It's almost Easter and you have the ham under control but it's all the other stuff that's causing you to lose sleep. Don't worry, be hoppy because Shop Cheap has come to the rescue. In the Kitchen, researcher Sheila Kern found everything from side dishes to breakfast to appetizers and dessert. Best of all, many of the ingredients - potatoes, asparagus, eggs and strawberries - are on sale. Enjoy!
Scalloped Potatoes 2 Ways
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons butter
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
Fresh ground pepper
2/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub a baking dish with garlic clove and then with butter.
In a medium saucepan, combine potatoes, milk, water, bay leaf and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Drain the potatoes and layer half of them in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle on half of the cheese and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Spread out remaining potatoes and top with remaining cheese and seasoning. Pour heavy cream over potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and bubbly.
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top
In a small sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour.
Let sit for a minute.
Add all of cold milk, stirring with a whisk.
Season with salt and cayenne.
Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
Reduce heat and stir in cheese.
Place a half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased one quart casserole dish.
Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes.
Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Top with some paprika for color.
Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350F.
Asparagus Topped with Creamy Tarragon Sauce
From EatingWell: April/May 2006
2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
6 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon lemon juice, juice
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus. Serve warm or cold.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days.
Adapted from Mario Batali
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into one-inch-long pieces, tips reserved
4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 medium red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add half the asparagus stalks and cook until quite soft, at least 5 minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water. Put cooked asparagus in a blender or food processor and add just enough water to allow machine to puree until smooth; set aside.
2. Put stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add onion, stirring occasionally until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away. Add a large pinch of salt. Add warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally. Each time stock has just about evaporated, add more.
4. After about 15 minutes, add remaining asparagus pieces and tips, continuing to add stock when necessary. In 5 minutes, begin tasting rice. You want it to be tender but with a bit of crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes total to reach this stage. When it does, stir in 1/2 cup asparagus puree. Remove skillet from heat, add remaining butter and stir briskly. Add Parmesan and stir briskly, then taste and adjust seasoning. Risotto should be slightly soupy. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 halves
6 hard-boiled eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 green onion, very thinly sliced (slice a little of the green and keep separate from white)
a few leaves of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, optional
freshly ground black pepper
salt, to taste
Halve or quarter eggs; scoop yolks into a small bowl. Mash well; add mayonnaise and Dijon until desired consistency is reached. Stir in white part of sliced onion and most of the chopped parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Using a small teaspoon or pastry bag, fill egg white halves or quarters. Sprinkle with sliced green onion and remaining parsley. Sprinkle with a little pepper and/or paprika, if desired.
Orange-Cinnamon French Toast Recipe
2 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
6 slices bread
Additional honey, optional
In a small bowl, combine the butter, honey and cinnamon. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; spread to coat bottom of pan.
In a shallow bowl, beat eggs, orange juice and salt if desired. Dip bread into egg mixture and place in prepared pan.
Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Invert onto a serving platter; serve with honey if desired.
Strawberry Breakfast Pizza
From www.calstrawberry.com (California Strawberry Commission)
Yield: 5 servings
1 package (7 1/2 ounces) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 teaspoons honey, divided
1 pint basket fresh California strawberries, stemmed and halved
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stack 2 biscuits; roll out to a circle about 6 inches in diameter, 1/8 inch thick. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Prick all over with fork. Repeat with remaining biscuits to make total of 5 circles. Bake until lightly browned for 6 to 8 minutes. Loosen biscuits and cool slightly. Meanwhile, finely grate peel from orange. In bowl beat cheese, peel and 2 teaspoons of the honey to blend thoroughly; set aside. Juice orange into another bowl. Add strawberries and the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey; toss. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spread biscuits with cheese mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges, dividing equally. Bake just until edges of cheese brown lightly. Top with drained strawberries. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve immediately.
25 large strawberries
1 (12 ounce) bag dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Clean and dry strawberries, leaving stems and leaves intact.
In double boiler, over low heat, melt chocolate and oil; stir to combine.
Lay waxed paper on flat surface. Dip strawberries one by one into chocolate mixture, allowing extra chocolate to drip off, lay onto waxed paper to set.
If your kitchen is warm, strawberries may be refrigerated for 10 minutes to set chocolate.
From Woman's Day | May 30, 2006
Makes 12 Cannolis
1 pt (12 oz) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tub (15 oz) whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1⁄4 tsp almond extract
1 box (4 or 51⁄4 oz) sugar cones (12 cones)
Garnish: chocolate mini chips and sliced strawberries
1. At least 1 day before serving, proceed through Step 3. Line a colander and a medium-size strainer with a sturdy paper towel; set each in a bowl.
2. Pulse strawberries and granulated sugar in food processor until coarsely chopped. Scrape into colander, top with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight to drain well (this is important). Clean processor.
3. Put ricotta, cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in processor; pulse until smooth. Transfer to strainer, cover with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight.
4. Just before serving: Prop cones upright in tall glasses partially filled with granulated sugar to support cones. Fold drained berries and almond extract into ricotta mixture. Spoon into a gallon-size ziptop bag. Cut 1⁄2 in. off a corner; pipe filling into cones and garnish.The sugar cones replace the usual pastry shells, which can be hard to make or find in stores.
Planning Tip: Prepare through Step 3 at least 24 hours, or up to 2 days, ahead. Fill cones just before serving.
Pint-Size Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins
Makes 36 mini muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour three mini muffin pans or line with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions. Mix just until blended. Mix in poppy seeds. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups by generous tablespoonfuls.
Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and cool on rack.