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CHEF D’S KITCHEN My Easter eats

cheese 1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon cider vinegar 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup sliced green onion with tops paprika

I have many fond food memories of dining on these dishes on Easter Sunday. It is indeed a blessing to share them with you to enjoy with your friends and family. Have a Happy Easter!

Classic Seven Layer Salad

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce salt and pepper

6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced 2 cups frozen peas, thawed

8 to 16 ounces bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar

Place 3 cups of the lettuce in bottom of large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer egg slices over lettuce in bowl and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Continue to layer vegeta- bles in this order: peas, remaining lettuce, crum- bled bacon, and shredded cheese, along with light sprinklings of salt and pepper. Combine mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar; spread over top, spreading to edge of bowl to cover entire salad. Cover and chill 24 hours or overnight. Garnish with green onion and a little paprika. Toss before serving. Serves 12 to 15.

Roast Leg of Lamb

1 leg of lamb, about 5 pounds 4 cloves garlic, crushed 2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano, crushed 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup dry red wine

1/4 cup sliced green onions 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons flour salt and pepper to taste

Cut deep slits in meat at 2-inch intervals. Combine crushed garlic, salt, oregano, and pep- per; press into the slits in meat. Place lamb on a rack, fat side up, in open roasting pan. Mix red wine and green onions and lemon juice; reserve 1 cup of mixture for gravy. Brush lamb with a little of the remaining wine mixture. Brushing frequently with the wine mixture, roast at 325° for about 30 minutes per pound, or until ther- mometer reads about 175° for medium. Lift roast to a warm platter and make gravy. Pour juices into a measuring cup; skim off fat. Add water to juices to make 1 cup. Measure 2 tablespoons of the fat into the roasting pan, over medium low heat. Stir in flour scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add meat juices and reserved red wine mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until hot and bubbly. Cook for 1 minute then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour 3 tablespoons brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons shortening 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes 6 tablespoons milk 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cut in 1/4 cup butter and the shortening with a pastry blender or forks until mixture is crumbly. Add mashed sweet potato and milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead just a few times

Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and brush with the melt- ed butter. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Makes about 15 to 18 biscuits.

David Blackmon is the chef/owner of The Culinary Solution (Private Event Chefs for Hire). Questions? Or Comments. Email him:

Popovers: Simple, speedy dessert right for spring By J.M. Hirsch

(AP) Dessert is an uncommon offering in my house, though not due to any we're-too- healthy-for-that ethic. Rather, the typical day of work and errands and chasing a child tend to leave me with lit- tle time to consider dessert.

Which is why on the rare occasion that dessert does make an appearance, it needs to be fast, simple and something that can be prepped ahead. Even better is when the dessert can do double duty and be used in another meal the next day. That's a tall order for dessert.

But I have found one that works for all cri- teria - popovers.

This simple pastry - they resemble large, inflated muffins, but are hollow - comes together in almost no time and calls for just a handful of ingredients. Even better, the batter can be made the night ahead. And because popovers aren’t particularly sweet, they work as well for dessert (their fillings can be sweet) as they do for breakfast. Here's how it works. You make the batter in the blender whenever you have a spare 5 min- utes (up to 24 hours ahead of time). Refrigerate it until you a ready to use it (just pop it back on the blender base for a quick

whir before using). For a dessert, heat the oven while you make

dinner. As you sit down to eat, pour the batter into a popover pan, pop that in the oven, then go enjoy dinner. By the time you finish, the popovers will be done. Then just tear a small opening and spoon in a filling - I’ve offered a simple mascarpone cream, but use whatever moves you - and you’re done.

For a second serving as breakfast, save half of the batter for the next morning, then bake up a fresh batch and serve them with jam and butter.

Cardamom Popovers with Cinnamon Mascarpone and Berries Start to finish: 45 minutes Servings: 12

For the popovers: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups milk 4 large eggs

2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the filling: Two 8-ounce tubs mascarpone


2 tablespoons honey Juice and zest of 1 lemon 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Sliced strawberries or other fresh berries, to serve

Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat a 6-cup popover pan with cooking spray. In a blender, combine the flour, milk, eggs,

butter, sugar, salt and cardamom. Blend until the ingredients form a very smooth batter, about 1 minute. Fill each of the prepared popover pan cups about halfway with batter. You should use only half of the batter in the blender. The remainder can be baked as a sec- ond batch or refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the popovers from the pan and use a knife to cut a small hole in the top of each to let the steam escape. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, in a medi- um bowl gently stir together the mascarpone, honey, lemon juice and zest, and the cinna- mon. When the popovers have cooled just enough to handle, carefully tear the opening in each just enough to be able to spoon in about 1/4 cup of the filling. Serve each with sliced strawberries or other fresh berries. Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number

AP/Matthew Mead

and calculated using 1/2 cup strawberries per serving): 510 calories; 300 calories from fat (59 percent of total calories); 34 g fat (18 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 175 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 3 g fiber; 330 mg sodium.

By David Blackmon

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