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Posts tagged ‘easter’

Happy Easter

Wishing you a joyous Easter!

EGGS1

l-r: Ostrich, emu, duck, chicken, pheasant, quail eggs … exotic eggs are seasonally available to our chef and retail clients.

With all the talk about eggs, it got us wondering about their significance in spring. Eggs are traditionally connected with rebirth, rejuvenation and immortality. That’s why they are often associated with Easter. On a more practical level? In the early Christian calendar eggs were forbidden during Lent, so after forty days of deprivation everyone wanted to eat eggs!

“Because eggs embody the essence of life, people from ancient times to the modern day have surrounded them with magical beliefs, endowing them with the power not only to create life but to prophesy the future. Eggs symbolize birth and are believed to ensure fertility. They also symbolize rebirth, and thus long life and even immortality. Eggs represent life in its various stages of development, encompassing the mystery and magic of creation…The concept of eggs as life symbols went hand in hand with the concept of eggs as emblems of immortality. Easter eggs, in fact, symbolize immortality, and particularly the resurrection of Christ, who rose from a sealed tomb just as a bird breaks through an eggshell.”
-Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 85-6)

We think eggs are pretty magical, too. That’s why we deviled six different types. Some were easier to eat than others! Did you know an ostrich egg is the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs? And the shell is so thick that you need a hammer or saw to open it.

At the other extreme, it would take four quail eggs to equal one chicken egg. You can learn more about these tiny eggs on our website, including ideas on how to cook them. And check out our egg recipes while you’re there!

deviled

Deviled ostrich, emu, duck, chicken, pheasant and quail eggs.

Top 5 Easter Main Dishes

What are you serving on Easter?  We have some classic, fresh spring preparations for family favorites like heritage ham, lamb, and rabbit.

roast-leg-of-lamb-holiday-recipe

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Top 5 Easter Side Dishes

At Easter you may serve tender spring vegetables like peas and asparagus. But there is a long-standing tradition of breaking the Lenten fast with rich, creamy dishes and generous amounts of meat, assuming that you have deprived yourself for 40 days. Since we love a hearty side dish, we collected some of our favorites that pair well with ham or lamb. And there are plenty of potatoes. Always potatoes… truffle-butter-pommes-anna-recipe

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Top 6 Easter Appetizer Recipes

How about a nibble to start the Easter meal? From the simple to the sublime, there’s a little something for everyone here. Small bites, big flavors. Click through to see the recipes.

scotch-quail-eggs-recipe
1. Tiny quail eggs may take extra time to peel, but they are so cute – and delicious – that it’s worth the effort. Make a big batch of these Scotch eggs, because they are all too easy to eat! With wild boar sausage inside the golden crust they may also serve as a conversation starter.

french ham & pear recipes preview

2.  The combination of dry-cured ham and fruit is a perennial favorite. In this case, we used pears, and a bit of fresh ricotta; truffle butter on the crostini brings in a tasty new element. The truffle honey is optional, but we highly recommend it.  Just keep this recipe in your back pocket for parties.

gougeres-french-cheese-puffs-with-truffle-butter-recipe

3. Speaking of truffle butter, this recipe for gougeres is going to change your game. Brunch, cocktail parties, holiday gatherings … they all benefit from the perfection of these mouthfuls of airy dough and cheese. They seem so right for the Easter meal, whether it’s a brunch or a feast.

deviled-quail-eggs-with-bacon-and-thyme-recipe

4. It’s Easter, so everyone expects eggs. Do the grown-up thing and devil some quail eggs and top them with bacon.  Everyone will thank you.

crispy-phyllo-mushroom-appetizers-recipe

5. Mushrooms and crème fraîche fill these phyllo triangles with flavor. Yes, we brushed them with truffle butter. Because we can … and so can you!

wild-mushroom-vol-au-vents-recipe

6. One last honorable mention, also involving puff pastry, mushrooms and a hint of cream: the vol-au-vent.  This classic hors d’oeuvre makes a lovely presentation, and can be passed or served at dinner, or brunch.

7 Easter Brunch Ideas & Recipes

Are you hosting Easter brunch and looking for some fun ideas … perhaps with more bacon? We have some recipes to inspire a very tasty brunch this year, with seasonal ingredients and quite a lot of bacon.

