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early easter dinner, barefoot contessa style

April 10, 2009


The Easter Bunny came to our house this morning, and we are eating our Easter Dinner tonight.  I know, I know, Good Friday isn’t traditionally a day of celebrating.  But when you are a divorced parent, sometimes you have to have holidays on days that are not the actual holidays.  For us, my older two kids are at their dad’s on Easter Sunday.  It sucks, but that’s the way it is.  Hence our creative calendaring.  Then on the actual Easter Sunday, we are escaping to Calgary.  

Any recommendations for a Calgary kid-friendly downtown restaurant for Sunday dinner?  

Since my husband is oddly obsessed with this website called Lamb Watch, we ate lamb for Easter dinner.  That’s just the way we roll around here.

I felt overwhelmed planning an Easter menu.  I have too many cookbooks, read too many blogs, and have an excessive stack of food magazines.  So I picked one book, and we made everything out of it except the dessert. (Dessert requires its own special post).  Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa’s book Family Style was our well of recipes for this meal.   

As I said before, I really like Ina.  She provides great comfort food, with a touch of French and sophistication.  I imagine she represents Eastern seaboard American cooking well.  If I was really well heeled, and living in the Hamptons, I’d ask my personal chef to make me these meals.

But instead I’m a tired mom living in a dusty Prairie town.  So I did my own cooking and it went like so:

To be honest, the Chive Biscuits were a bit flat, but I’m sure that was my fault.  I was thrilled to use the chives from my little chive plant for them, though.  And the Rosemary Polenta totally flopped in execution, but won in terms of taste.  

I had the polenta in the fridge for three hours chilling, but it never set.  So I fried up some loose polenta instead, which tasted good (the red pepper flakes and garlic in it really helped) but it looked like a mound of pig food.  I love the idea of polenta, but have never been successful cooking the stuff.  

But the asparagus were tasty.  I bought them pretending it was spring and they were local, which it is not and they were not.  The lamb was exceedingly yummy.  It was moist and not too gamey, and the rosemary garlic butter rub added nice flavour to the outside pieces.  

All the recipes are on the Food Network site, except the lamb.  So here it is:

Herb-Roasted Lamb
-from the Barefoot Contessa’s Family Style 

6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped 
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 6-pound boneless leg of lamb (I got mine from Sunterra)
12 small unpeeled potatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Mince the six peeled garlic cloves and mix with chopped rosemary, salt and pepper and butter.  Rub all over the lamb, and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.

Combine the unpeeled garlic, olive oil and potatoes in a bowl.  Transfer to a roasting pan and place the lamb on top.

Cook for about 2 hours, or until 145 degrees via a meat thermometer.  Let the lamb sit for 20 minutes before carving. 

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 22, 2009 7:27 pm

    “I bought them pretending it was spring and they were local, which it is not and they were not.”
    Love it!
    Honestly the menu looks and sounds ideal.

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