One of the reasons why I love the holidays so much, is because they allow me to make a big celebratory meal that is shared with friends and family. I adore making delectable dinners and hosting dinner parties, so this week I propose we host (me in my house, you in yours) an Easter dinner party for our friends and families. (More of an Easter brunch type? Don't worry I got you covered as well!) I've made the invites shaped like the cutest eggs and now I have to figure out what we will be eating. I can't have a dinner without at least one appetizer and what says Easter more than eggs? I'll have plates of deviled eggs awaiting my guests and follow those up with a first course of spring in a bowl: sweet pea soup. Want the recipes, you'll have to
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
3 to 4 tablespoons Light Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing
1 tablespoon sweet red pepper - very finely chopped
1 tablespoon green onion or scallions - finely chopped
1 tablespoon celery - very finely chopped
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Paprika for garnish
- Remove the egg yolks to a small bowl and mash with a fork.
- Add the mayonnaise, red pepper, onion, celery, mustard, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
- Fill the empty egg white shells with the mixture and sprinkle lightly with paprika.
- Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day before serving.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 thyme sprig
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
5 cups frozen peas (25 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely shredded Roncal or semi-aged sheep's-milk cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup coarsely shredded Majorero or other mild, buttery, semi-aged goat's-milk cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallot and thyme and cook over moderately low heat until the shallot is softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer over moderately high heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Add the water and all but 1 cup of the peas and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the peas are tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of peas and simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
- Discard the thyme.
- Stir in the parsley.
- Working in batches, puree the sweet pea soup in a blender. Strain the soup through a coarse sieve set over another medium saucepan. Season the soup with salt and keep warm.
- Set a medium nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Spread four 1-tablespoon mounds of the Roncal in the skillet and flatten slightly.
- Cook the cheese over moderate heat until bubbling and set on the bottom, about 3 minutes; do not brown.
- Using a spatula, transfer the crisps to paper towels. Let cool until firm. Repeat with the remaining cheese.
- In a small glass bowl, heat the heavy cream in a microwave at high power until boiling, about 30 seconds. Add the Majorero and heat until the cheese is just melted, about 20 seconds. Stir until blended.
- Ladle the soup into small bowls. Swirl in the Majorero cream and serve with the Roncal crisps.
Make ahead: Tte pea soup can be refrigerated overnight. The crisps can be made earlier in the day and reheated in a 325° oven for 1 minute.
What will you be making for your family on Easter? Share with us below your menu! Surf on over later this afternoon for the second course (ginger ale glazed ham!) and dessert.