Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Easter Sunday Dinner

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb with Potatoes
Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Smokey Tomato Orzo with Sugar Snap Peas and Asparagus and Fresh Basil and Chives
Lemon Thyme Bars
I made my first ever Easter dinner on Sunday and had to start with new recipes for inspiration since it was my first attempt (Thanks A for the guidance). I turned to Ina Garten for my appetizer and main course: smoked salmon deviled eggs and herb-roasted lamb, and Giada De Laurentiis for my side dish (although I altered the recipe significantly) and dessert: orzo with smokey tomato vinaigrette and spring vegetables and lemon thyme bars. Overall a very spring-y menu and I think that it was fairly successful. The smoked salmon deviled eggs were an interesting and tasty take on traditional deviled eggs, although they were a touch too salty, as smoked salmon and salmon roe are inherently so salty. In the future I would halve the amount of salt. The orzo and vegetable dish was really good and probably my favorite; I used fresh organic farmer's market snap peas and asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces and blanched them (3 mins for asparagus, 1 min for snap peas in boiling water that I then used for the orzo) and shocked them in ice water, so that they still retained a crisp texture and all their green flavor, and it was a nice match with the smoky tomato sauce, fresh herbs and orzo. The recipe as written would have been too bland without my addition of spring vegetables and a sprinkling of chives at the end. I will definitely be making this dish again all spring and summer long; it's fresh, light and flavorful. The lamb was just a little bit overcooked (as were the potatoes); I should have taken it out at 135 degrees, and the garlic and rosemary seasoning was really fragrant and savory where it was rubbed on, but I didn't put it on the bottom of the roast, so it was a little underseasoned on the bottom and middle. I should have salt and peppered it all over, even if I only put the rub on the top. The lemon thyme bars were pretty good; we like the contrast of sour and sweet with discernible notes of thyme and wasn't too buttery or heavy tasting with all the freshness from the lemon and herbs. I had difficulty getting it out of the pan once it was cooked, but it tasted good anyway. With only 4 people, we had plenty of leftovers, at least half of the lamb (which was 4lbs to begin with) and orzo and some lemon bars. We paired dinner with a 2005 Carlisle Russian River Valley Zinfandel from Pietro's Ranch. Unfortunately the Carlisle was a little dull; it didn't have the rich juicy and bold chewy flavors of the usual Carlisle Zins, even of the appellations, which I love.


  1. Thanks! I'm pretty pleased considering it was my first time cooking a leg of lamb.



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