheese!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg.
While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes (baked it for about 55 minutes because my potato slices were on the thick side). Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 3 minutes.

I didn't get a solo shot of the gratin but here it is in the center of the photo (that's Greg's plate with a gigantic steak!). To the right of the potatoes is the tabbouleh.

For a salad, I made tabbouleh. I have had this a few times at restaurants but never ventured to make it myself. I also made it as a test because it's on Arielle's graduation party food list. It passed the test with flying colors so I'll be making it again (a huge batch) in June for the party. The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa Parties! :

1 cup bulgur wheat (I found some organic bulgar at my local health food store)

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the bulgur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

I didn't use a cup of each parsley and mint - it seemed excessive.
Finally, I made white wine sangria. A bottle of cheap chardonnay, a frozen melange of tropical fruit and a liter of ginger ale made a refreshing treat to go with dinner. I put the wine in a pitcher, added the fruit and refrigerated it for about 4 hours. Then I added the ginger ale and refrigerated it for another hour. Sparkling refreshment!
Additional Easter Day pictures:

Arielle, Adam, Greg & Hope after we found our Easter baskets.

My dad surprised my grandparents and my mom with this light post in town that is dedicated to Parents Bob & Pat Swenson and Merle & Ruth Adams.

In the photo from left: my dad, grandpa, grandma, me, Adam, Arielle, my mom and Chester in the front. And Greg behind the camera.

Greg and I in downtown New Bloomfield looking like we just rolled out of bed!

NOTE: I am going to be investing in a new camera soon so my pictures will get better...

1 comment:

  1. I think your pictures are great already, but a new camera sure will be fun too!! :)

    I'm jealous of your dinner and your light post!