Easter Egg Decorating Party Recipes
Slow Poached Eggs & Smoky Bacon Hollandaise on Grilled Asparagus
Perfectly poached eggs shine like jewels in this colorful dish. Use the Smoking Gun™ to add an even smokier flavor to the asparagus or hollandaise sauce. Serves 6
- 2 bundles of jumbo asparagus or about 2 pounds
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 dozen eggs
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 egg yolks
- 8 ounces sweet butter, soft
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 slices of cooked bacon, lightly crispy and chopped (save 1 tablespoon of bacon fat)
- Salt and smoked paprika to taste
- Juice of one lemon
- For the grilled asparagus, trim an inch or so off the bottom of the asparagus. Use a peeler to peel the lower third of the stalk. Coat the asparagus with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a grill or grill pan to high. Alternatively, sauté or roast the asparagus, then use the Smoking Gun™ to add smoky flavor. Grill the asparagus for 3-4 minutes, turning frequently. The asparagus should be a little charred but still on the firm side.
- To poach the eggs, fill a deep skillet with water and add 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Turn on high heat and bring up to just simmering, then reduce the heat to low. Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, then gently pour the egg into the skillet of poaching liquid to poach the eggs.
- To make the hollandaise sauce, place on the stove in a 3-quart saucepan filled 1/3 of the way with water. Bring water to a simmer. In a large metal mixing bowl, whisk together yolks and a tablespoon of water. Place the bowl on top of pot of simmering water and whisk until egg yolks start to get frothy. While whisking continually add the softened butter and bacon fat a tablespoon at a time and continue whisking until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the bacon and season to taste with the salt, smoked paprika and lemon juice.
- To serve, set 4-5 asparagus spears on each plate, top with 2 poached eggs and then spoon the hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with a light dusting of a pinch of smoked paprika.
Sugar Smoked Salmon with Papaya-Citrus Salsa
This recipe plays with some new cooking techniques like sugar smoking and using the Smoking Gun™ tool. Luckily it can be prepared the night before! Serves 6
Sugar Smoked Salmon
- 6 4-ounce boneless filets of salmon
- Olive oil and kosher salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup black tea, preferably Lapsang Souchong
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- ¼ pound mixed greens or baby arugula
- 1 shallot minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 3 navel oranges peeled, sectioned and halved
- 1 papaya peeled, seeded and diced
- ½ cup minced red onion
- Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a mixing bowl, mix all salsa ingredients together, season to taste and set aside.
- Brush salmon filets with oil and sprinkle with salt. Line a heavy-bottomed roasting pan with foil. Combine the sugar, tea and spices then spread out evenly over the center area of the foil. Place a cake rack on top, and put the salmon on the rack — the salmon should be an inch or so above the spice mixture. Have a piece of foil large enough to cover the pan at the ready.
- Place the pan over high heat for 2 minutes so the sugar will start to caramelize and smoke, then tightly seal the pan with foil. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the stove. Using the Smoking Gun™, place the hose under the foil cover and smoke for several minutes. Seal in the smoke for a more intense smoky flavor if you prefer, then remove the foil. Carefully transfer the salmon to a plate and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Serve on a bed of mixed greens dressed with olive oil, lime juice and chopped shallots, accompanied by the Papaya-Citrus Salsa.
Smoky Roasted Red Peppers with Arugula and Marinated Tomatoes
This lively salad is a colorful addition to the menu. The roasted red peppers and the vinaigrette in this dish can be prepared in advance. Just remove from the refrigerator the morning of the party to warm to room temperature. Serves 6
- 2 large red bell peppers
- ¼ pound baby arugula
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes
(For the vinaigrette)
- ¼ cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon country style Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of capers, rinsed
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (spicy or sweet to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl or covered container.
- Roast the red peppers over the flames of your stove's gas burner or under your oven's broiler, turning frequently until the skin is well charred and blistered. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to allow the steam to loosen their skins.
- When cool enough to handle rub the charred skins off and then open them and remove the stems and seeds. Use a kitchen or paper towel if necessary but don't run under water and wash away their roasted flavor. Cut them into 1" wide strips and place in a bowl. At this point, you can use the Smoking Gun™ to add smokiness to the peppers. Marinate the peppers in the vinaigrette.
- To serve, core and slice the tomatoes in ½" thick slices and arrange on individual plates or on a platter.
- Spoon some of the peppers' vinaigrette over the tomato slices and season with some salt and pepper. Mix the arugula with the roasted peppers and then place in the middle of the sliced tomatoes. Serve.
Almond and Mixed Berry Crostata
This lively salad is a colorful addition to the menu. The roasted red peppers and the vinaigrette in this dish can be prepared in advance. Just remove from the refrigerator the morning of the party to warm to room temperature. Serves 10-12
- 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, tops removed, berries quartered
- ½ pint each raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, gently rinsed and blotted dry
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a pinch more
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for your work surface
- ¼ cup almond meal or very finely ground almonds
- 10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into about 10 chunks
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon each finely grated orange and lemon zest
- ¼ cup demura sugar (sugar in the raw) or other coarse sugar, for garnish (optional)
- Whipped cream, crème fraîche, or honey gelato (optional)
- Combine all the berries with ½ cup of the sugar, the corn starch, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the flour, almond flour, the remaining ½ cup of sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the butter and pulse just until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Add one egg, the egg yolk, and the citrus zest and pulse until the dough is well combined and begins to ball up around the blade. Transfer the dough to a work surface that has been liberally dusted with flour. Using your well-floured hands, gently form the dough into a ball, flatten it into an 8-inch disk, wrap in plastic film, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Twenty minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with a rack set at the lower middle position. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and place it onto the floured work surface. Dust a rolling pin with flour and use it to roll the dough into a 14-inch round. (If the dough is too cold and stiff, leave it for a few minutes and try again.) Use a pastry brush to gently brush excess flour from the surface of the dough. Place the rolling pin across the dough circle a few inches from the top and gently roll the dough around the pin. Use the pin to carefully lift the dough and unroll it onto the center of the parchment- lined baking sheet. Don't worry if the dough extends beyond the sheet.
- Use a slotted spoon to pile the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving juices that have collected in the bowl behind. Distribute the fruit evenly over the crust, leaving a 3-inch band of dough around the edge. Carefully lift the edges of the dough over the filling, tucking and ruffling to fit. Lightly beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush it over the exposed surface of the dough. Liberally sprinkle the dough with coarse sugar if you are using it.
- Bake until the pastry is deep, golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before sliding the crostata onto a large platter to serve. Serve wedges of the crostata warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche, a scoop of honey gelato or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Honey suggests the wildflowers of spring in this special accompaniment to Chef Altman's Fruit Crostata recipe. Serves 10-12
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 vanilla bean halved lengthwise or 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- In a heavy sauce pan, heat the cream, milk, vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract add later), sugar and honey, stirring occasionally until the sugar and honey are dissolved and the mixture is hot (190 º). Do not boil.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Continue whisking and temper the egg yolks by slowly ladling in a cup of the hot cream mixture. Pour tempered egg mixture back in to the pan and whisk together until smooth. If using, add the vanilla extract. Return the pan to medium heat and stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon. It is done when mixture coats the back of the spoon.
- Strain custard base through a fine-mesh strainer into a container and chill in a refrigerator. When the base is chilled, place in your machine and process until it is frozen, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer the gelato to a plastic container and store in a freezer or serve immediately.