3 Course Spring Meal…
I’ve been in Spring mode all day today. I did a post on Easter decorating, Spring florals and I thought I would round things out by doing a Spring meal. From hors d’oeuvre to the main course to dessert, according to Food & Wine online these are some of the best Spring recipes available. As soon as I kick this cold I plan on trying them all out! Follow the picture links for many more tasty Spring recipes.
Hor D’Oeuvre: Cherry Tomato Tart With Basil
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves
- Butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. In a food processor, pulse the flour with a pinch of salt and the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cream and pulse until the dough nearly comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead a few times. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Roll out the dough to a 14-inch round. Press the round into the tart pan; trim off any excess. Mound the tomatoes in the shell. Bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, until the dough is evenly browned. Let cool. Season with salt, garnish with the basil and serve.
Main Course: Beer-Braised Chicken Stew with Fava Beans and Peas
*Braise chicken thighs in beer before adding to the stew
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- 8 skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons anise seeds
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 cup shelled fava beans
- 1/2 cup fresh peas, preferably English peas
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound button mushrooms, halved
- 8 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- One 12-ounce bottle Belgian beer
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a small skillet, toast the anise seeds over moderate heat, shaking the skillet, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let the anise seeds cool slightly, then crush with the side of a knife.
- In a mini food processor, combine the toasted anise seeds with the chopped garlic, saffron, paprika and cayenne. Add the lemon juice and puree. Transfer the mixture to a large, shallow bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add salt and the fava beans and cook for 1 minute; using a slotted spoon, transfer the fava beans to a small bowl and let cool slightly. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes; drain. Peel the fava beans and add to the peas.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, scraping off the excess. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken thighs to a platter.
- Wipe out the casserole, add the butter and heat until melted. Add the halved mushrooms, sliced scallions and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the beer and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole.
- Return the chicken thighs to the casserole and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add the cream, fava beans and peas, increase the heat to moderate and cook uncovered until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Serve the chicken stew in shallow soup bowls, sprinkled with the parsley.
- 2 1/4 cups red wine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1-by-3-inch strip orange zest
- 2 pounds sweet cherries, halved and pitted
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
- In a medium stainless-steel saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Add the cherries and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the cherries are just tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into a glass or stainless-steel bowl so the cherries don’t overcook.
- In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone with the honey. Remove the strip of orange zest from the cherries. Serve the warm cherries and syrup in bowls or stemmed glasses, topped with a large dollop of the mascarpone cream.