This Easter holiday, make that Sunday extra special with recipes that combine sensational taste with the natural goodness of healthy animal fats – so urges Coast Packing Company, the leading supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western U.S.
“In preparing your Easter feast, one sure way to make family and guests happy is to use the right ingredients,” said Eric R. Gustafson, CEO of Coast Packing. “Lard and beef tallow possess the classic flavor that people love, and that’s reflected in the three recipes we’re showcasing for Easter 2017. Whether you use lard, beef tallow or both, you’ll taste the difference. Today’s smart consumers steer clear of industrially-produced partially hydrogenated fats in favor of healthy animal fats, which have the benefit of being consistently delicious, minimally processed and good for you.”
BLT Salad With Creamy Bacon Dressing
Iceberg lettuce is an ideal choice, because the super crispy texture adds so much to this simple dish. Another option would be romaine hearts. To save time, consider making the dressing three to four days in advance.
- 1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise (or high-quality store-bought)
- 1/4 cup bacon fat
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (from a can)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped bacon bits
- 1 large head of iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
- 1 pound (or 4 medium) ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 1 pound good quality bacon, cooked (save the bacon fat for the dressing)
- 2 scallions, dark green parts only, thinly sliced
- Place all ingredients for dressing except chopped bacon bits in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade or in a blender. Process until smooth. Add bacon bits and pulse until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To assemble, quarter lettuce.
- Place each lettuce quarter on a plate along with tomatoes. Drizzle with 1/4 of the dressing and top with bacon and sliced scallion greens. Serve with a fork and knife and enjoy!
- 2 tbsp olive oil or other cooking fat; I chose beef tallow
- 1 large onion, chopped into small dice
- 1 stalk celery, chopped into small dice
- 1 lb or 500g leg of lamb, deboned, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp brown sugar (or honey)
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
- 1-1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper (I’ll admit it– I left this out, since I don’t care for white pepper)
- 25 g fresh mint, finely chopped
- 3 cups or 150 g (yes, you read that correctly!) flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 3 cups or 750 ml unsalted chicken stock
- 1/3 tsp dried mint
- 1.5 lbs. or 750 g rhubarb, cut into 2 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads ground in a small mortar and dissolved in 2-3 tbsp hot water
- In a stew pot over medium to high heat, warm the fat of your choice up and brown the meat. Take your time to do this; it makes a difference.
- Remove the meat, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the onions and celery, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, cooking for about five minutes or until the onions are transparent and turning golden.
- Add the meat back in, along with the garlic, butter, turmeric, sugar, lemon zest (reserve the juice for later) and salt, pepper, and the fresh herbs.
- Cook for about five minutes, then add the dried mint and chicken stock.
- Cover (but leave the lid slightly ajar) and simmer over low heat for an hour, stopping by to stir it up a few times as it cooks.
- Add the chopped rhubarb and saffron liquid, and let it cook for 20 minutes. Be sure not to stir this up, because the rhubarb becomes very soft, and you want it to remain intact for serving.
- Taste it. I am recommending not adding the lemon juice until you do, because it can become quite tart. Add the lemon juice if needed, but if it’s already more sour than you like, then you can balance it out with a little more sugar or honey.
- Serve. I like to garnish it with more fresh herbs. This dish would be wonderful over rice, or over a pureed root vegetable, like mashed turnips.
Ring-Shaped Easter Cake
This old yet original Easter recipe calls for eggs wrapped in dough. Per 6 servings
Time: 3 hours and 40 minutes
- For the dough
- 1 lb all-purpose flour
- ½ oz fresh yeast
- 3 oz sugar
- 3 oz lard
- 1 half cup water
- 1 half cup anise liqueur
- half lemon zest, grated
- 2 eggs
- salt to taste
- 1 whisked egg per ring
Begin by preparing the starter (biga in Italian), which will improve the leavening of the dough. To make the starter, mix together 1/3 of the flour, the yeast and water in a bowl. Mix until smooth and uniform. Then shape the starter into a ring and, to make it rise quickly, place it in the bottom of a bowl of hot water so that it is completely covered. In the meantime, use the remaining dough to make a well on a flat work surface. To the middle, add the sugar, salt, lard and grated lemon peel.
As soon as the starter floats to the top of the bowl, it has finished rising. It can now be removed from the water and placed in the center of the well with the other ingredients. Also add the eggs and anise liquor. Mix everything together for a long time, preferably using a mixer, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and dust with flour. Let rise in a glass bowl, covered with a sheet of plastic wrap, in a warm place for about half an hour. Once the dough is done rising, divide the dough into as many cakes as you would like to make. Roll each piece into a long, thick log.
Shape each log into the form you prefer (a ring, an eight or a braid). Place the raw eggs (in their shells) in the middle of any holes in the dough. Place the rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with sheet of plastic wrap or and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes in a warm place. Once the dough is done rising, brush it with whisked egg and bake in a 400° F oven for 40 minutes or until golden