Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Springtime Menu and Recipes by Patricia L. Mote



Springtime Menu and Recipes

by Patricia L. Mote
Author of
Great Menus: Seasonal Recipes for Entertaining
The change to daylight savings time makes everyone realize that Spring is just around the corner. In some parts of the country where it has been unusually warm, it feels like Spring already. Whether for a Passover meal (April 6 & 7), an Easter meal (April 8), or an anytime Spring meal, here is a suggested menu that everyone will enjoy.

There are a lot of pink and orange foods in the menu so use pink and orange flowers for a festive look. Tulips come to mind. 
Prepared as shown, these recipes would serve 10.

Menu:
Cocktails
Stuffed Dates (with chevre, glazed with pomegranate syrup)
Hummus with Cucumber Slices
Serve with Pinot Grigio
Ota Ika (Tongan Raw Fish Salad)*
Serve with Pinot Noir
Butterflied BBQ Lamb
BBQ Asparagus with Chopped Egg
Parsley and Mint Chutney
Mediterranean Potatoes*
Fennel and Orange Salad (with Orange Blossom Honey Lime Dressing)
Serve with Prosecco
Flourless Macadamia Cake with Fruits*


Ota Ika (Raw Fish)
I just got back from sailing in Tonga and this was my very favorite dish while there. You will need to go to the fishmonger for the freshest fish! In Tonga the Ota Ika was served in vessels made of banana leaves. Here I use endive. The fish used in this picture is grouper.

1 lb sushi grade tuna, snapper or grouper

1 can coconut milk
3 limes
1 small green pepper, diced
4 green onions sliced
1 large tomato, diced
Slice the raw fish into thin slabs and pour the lime juice on top of the fish. 
Cover and let sit for 2-3 hours. Dice the fish, retaining the lime juice. Add the remaining ingredients to the lime juice. Let the mixture sit for at least another ½ hour before serving.
Mediterranean Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 350.
2 Tsp olive oil
1 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced 20 small potatoes such as Yukon gold, sliced
½ lb. goat cheese (optional, not for kosher)
4 oz. chopped Kalmata olives
¼ cup olive oil mixed with 2 Tsp fresh oregano
Salt and pepper to taste.

In an oiled 9x13 glass casserole, make 2 layers starting with the potatoes then the onions, salt and pepper and all of the cheese and olives. Repeat the potato and onion layers. Cover well with foil, and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil and drizzle with the oil and oregano mixture. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
Flourless Macadamia Nut Cake with Fruits
Preheat the oven to 350.
10 large strawberries
2 mangos
5 oz. almonds
5 oz. macadamia nuts
Place macadamia nuts on a baking pan, and roast for 5 minutes stirring once and checking to make sure that they do not burn. Do the same with the almonds.
Turn down oven to 325.

Let the nuts cool and then place almonds in a food processor and grind/pulse to a flour. Remove almond flour. Place macadamia nuts in the processor. It will be a little chunky, and watch that it does not become nut butter!
Spray a spring form pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
6 large eggs, separated, and at room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
2 tsp baking powder

Cream the egg yolks with ½ cup sugar, then add the baking powder and nut mix. In another bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form; then slowly add the other ½ cup sugar until stiff peaks form. The nut mix is fairly solid, so take ½ cup of the whipped egg whites to thin; then gently fold the two together and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool slightly. Then using a thin blade, slide the blade along the outside edge and carefully remove the cake from the pan. Flip it over onto parchment paper and remove the bottom of the pan and the paper. Sift powdered sugar over the cake. Serve in wedges. Garnish with some mango and a large strawberry on each plate.

This is good just like this but you can also top it with some whipped cream and/or chocolate sauce.
_______________________________________________
Guest Menu: Patricia Lewis Mote is the author of Great Menus: Seasonal Recipes for Entertaining, the first of a trio of cookbooks. As the wife of the former president of the University of Maryland (1998 - 2010), Mote did a lot of entertaining and loved planning and executing tasty and beautiful meals. Learn more at: http://greatmenus.vpweb.com.

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