The Passion of Palm Sunday

Beginning in the forth century in Jerusalem, Palm Sunday has been marked by a procession of the faithful carrying palm branches. They trace the steps of the Jews who celebrated Christ’s entrance into the city. The procession began on the Mount of Ascension and proceeded to the Church of the Holy Cross.

The practice spread throughout the world, and by the ninth century the faithful entered churches as a procession as the people waived palm leaves. The faithful continue to hold their palms during the reading of the Passion. It is a reminder that the very people who greeted Christ with shouts of joy on Palm Sunday would turn against Him and call for His death on Good Friday. This is a powerful reminder of our own weaknesses, especially today with media and social pressure to go along or be silenced.

Palm Sunday is important in that it is the beginning of the end. Yet in the end, there is forgiveness.

And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon.  And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way: And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. – Matthew 21:7-9

Like Easter, Palm Sunday is a time to rejoice. And like Easter, this beautiful Sunday deserves a feast fit for a King.

The Passion of Palm Sunday
The Appetizer Course –
Salmon Mousse Cups

The Soup Course –
Cold Asparagus Soup

The Main Course –
Crisp Lemon-Caper Chicken Thighs
Mediterranean Rice Pilaf

The Salad Course –
Hearts of Palm Avocado Pomegranate Salad

The Dessert Course –
Lemon Curd Cake with Ombré Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Salmon Mousse Cups
Pastry Shells

3 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 24 cup mini-muffin pan, set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add flour and mix well. Shape into 24 balls; press onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared muffin tins.

Bake in the heated oven for 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Mousse Filling
1 can (7.5 oz) Pink Salmon
1 tablespoon Shallot, finely minced
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Fresh Dill

Drain salmon, pick through and remove any skin, bone or cartilage remaining in the meat. Set aside. Peel and finely mince shallot, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the salmon, chicken stock, sour cream, shallot, lemon juice and salt until blended. Spoon into the shells. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle with fresh dill just before serving.

Original Recipe: Taste of Home

Cold Asparagus Soup
1 bunches Asparagus
1 medium Yellow Onions, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons Butter
4 cups Chicken Stock
Pinch Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, fresh
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
Thyme Leaves for garnish

Cut bottom ends from the asparagus and discard. Trim tops, set aside for garnish. Cut remaining stalks into 1/2-inch pieces, set aside.

Peel and dice onion, set aside. Peel and smash garlic, set aside.

Melt the butter in a large stainless-steal pot over medium heat.

Note: Immersion blender will be use to finish soup, so select pot accordingly.

Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat to low if necessary.

Add the chopped asparagus stalks to the pot. Add chicken stock, salt and fresh pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain the tips, then plunge into an ice-water bath to shock and stop cooking. Once the tips are cool, drain them and set aside.

Purée the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Bring the soup back to a simmer Squeeze in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Let soup continue to simmer until desired thickness is reached.

Ladle the soup into bowls, refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Just before serving, garnish each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmesan Cheese, Thyme leaves and fresh black pepper.

Original Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

Crisp Lemon-Caper Chicken Thighs
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
4 tablespoons Butter
6 bone-in Chicken Thighs with skin
6 Garlic Cloves
1 lemon, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons Capers
4 Green Onions
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pour chicken stock into the bottom of a medium-size glass casserole dish, set aside.

Melt butter. Brush chicken thighs thoroughly with melted butter. Arrange chicken in the prepared casserole dish.

Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Thinly slice lemon, set aside. Rinse Capers, set aside. Trim and discard root ends from green onions. Slice and set aside. 

Sprinkle minced garlic over and around the chicken thighs.  Tuck lemon slices around chicken, the scatter the capers over everything. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

Bake the chicken until completely cooked through and the skin is golden brown and crispy, for about 30 minutes. Internal temperature should register 175 degrees F.

To serve, spoon caper mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with finely chopped green onions.

Original Recipe: Julia’s Album

Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
3 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Orzo Pasta
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 cup White Rice, uncooked
2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
2 Basil Leaves, shredded for garnish

In a sauce pot over medium low heat, melt the butter.

Once the butter is melted, stir in the dry Orzo and cook just until the pasta begins to brown.

Peel and press garlic directly over the pasta. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the rice and chicken stock. Increase heat to high and bring the rice to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to just above a simmer (medium-low); cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, keep covered and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.

While the rice is cooking, cut thin ribbons of basil leaves and set aside.

When ready to serve, place the rice in a serving bowl, garnish and enjoy.

Hearts of Palm, Avocado Pomegranate Salad
Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1 Garlic Clove, grated
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil

In a glass measuring cup, squeeze the juice of half a lemon. Peel and grate garlic into the lemon juice.

Stir in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add Olive Oil one tablespoon at a time in a slow steady stream, whisking briskly. Set aside.

Leafy Hearts of Palm Salad
1/2 head Green Leaf Lettuce
1/2 head Red Leaf Lettuce
1 can Hearts of Palm
1 medium Avocado
1/4 cup fresh Pomegranate Seeds

Wash and spin dry or pat dry the lettuce. Tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Toss together in a shallow serving bowl.

Drain Hearts of Palm, cut into bite-size pieces. Scatter palms among the lettuce leaves.

Peel, remove stone and slice avocado. Sprinkle with lime juice to help hold the color. Work slices of avocado into the salad.

Finish salad with a sprinkling of colorful pomegranate seeds. Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve at once.

Original Recipe: Key Lime Lexi

Lemon Layer Cake with Ombré Lemon Buttercream
Layer Cake
1-1/2 cups Butter, room temperature
5 large Eggs, room temperature
1 Lemon, zested
3-3/4 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon additional Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups Buttermilk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

Let butter and eggs come to room temperature. Meanwhile, zest lemon and set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut parchment paper into circles to fit inside 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Lightly brush pans with butter, line with parchment circles and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

In another bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, lemon and almond extracts. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the side of bowl as necessary. Mix in lemon zest.

With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.

Divide batter among pans, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.

Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. About 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
2 cups Butter, room temperature
1 lb Powdered Sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Purple Food Coloring Gel as desired

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 6 minutes until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, sift the powdered sugar. Whisk in salt, set aside.

When the butter is creamed, beat in vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Add lemon juice and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.

Lemon Curd Filling
1 cup Store-bought Lemon Curd

To assemble cake, place first cake layer on a cake plate.

Fill a decorating bag with white frosting and pipe a border along the edge of the cake, creating a dam in the middle.

Spread 1/2 cup of lemon curd filling on the cake, within the piped border. Spread evenly. Top the curd with about 1/3 cup of frosting and spread smooth.

Place the next layer of cake on top. Repeat the process filling and frosting process. Finally, frost the top and sides of cake with a thin coat of frosting. Place cake in the refrigerator and let chill for 20 minutes.

Divide remaining frosting into three bowls. Tint each bowl with purple gel, one deep in color, the next lighter and the last a very light tint of purple.

Using Wilton tip 1M or tip 21 fitted to a decorating bag, start with the darkest color and pipe rosettes around the cake in one row. Repeat the process, using lighter colored frosting, then the lightest color rosettes cover the entire cake.

Original Recipe: A Classic Twist

May the Good Lord watch over you and keep you safe. Amen

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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