For our Easter feast I decided to go with a few favorites, but I threw in a couple of items that I'd never tried--including risking a chocolate souffle for the first time (which amazingly turned out right). For the main course I decided to try out the Pernil recipe that my friend made a couple of months ago, and once again I'm going to rave about it. So simple and so tender and full of flavor. It may be one of my favorite dishes.
Unfortunately, since we had guests (and since I was drinking wine while cooking) I do not have pictures of the food. But you do get some pics of my friends and I hanging out, including this amazingly unflattering one of me gnawing on the pernil bone:
So here is the menu:
Enchilada Dip (recipe below)
Pesto Pinwheels (recipe below)
Crostini with Goat Cheese, red wine reduction, and strawberry jam (brought by our friend Des--and it was brilliant)
Herb and Vermouth Potatoes (recipe below)
Chocolate Souffle with Frozen Lavender Honey Whipped Cream (recipe below)
And now for the recipes:
(from my friend, Julie)
2 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded (I cheated and used 2 cans of chicken breast)
2 8oz packages of light cream cheese, softened
4 green onions, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chopped cilantro (dried is OK)
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
(I also added about 3/4 c. cheddar cheese--because who doesn't like cheese? I also may try adding a couple of spoonfuls of enchilada sauce next time, too)
In a non-reactive bowl, combine all ingredients. I find it best to shred the chicken in a food processor so that the pieces are really small, making it easier to dip. Or you can just shred with forks if you like the chicken pieces bigger. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips - I like the lime flavored ones the best with this dip.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 TB pesto (I used 1/2 sun dried tomato and 1/2 regular--one on each half of the pastry)
1/2- 3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll puff pastry and lay out flat. Spread with pesto all the way to the edges. Sprinkle on cheddar cheese. Starting along the long edge, roll up the puff pastry until you reach the center. Turn the pastry 180 degrees and roll up the other side to the center (it should look like a roll of parchment or a scroll). Chill for at least 30 minutes to make easier to cut. Cut pastry into about 1/2" pieces and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.
Herb and Vermouth Potatoes
for 4 servings
6 medium sized potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1/3 c. dry vermouth
2 TB Italian seasoning
Clean potatoes and chop into approx. 1 1/2" cubes. Place in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Cook potatoes through, until they fall off a fork when pricked. Drain the potatoes and place back into pan. Turn on heat to medium and add butter, vermouth, and Italian seasoning. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until butter is completely melted.
1/3 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling
5 oz bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
6 large egg whites
Special equipment: a 5 1/2- to 6-cup glass or ceramic soufflé dish
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter soufflé dish and sprinkle with sugar, knocking out excess. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and stir in yolks (mixture will stiffen). Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed, then beat at high speed until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir about 1 cup whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then add mixture to remaining whites, folding gently but thoroughly. Spoon into soufflé dish and run the end of your thumb around inside edge of soufflé dish (this will help soufflé rise evenly). Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in center, 24 to 26 minutes. Serve immediately.
Frozen Honey Lavender Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy cream
2 TB powdered sugar
4 TB honey
1 TB dried lavender
Place metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment into freezer for 5 minutes. Make sure the heavy cream is cold (keep in fridge until ready to use). Remove mixing bowl and add heavy cream and beat until cream begins to form soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and continue beating. Slowly beat in honey and continue beating until cream reaches stiffer peaks. Stir in dried lavender. Place in an airtight container and freeze. Serve on side of souffle.
Cooks'note: • Soufflé can be assembled up to 30 minutes before baking. Keep, covered with an inverted large bowl (do not let bowl touch soufflé), at room temperature.