1. Bacon and cheddar scones are perfect for brunch, paired with scrambled eggs. Also tea time, snack time, or any time.  These easy-to-make scones have crispy edges, a flaky yet tender interior, and are packed with flavor from our applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh chives. Try one fresh from the oven. Thank us later.

bacon-and-cheddar-scones-recipe

Bacon cheddar scones

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter 2014

On the menu: Easter mains & sides!

So yesterday, we gave you some ideas and recipes for Easter appetizers. (Mmmmm… black truffle gougeres!) Today, we’re all about classic main dishes and comforting, family-friendly sides. We broke our suggestions down into two menus that can also be mixed and matched, if you desire.

Our first menu features Lamb as the centerpiece. Our boneless lamb loin is super easy to prepare and no matter how you cook it, turns out tender and juicy. Tangy spring leeks make the perfect foil to a sweet, truffle honey vinaigrette. We paired the lamb with potatoes roasted in duck fat (our secret weapon!) and rounded out the meal with smoky maitake mushrooms and a crisp bibb lettuce salad.

lamb loin with leeks, duck fat potatoes, bibb salad with radish, maitake mushrooms

Menu #1

Lamb Loin with Leeks and Truffle Honey Vinaigrette

Potatoes Crisped in Duck Fat

Pan Roasted Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms

Spring Salad with Peas, Radishes and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette

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Our second menu shines the light on a perennial Easter favorite, our Applewood Smoked Heritage Hams. We did the work for you – our hand-crafted hams are fully-cooked and need little adornment. We just brushed on a simple glaze made with apricot preserves, mustard and bourbon and heated through. Dried morels give decadent pommes dauphinois an earthy edge, while citrusy green beans and duck fat biscuits finish the table.

glazed ham, duck fat biscuits, citrus tarragon green beans, yukon gold morel mushroom gratin

 Menu #2

Apricot-Bourbon Glazed Applewood Smoked Heritage Ham

Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Morels

Green Beans with Tarragon and Citrus Butter

Duck Fat Biscuits

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Come back for tomorrow’s post! It’s all about the perfect wines to pair with your Easter feast, with suggestions and tasting notes from one of America’s Top Sommeliers, Anani Lawson of per se in New York City. This is one you do not want to miss.

Easter Appetizers D’Artagnan Style

Still planning your Easter feast? We’re here to help!

This year, we’ve put together a sample menu of fabulous spring recipes for your Easter table. Today’s post puts the spotlight on appetizers.

First up, our Black Truffle Butter Gougeres.

Light-as-air puffs with a moist interior, these truffle-flecked gougeres will disappear fast – so make a bunch!  We adapted this tried-and-true recipe from Daniel Boulud’s cookbook, Cocktails & Amuses-Bouches for Him & Her.

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Teeny deviled quail eggs are not only delicious but a great conversation starter. Here are three crowd-pleasing variations that start with the same basic ingredients and technique then veer off in completely different directions – trust us, there’s one for every taste!

Deviled Quail Eggs with Bacon & Thyme

These little beauties have a satisfying smoky bite from the addition of our Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon. Fresh thyme balances the richness.

Deviled Quail Eggs with Porcini & Parmesan

Don’t let their size fool you – these mini eggs are umami-bombs. Our Porcini Powder lends an earthy richness while the soft bed of microplaned parmesan gives them a stable resting spot and another layer of flavor.

Deviled Quail Eggs with D’Artagnan Caviar

A swirl of creme fraiche makes these deviled eggs silky smooth, but the real star of this dish is our exclusive Caviar D’Aquitaine.

An Easter meal just isn’t complete without some early spring vegetables. Adapted from one of our favorite Martha Stewart recipes,  this easy-to-make Asparagus Tart with Jambon de Bayonne is piled high with ribbons of tender-crisp asparagus and topped with a sprinkling of salty Gruyere. Our version has a hidden layer of Bayonne Ham that puts it over the edge. Delicious!

Are you hungry yet?!

We’re not finished! Tomorrow we’ll cover classic Easter main courses and comforting side dishes. On Friday, we’ll tie it all together with some convivial wine pairings from one of America’s top sommeliers!

Stay tuned!