An Easter to Break Tradition

Last year, Easter was so difficult on so many levels. The world was a scary place. People were dying and the only answer seemed to be to isolate from one another. We’ll never know how many more might have died had the world not shut down.

Nor will we know for years to come just how much damage isolation caused. People aren’t designed to be solitary creatures. Depression and loneliness can be just as deadly as any virus. At long last, we can see glimpses of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Praise be and give thanks to the Lord above!

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

Give thanks to the Lord, foe He is good,
For his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

The right hand of the Lord has struck with power;
The right hand of the Lord is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickless, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. – Corinthians 5:6B-8

Breaking with Tradition Easter Supper
Grilled Artichoke Flatbread

Clementine Roast Chicken
Sage Butter Mashed Potatoes
Bacon Maple Glazed Carrots

Chocolate Truffle Clementine Cake

Grilled Artichoke Flatbread
3 cup Baby Spinach
3 cups Arugula Leaves
2 (6 oz) jars marinated Artichoke Hearts
2 Roma Tomatoes
4 Nanna Breads
Olive Oil as needed
6 oz Garlic and Herb Goat Cheese
Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Italian Spice Blend with Red Pepper Flakes

Note: Look for a spicy Italian blend or add some red pepper flakes and dried onions to your favorite blend.

Rinse and pat dry spinach and arugula. Set aside. Drain Artichoke hearts, pat dry and roughly chop, set aside. Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds, dice the remaining flesh, set aside.

Heat gas grill on high for a few minutes until hot.

Brush both sides of flat breads lightly with some of the oil. Place bread directly on the hot grate, reduce heat to medium. Close lid and grill bread for about 2 minutes, just long enough to toast with attractive grill marks.

Transfer bread, grilled side up, on a cutting board. Top each bread with spinach, arugula, crumbled cheese, artichoke hearts and diced tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, season with fresh pepper.

Return bread to grill rack, and let grill for about 2 minutes more, until bottoms are browned and toppings are heated through.

Transfer to a serving platter. Place Italian Seasoning Blend in a small bowl to sprinkle over bread as desired.

Inspired by: Better Homes and Garden

Clementine Roast Chicken
7 Clementines, divided
3-1/2 lb Whole Chicken
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
4 strips Bacon
12 fresh Sage Leaves
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 dry White Wine
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves

Heat oven to 450-degrees. Halve all seven Clementines. Thinly slice four halves into half-moons; set all aside.

Rinse chicken body cavity; pat dry. Season inside and outside of chicken with salt and black pepper. Place one clementine half in cavity. Twist wing tips under back; tie drumsticks together using kitchen string. Place breast side up in a 13-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch deep baking pan.

Lay bacon lengthwise on chicken breast; tuck six sage leaves and all clementine slices under bacon.

Over a small bowl juice four clementine halves. Whisk in maple syrup, wine, and oil. Peel and finely mince garlic, add to the glaze mix and set aside.

Place remaining five clementine halves around chicken. Chop remaining sage leaves; sprinkle over clementines. Roast chicken 20 minutes. Spoon half the glaze over chicken. Reduce heat to 350-degrees; cover chicken with foil. Roast 50 to 60 minutes, spooning remaining glaze over chicken every 15 minutes.

Remove and set aside foil. Roast 10 minutes more or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers at least 170-degrees. Cover with foil; let stand 10 minutes.

To serve, squeeze one roasted clementine half over chicken. Carve tableside for a dramatic presentation.

Sage Butter Mashed Potatoes
3 lb. small Yukon Gold Potatoes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) Butter, divided
12 fresh Sage Leaves
3/4 cup Half-and-Half
Kosher Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Peel potatoes, cut into quarters. Place in a stock pot with just enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, return to stock pot and “dry” potatoes over low heat for about 5 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter. When the foam subsides, add the sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking the butter until it is brown but not smoking, 2 to 3 minutes more. Pour into a heatproof bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter and the half-and-half. Heat until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, about 8 minutes.

Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or hand-held mixer until creamy but not yet smooth. Using a spatula, fold in the Half-and-Half mixture and 4 to 5 tablespoons of the brown butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish. Garnish with the sage leaves and drizzle with the remaining brown butter. Serve immediately.

Bacon Maple Glazed Carrots
2 lb Young Carrots, with tops
1 lb Bacon
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 tablespoons Bourbon
Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel carrots and trim tops, leaving just an inch or two for dramatic flair.

Wrap each carrots with a piece of bacon as tightly as possible so that when it cooks the bacon sticks to the carrots.

Place on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the carrots are roasting you can make the glaze by adding the syrup, cayenne pepper and bourbon to a small bowl and mixing together.

Remove from the oven and glaze generously with the maple glaze and roast again for another 15 minutes.

While the carrots continue to roast, chop the parsley for garnish.

Remove the carrots from the oven and glaze once more, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Original Recipe: Mantitlement

Chocolate Truffle Clementine Cake
Clementine Cake

4 Clementine
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup Water
4 Eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

Heat oven 325-degrees. Grease bottoms and sides of two 9-inch round dark; non-stick cake pans with shortening or margarine. Dust with flour, shaking out excess. Set pans aside.

Finely zest all four of Clementines into a small bow. Cut two of the oranges in half, squeeze juice and add to the zest. Add vanilla to the zest mixture, set aside.

Blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a large bowl at low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Add zest mixture to batter. Increase speed to medium, beat for 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake on the middle rack in the heated oven for about 20 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool completely. Once cakes have cooled completely, level dome at the top of the cake. Cut cake in half to create two layers. Place layers on a baking sheet side by side.

Repeat with remaining cake, cutting dome to level, then creating two layers of cake. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.

While the cake bakes and cools, place a mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer to chill.

Chocolate Truffle Frosting
3-1/2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips
1-1/2 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
5 cups Heavy Cream

Bring water to a gentle simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. Heat 1-1/2 cups heavy cream in the top boiler until almost scalded, bubbles forming around the edge.

Add the chocolate chips and stir constantly,  just until the chocolate is melted and smooth throughout. DO NOT allow mixture to get too hot or the chocolate will begin to cook. Cream should be just hot enough to melt chocolate, lukewarm to the touch. Lower heat so water is barely simmering.

Remove bowl and whisk attachment from the freezer. Whip remaining 3-1/2 cups of cream until firm peaks form.

Add the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture in four portions, folding gently after each addition until the whipped cream is completely incorporated into the chocolate.

Place truffle frosting in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes or so. Give frosting a quick fold with a rubber spatula every 10 minutes so that it cools evenly.

To assemble cake: Remove cakes from freezer. Place bottom layer on the center of a cake plate, cut side down. Spread a layer of frosting over the top of the bottom layer.

Press next layer on top, frost top of second layer. Press third layer on top of second, frost top of third layer. Press final layer on top of the third. Frost top layer, then frost sides.

Transfer remaining frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe a decorative border around edge of cake with remaining frosting.

Peel remaining Clementines, break apart into sections. Garnish top of cake as desired with orange segments.

Cover, refrigerate until ready to serve.

On a personal note; we were so looking forward to hosting Easter at our house this year. Today Hubby, Kiddo and I will sit down to a very traditional Easter Ham Supper. Unfortunately, our non-traditional traditional Easter surrounded by family had to be postponed. Hubby was exposed to the virus a few days ago. While he is fine, we decided to self-quarantine away from my elderly father. The science regarding the spread is so filled with conflict, it seemed the prudent choice. On the bright side, we’ll celebrate Easter twice – once today and again in two weeks.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

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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