Easter is a time for family to gather and who better to set the menu than lifestyle and entertaining expert Mindy Kobrin, for whom cooking, wellness and celebrating are a family affair. Her lifestyle philosophy can be distilled to a single, luscious concept: Don’t Worry, Eat Happy. She is founder of the acclaimed cooking and entertaining website www.mealsonheelsbymindy.com.
GARLIC CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB
WITH ROSEMARY AND PEPPERCORNS
Prepared in 10 minutes or less plus 1.45 hours to cook.
2 2-lb. racks of lamb Frenched
Zest of 1 lemon
1 head of garlic, peeled
¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves plus extra for garnish
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tbs. whole peppercorns for garnish
2 lemons, cut into wedges for garnish
In a food processor combine zested lemon, peeled garlic cloves, olive oil, and rosemary leaves until the garlic is finely chopped.
Generously season the Frenched racks of lamb. Rub the garlic-rosemary oil mixture all over each piece of meat. Set the racks of lamb fat side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Allow to rest for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Roast the racks of lamb in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Next, turn the racks over and roast for 10-12 more minutes for medium-rare meat. Adjust roast time for desired meat doneness.
Transfer the roasted racks of lamb to a carving board. Stand them upright and allow them to rest for 10 minutes to secure all the juices within the meat.
Carve the racks between the rib bones and transfer to a serving platter garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs, lemon wedges, and peppercorns. Serve immediately. Serves 8.
MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MACADAMIA LEMON BARS
Prepared in 30 minutes or less plus 30 minutes to bake.
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ lbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
For the Filling:
6 eggs, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tbs. grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice, seeds removed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbs. macadamia nuts, chopped
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Create the crust by creaming the butter and sugar until fluffy and light using an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl. Sift together the flour and salt over a small bowl. Adjust the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture until just combined. Gently stir in the chopped nuts.
Scrape the mixture onto a board and make a big dough ball. With floured hands to prevent sticking, flatten the dough onto a 9x13x2-inch baking sheet making sure to build a ½-inch edge on all sides. Place in refrigerator to chill for approximately 15 minutes.
Bake the crust for 15–20 minutes until it is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Keep the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest, lemon juice and flour.
Pour this mixture over the chilled crust. Sprinkle with remaining chopped macadamia nuts. Bake for 30–35 minutes until filling is set and top is lightly browned.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars or triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately. Yields one dozen
POTATOES AND CELERY ROOT MASH
WITH CELERY LEAVES
Prepared in 30 minutes or less.
1 lbs. celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into ½-in. pieces
2½ lbs. Russet potatoes, cleaned and peeled,
cut into 1-in. pieces (about 6½ cups)
4 tbs. (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup chopped fresh celery leaves
Salt and white pepper to taste
In a large pot of salted boiling water cook celery root pieces for approximately 5 minutes. Add potatoes to hot pot.
Cook until all vegetables are fork tender, approximately 18-20 minutes. Drain.
Return vegetables to hot pot. Stir them over medium-high heat to dry all pieces, approximately 1-2 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Add butter pieces. Using potato masher, mash vegetables until butter is incorporated.
Add milk and mash until mixture is almost smooth. Add extra milk as needed for desired consistency.
Stir in chopped celery leaves. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Spoon into individual casserole bowls tied with ribbon.
Serve Immediately. Serves 8-10.