Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Easter Dinner

Large family gatherings to celebrate holidays are always fun. I will be hosting Easter dinner this year and there will be 18 of us. We always do a pot luck menu with my sisters and mom bringing something delicious.

Rather than the traditional ham, I will be serving a whole stuffed rainbow trout. The stuffing recipe comes from my husband's Cioci ( that's polish for aunt). It is delicious!

Stuffing Recipe

3 cups cubed white bread
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/3 t marjoram
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 egg

Combine all ingredients and fill cavity of fish. Tie together with string to secure and wrap in greased tin foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 mins per inch.

I recently came across a recipe in the April issue of House and Home magazine for fresh pea lasagna and thought this might be a nice first course. The colour is amazing! I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

Lasagne with peas,spinach and ricotta cheese

1 cup vegetable stock
4 1/2 cups frozen green peas
2 green onions thinly sliced
1 T butter
S&P to taste
2 T olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 lb baby spinach
1 lb ricotta
1/4 cup Italian parsley
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese
8 sheets of lasagna ( 6x9") -  no boil
6 oz grated mozzarella

Place stock in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 3 cups of peas and green onions. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer until peas are tender. Transfer to food processor, add butter and puree until smooth. Season with S&P.

In large stock pot, heat oil and cook garlic for 1 minute. Add spinach and a splash of water. Cover and cook until spinach has just wilted. Spread out on baking sheet to cool.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, herbs, lemon zest and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and mix well. Season with S&P.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9 x 13" baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup pea sauce evenly on bottom. Top with 2 pasta sheets in a single layer. Spread spinach on top. Top with pasta sheets. Spread 1/2 cup pea mixture and then ricotta mixture. Top with 2 more pasta sheets. Spread 1/2 cup of pea sauce and add remaining peas. Top with 2 pasta sheets. Spread with remaining pea sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese.

Cover the top of lasagna with parchment paper and cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 30 mins. Remove foil and parchment paper and bake for another 10 - 15 mins. Broil to brown top.

And for dessert, I will make carrot cake. The recipe from The Silver Palette Cookbook is simply the best! Click here for the recipe. I make it in a large deep cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cut it in half lengthwise to make 2 long layers. Cream cheese frosting goes between the layers and on top. Delish!

What will you be serving for Easter dinner?

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