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Karen Anderson's Easter Dinner recipes


Food columnist Karen Anderson took her inspiration for this Easter Dinner menu from all the Long Table Dinners she's attended around the province. Check out the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance to find out where this year's culinary events will take place around the province.





Recipes after the jump...

Saffron and Scallop Chowder

Adapted from chef Adam Janisse's recipe at The Iron Goat Pub in Canmore, Alberta

3 lbs large wild caught scallops (about 6 - 8 per lb)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper for seasoning scallops

4 - 6 oz bacon strips cut in thin strips starting on the short side

1 ½ cups diced carrots

1 ½ cups diced celery

1 ½ cups diced onion

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

½ teaspoon celery salt

½ teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme

2 (234 ml) bottle of Clam Nectar

2 cups Chicken Stock

2 cups water

4 large potatoes cut in bite-size pieces

Pinch saffron (about 20 threads)

1 can evaporated skim milk

1 cup half and half cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the scallops under cold water and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Leave 6 to 8 whole for garnish - see next step. Dice the rest and set aside.

Heat a large fry pan on medium heat and melt the butter.

Season 8 or 6 (depending on portion size desired) scallops with salt and pepper and place them in the fry pan with space between them so that they develop a brown crust and lift easily, turn and repeat. If the scallops are too close they'll sweat out all their juices and you'll end up with boiled rubbery pieces instead of caramelized ones. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Heat a soup pot on medium high heat and add the bacon pieces and cook till brown and firm but not crispy.

Add the carrots, celery, and onion and place a lid on the pot to allow the trapped moisture to help soften (sweat) the vegetables for a few moments.

Stir in the garlic, celery salt, and thyme and cook about a minute before adding the clam nectar, chicken stock and water.

Add the potatoes and saffron and bring to a boil and then cook until the potatoes are tender (but not mushy) when pierced with a fork.

Stir in the diced scallops, evaporated milk and cream and heat through.

Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls and garnish each bowl with a caramelized scallop and few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Chef Janisse likes to make the soup a day ahead so the flavours deepen in the fridge overnight.

Alternate starter - Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with sesame accents

6 - 8 cups of greens

2 pink grapefruit

1 avocado

½ red onion, diced

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

2 Tablespoons avocado oil (may substitute olive oil)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Spread the greens on a platter.

Use a paring knife to cut the top and bottom off the grapefruits and then remove the outer skin from the sides.

Slice into the grapefruit to remove the fleshy fruit in between each segment wall and do this over a bowl to save any juices that drip. Drop each segment into the bowl and continue till both grapefruits are done.

Arrange the grapefruit on the lettuce as desired.

Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and cut each half in cubes and place on the salad as you desire.

Spread the diced onion and then the sesame seeds over the salad.

Drizzle the reserved grapefruit juice, avocado oil and then the sesame oil on top and season with salt and pepper.

Crown Rib Roast of Pork

5 - 7 lb rib roast of pork

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon dried sage

1 Tablespoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Set the roast on a rack in a roasting pan, mix the olive oil, sage, and thyme in a bowl and then rub it all over the roast and allow it to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.

Season the outside with salt and pepper (stuff with stuffing if you are going to) and place in the hot oven at 400°F for 20 minutes and then lower the heat to 325°F and cook until a meat thermometer reads 160°F when inserted in the center.

Remove the roast from the oven, tent the roast with foil and let the roast slowly cool down and reabsorb it juices as you prepare the rest of your dinner.

Wild rice, sausage, and apple stuffing

1 ½ cups wild rice

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

2 teaspoons of fennel seeds

1 lb of sweet Italian sausage

2 Tablespoons butter

1 diced onion

1 diced bulb of fennel (about 2 cups)(reserve the tops and fronds for decorating your serving platter)

3 diced apples with skins left on

Salt and pepper to taste

Put rice, stock, water and fennel seeds in a pot, bring to a boil on high heat then lower heat and simmer for 45 - 60 minutes or until the rice is tender but not mushy.

Heat a frying pan on medium heat, take the sausage meat out of its casings and break it up as it fries. When the meat is brown, add it to a food processor and pulse until it is finely ground.

Add the butter to the sausage skillet and stir in the onion and diced fennel, cover and cook on medium until the vegetables are soft, add the apples and cook a few minutes more.

Return the sausage to this mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste, pack some of the stuffing into the middle of the roast and cook the rest in a covered casserole at 350°F for 20 - 30 minutes.

Enjoy with some mashed potatoes - I cooked mine with 3 cloves of garlic and then I mashed them with the potato water and added one chopped leek that had been sautéed in two tablespoons of butter - and your favourite vegetable.

Dessert - Orange Kissed Chocolate Roll

500 mls whipping cream

2 Tablespoons icing sugar

¼ teaspoon orange oil extract

1 package Marie Biscuits (or may substitute chocolate wafer cookies)

Zest of 1 navel orange

6 ounces grated milk or dark chocolate

Whip the cream and as peaks start to form add the icing sugar and orange oil extract and continue beating until distributed.

Place a large piece of foil on the counter.

Remove the biscuits from the package, ice the top of one and set it down whip cream side up and sprinkle with a bit of grated chocolate.

Continue to do this - making small stacks until all the cookies are used then turn the stacks on their sides and connect them. You should have used about half the whip cream - reserve the rest in a covered container in the fridge overnight.

Wrap the foil around the cookie log and store in the fridge overnight or at least eight hours.

Remove the log from the foil up to two hours before serving and ice the outside with the reserved whip cream.

Decorate with the zest of the orange and more of the grated chocolate (or little chocolate Easter eggs for fun).

Enjoy by slicing on a diagonal to reveal a more interesting pattern for the biscuits inside.

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