Tired of the same old ham or turkey for Easter lunch or dinner? Then think about the alternatives.
For Passover, which also is upon us, why not do lamb chops instead of a leg of lamb or brisket? Perhaps salmon with a fresh cucumber sauce would be a healthier change.
If the family favors pork for Easter, but are bored with ham, give a boneless pork loin a try. Now, I’m not talking about your ordinary pork loin. Let’s spice it up. How about a pork tenderloin with a three-berry salsa?
Easter or Passover meals can be kicked up a notch with these new ideas. Let’s try an “out with the old and in with the new” menu.
These entrees make use of fresh fruits and vegetables that are coming into season and that add antioxidants to the diet. Surprisingly for so early in spring, supermarkets have good prices on fresh berries, some two for 1 deals. Shoppers can’t beat that.
For a major alternative for Easter dinner, why not get out of the house and have a picnic? A whole roasted balsamic-glazed chicken would be equally good on a picnic as on the dinner table. This entrée works for Easter or Passover. Roast some carrots, potatoes or root veggies with this chicken, and picnickers need not worry about food spoilage on a warm spring day.
When I was a girl, my grandmother — while she loved big family dinners — also liked to have a barbecue or a picnic for Easter lunch. The kids hunted Easter eggs while the adults prepared the food or picnic area. With so many waterways in Texas, we would always seek a spot near the water that had a playground, too. What fun we had!
Of course, backyard barbecues were fun times, too. My grandmother had my grandfather build her a barbecue pit out of bricks with a grate over it. Oooh, did that barbecue over pecan wood taste good. Homemade ice cream was the dessert of choice from the hand-cranked wooden freezer.
Whatever meal is planned for Easter or Passover, give an alternative entrée a try. Or perhaps just pack the chicken and enjoy the beauty of spring.
“I know it is kind of out of season, but is there some place on the Gulf Coast where you can still buy fruitcake year round?” asked Lonnie Bradley.
Readers, do you know where Bradley can purchase a fruitcake now? Please e-mail me if you know where.
How do I find?
Yvonne Hicks asked how to find DJ’s Produce on Facebook. Readers can do a search on Facebook for DJ’s Produce. It is a closed group but leave a message on that page and ask to become a member. Then, you are all set. DJ’s also sells at the Biloxi Farmers Market on Tuesday and Thursday.
Andrea Yeager can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.
Pork Tenderloin with Three Berry Salsa
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (about 6 ounces), thawed and drained
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (about 6 ounces), thawed
1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pork tenderloins (3/4 pound each), cut into 3/4-inch slices
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock
Place the first 5 ingredients in a bowl; toss lightly to combine. Reserve 1 cup berry mixture for sauce. For salsa, gently stir onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt into remaining mixture; let stand 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the pork and cook 2-4 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Remove from pan. Repeat with remaining pork and oil.
In same pan, add wine, shallots and reserved berry mixture, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook 4-6 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1 tablespoon. Stir in stock; cook 5 minutes longer or until shallots are tender, stirring occasionally. Return pork to pan; heat through. Serve with salsa. Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional facts: 3 ounces cooked pork with 2/3 cup salsa and 3 tablespoons sauce: 239 calories, 9 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 64 milligrams cholesterol, 645 milligrams sodium, 15 grams carbohydrate (7 grams sugars, 5 grams fiber), 25 grams protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit.
From Taste of Home
Rosemary Thyme Lamb Chops
8 lamb loin chops (3 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
Sprinkle lamb chops with pepper and salt. In a small bowl, mix mustard, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Grill chops, covered, on an oiled rack over medium heat 6 minutes. Turn; spread herb mixture over chops. Grill 6-8 minutes longer or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135 degrees; medium, 140 degrees; medium-well, 145 degrees;). Yield: 4 servings.
From Taste of Home
Salmon with Fresh Cucumber Sauce
4 salmon fillets, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon Marcum Soul Seasoning Blend (Sold at Save-A-Lot stores)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cucumber, diced (fresh chopped green onion may be used instead of cucumber)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice cucumber. Mix cucumber and tomato with light sour cream and Marcum Soul Seasoning; set aside.
Place fresh or frozen salmon fillets on foil-covered baking sheet. Bake frozen salmon approximately 20 minutes and less for fresh. Keep checking with thermometer. Either the fresh or frozen salmon should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Place cooked salmon onto plate and top with cucumber.
From Save-A-Lot Kitchens
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 (6-pound) chicken
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place chicken in a large roasting pan with breast side up.
In a small bowl, combine rosemary, garlic, salt, ground black pepper, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Brush chicken with balsamic mixture. Roast chicken for 2 hours or until internal temperature reached 175 degrees. Allow chicken to cool for 15 minutes and serve.
From Better Homes and Gardens