Many families will gather around the table to celebrate Easter this Sunday.
On this Recipe Wednesday, Shannon Smith stopped by Guilford Technical Community College’s culinary school for some delicious dishes you may want to make for your Easter feast.
Hot Cross Buns
Yields 1 dozen
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (two 1/4-ounce packages)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus as needed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (13 ounces)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup currants, plumped in the microwave and cooled
- 1 egg beaten, for brushing
For the icing/glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon finely gated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Combine the water and milk in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat until about 100 degrees F (but no more than 110 degrees). Remove from heat and sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar and flour over the surface of the liquid. Set aside without stirring, until foamy and rising up the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.
- Whisk the butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture.
- Whisk the flour, the remaining sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon to make a thick, shaggy, and slightly sticky dough. Stir in currants. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 8 minutes. Shape into a ball.
- Brush the inside of a large bowl with butter. Put dough in bowl, turning to coat lightly with butter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour 30 minutes. (If you have a marker, trace a circle the size of the dough on the plastic, and note the time to help you keep track.)
- To form the rolls: Butter a 9 by 14-inch baking pan. Turn the dough out of the bowl and pat into a rectangle about 16 by 8 inches. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, about 2 ounces each, with a pizza wheel or bench scraper. (If you don’t have a scale, divide the dough in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise. Cut each of those four sections into 3 equal-sized rolls.)
- Tuck the edges of the dough under to make round rolls and place them seam-side down in the prepared pan, leaving a little space in between each roll. Cover the pan with buttered plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the rolls rise almost to the rim of the pan and have more than doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the plastic wrap and brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg. Bake rolls until golden brown and puffy, and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the rolls registers 190 degrees F, about 25 minutes.
- For the glaze: Stir together confectioners’ sugar, milk, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth. Transfer icing to a zip bag or pastry bag, and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Ice buns in a thick cross shape over the top of the warm buns.
Asparagus and Cheese Tart
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 1/2 pound), thawed
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 1 cup grated comte or gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large skillet. Add the asparagus; cook until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking; drain and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll out the puff pastry into a 10-by-16-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, mix the fontina, comte, shallot, egg yolks, milk, nutmeg and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange the asparagus on the tart and bake until the cheese mixture is slightly puffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Risotto With Yogurt and Peas
- 2 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 2-to-3-inch piece parmesan rind
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or thyme
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping (optional)
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Bring the chicken broth, 3 1/2 cups water and the cheese rind to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes; discard the rind. Keep warm.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup warm broth and stir constantly until absorbed. Repeat, adding the broth in 1/2-cup increments and stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the peas and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Combine the parsley, chives and marjoram in a bowl. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the herbs to the risotto along with the grated parmesan and yogurt; stir vigorously until creamy, about 1 minute. Divide the risotto among bowls. Top with the reserved herbs and more parmesan.
Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast
- 8 large garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) tied boneless pork loin roast
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- Blend the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and oil in a small food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the garlic is minced.
- Sprinkle the pork roast generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the pancetta slices on a work surface, overlapping slightly and forming a rectangle. Spread half of the garlic mixture over 1 side of the pork and between the 2 loins that meet in the center of the tied pork roast. Place the pork, garlic mixture side down, in the center of the pancetta rectangle. Spread the remaining garlic mixture over the remaining pork. Wrap the pancetta slices around the pork. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pour 1/2 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of wine into the roasting pan. Add more broth and wine to the pan juices every 20 minutes. Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees F for medium-rare, about 1 hour. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Pour the pan drippings into a glass measuring cup and spoon off any fat that rises to the top.
- Using a large sharp carving knife, cut the pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with the pan juices.