I wanted to share our Easter menu earlier in the week but I was so excited to make and share the Orange Dreamsicle cupcakes that I postponed my Easter post. I’ll share it in two parts so that this post doesn’t end up a mile long.
I had planned a somewhat simple meal for Easter as there was going to be just our small family of three plus my parents. I’d just bought my husband a new propane smoker for his birthday and we were excited to use it and planned to smoke a bone-in turkey breast. We had the recipe picked out, read the instructions on the smoker and even planned ahead and seasoned it the day before. We found a great turkey recipe in his new cookbook- injected the meat, rubbed it, made a “mop” etc. I was a little concerned about how close the smoker was to the house so I made my husband move it farther out onto the deck. Big mistake. Huge it seemed. Easter turned out to be a super windy day and our smoker never reached the recommended cooking time of 220 degrees. Our turkey, which we planned to cook for about 2 1/2 hours was now going to take FOREVER!
Our menu included Strawberry Bellinis, Deviled Eggs, Homemade Dinner Rolls, Steamed Green Beans, Smoked Turkey and Pavlovas with Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream. We started the noon hour with Bellinis, visited, babied the meat etc. The longer it took for our turkey to cook, I drank another Bellini, we polished off the tray of Deviled Eggs, fed my daughter a bun and sent her off to nap, my dad fell asleep on the couch and my husband fumed while played NBA Jam on his iPod. Our 12:30 meal was looking more like a 4:00 meal. Around 1:30, we checked the meat and it was still nowhere near cooked. So we shut down the smoker and put the bird in the oven to finish cooking. We ate our meal at 3:00. A bit disappointing but still delicious. So Part I of my Easter recipes includes the Strawberry Bellinis and Homemade Dinner Rolls.
1 (16 oz.) bag of frozen strawberries, thawed
1 C. water
1 bottle Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
Make sugar syrup:
Stir sugar and water together in a small saucepan and heat on medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 min. Remove from heat and cool completely. Can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge.
Make strawberry puree:
Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor with 1/3 C. of the sugar syrup until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Discard the seeds. Cover and refrigerate.
Make the Bellinis:
For each serving, pour 2 to 4 T. of strawberry puree into a champagne flute. Slowly pour the wine into the flute to fill. Gently stir to blend.
*This recipe makes a large amount of strawberry puree. I used the remainder as a strawberry sauce/drizzle for my dessert: Pavlovas with Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream.
Recipe adapted from Giada’s Family Dinners
3/4 C. whole milk
8 T unsalted butter , melted, (reserve 2 tablespoons for brushing on
rolls before baking)
6 T. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. table salt
2 large eggs , room temperature
1 package rapid-rise yeast , may also labeled “instant”
3 C. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed
Making the dough:
Bring milk to boil in small saucepan over medium heat; let stand off heat until skin forms on surface, 3 to 5 minutes. Using soup spoon, skim skin off surface and discard. Transfer milk to bowl of standing mixer and add 6 T. melted butter, sugar, and salt; whisk to combine and let mixture cool. When mixture is just warm to the touch (90 to 100 degrees), whisk in eggs and yeast until combined.
Add flour to bowl; using dough hook, mix on low speed on standing mixer until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low and knead about 3 minutes more; when pressed with finger, dough should feel tacky and moist but should not stick to finger. (If dough is sticky, add another 1 to 3 tablespoons flour.) Continue to knead on medium-low until cohesive, elastic dough has formed (it should clear sides of bowl but stick to bottom), 4 to 5 minutes longer.
Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Knead dough by hand 1 to 2 minutes to ensure that it is well kneaded. Dough should be very soft and moist but not overly sticky. (If dough sticks excessively to hands and work surface, knead in flour a tablespoon at a time until dough is workable.) Lightly spray medium bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl; lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm, draft-free location until doubled in volume, 2 to 3
Coat two 9-inch round cake pans (I used one 8-inch and one 10-inch) with cooking spray; set aside. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Pat dough into rough 12 by 10-inch rectangle, gently pressing out air; starting from edge farthest from you, roll dough into cylinder. Using palms, roll dough back and forth until cylinder is about 18 inches long and of even thickness. Using bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut cylinder in half
crosswise, then cut each half into 8 evenly sized pieces.
Working with one piece at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap or kitchen towel, form dough pieces into smooth, taut rounds. Set piece of dough on unfloured area of work surface. Loosely cup hand around dough (not directly over it); without applying pressure to dough, move hand in small circular motions. (Tackiness of dough against work surface and circular motion should work dough into smooth, even ball.) Arrange shaped rolls in prepared cake pans (one in center and seven spaced evenly around edges) cover cake pans with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray,
then cover pans securely with foil. Refrigerate at least 24 or up to 48 hours.
*I planned to eat these on a Sunday around lunchtime. I made the dough up on Friday early evening and kept the rolls refrigerated until bedtime on Saturday night. I then took them out of the fridge and set them on the counter to rise overnight. Sunday morning I baked them after we woke up.
Remove foil (but not plastic wrap) from cake pans; let rolls rise in draft-free cool room-temperature location until doubled in volume (rolls should press against each other), 6 to 7 hours.
When rolls are nearly doubled in volume, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove plastic wrap. Brush rolls with 2 tablespoons melted butter; bake until deep golden brown, 14 to 18 minutes. Cool rolls in pans on wire rack about 3 minutes, then invert onto rack; re-invert rolls and cool 10 to 15
minutes longer. Break rolls apart and serve warm. Best eaten the same day and they are so good they won’t last until the next day!
Source: Cooks Illustrated