An Easter to Remember at Chez Miskew & a Delicious Grilled Leg of Lamb Recipe!
April 2, 2016 / Stephanie Miskew / 23 Comments
Easter is one of my favorite holidays. In addition to its religious significance, it’s also the holiday on which my husband proposed and it occasionally coincides with my birthday (March 31st) which is always fun. It also signals the arrival of Spring, a season rife with many of my favorite things not the least of which is some of the best weather we’ll see all year here in South Florida. And while Steve and I have hosted Easter at our home (aka Chez Miskew) many times, this year was extra special because it was the first year we had the entire Miskew clan joining us!
Steve’s brother Doug, his wife Tracy and their children, Nick and Abby, live in North Carolina, as does his mother Diane and while they’ve all come to visit us at various times over the years, we’ve never had them all at Chez Miskew together.
So after putting in the request during our Christmas visit to North Carolina, it finally became a reality this year! We had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend showing them around town, visiting Delray hot spots including City Oyster (my Mother-in-law adores Wayne…but who doesn’t?) and Saltwater Brewery (owned by our good friends the Goves) and spending time on the beach at The Seagate Beach Club. We also dined at home one night, feasting on delicious chicken wings and pizza from Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in honor of the arrival of Steve’s Uncle Barry and Aunt Audrey whose presence made the weekend even more special. You see, Uncle Barry is a Lutheran minister and married Steve and I almost 12 years ago – how time flies!
We decided on an Easter brunch this year in order to get the college kids home Sunday night so they’d be bright and bushy-tailed for their Monday morning classes. Luckily, brunch happens to be one of my favorite meals, yet with an Easter menu that usually consists of ham and lamb for us, we wondered how we could make it more…brunchy.
We decided to replace the ham with an egg dish I recently discovered on Food52, the fabulous foodie website created by New York Times food writers and overall dynamic foodie duo, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Eggs Gratin Crostini with Swiss Chard, created by Food52 Test Kitchen Chef Josh Cohen, was an ambition dish which required a bit of advance preparation (soft-boiling 2 dozen eggs, making a caramelized onion cream sauce, grating oodles of Gruyère cheese) but the minute I saw the cheese bubbling under the broiler (click here to view) and heard the rave reviews from the fam, I knew it was totally worth the effort!
Steve took the lead on the lamb which was a scrumptious butterflied leg marinated overnight in a savory mixture of yogurt, olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest and juice. The lamb retained the flavors of the marinade beautifully and Steve cooked it on the grill to sheer perfection!
The dish that took the longest however was the Neiman Marcus Popovers and Strawberry Butter. I made the delectable strawberry butter the day before but the actual batter for these gorgeous, golden brown poofs needs to be made with room temperature ingredients and also needs to rest for one hour after the wet portion is mixed. Plus, each batch cooks for 45 minutes and I needed 2-3 batches. Despite the “popover drama,“ they turned out great and there wasn’t a crumb left!
Uncle Barry led us in a beautiful blessing before we all sat down to feast. In addition to family, we were also fortunate to have our neighbors, who we consider family, Jackson Langford and his son Griffin join us. Since the day was extremely warm and we were eating al fresco, almost everyone opted for chilled white wine including sparkling Blanc de Blancs, Chenin Blanc from South Africa and California, and a Cotes du Rhone Blanc. For a full list of Easter recommendations, which are also immensely enjoyable this Spring (and under $25), please click here.
For dessert, I served my Pink & Green Trifle, a dessert less inspired by haute cuisine as it is Lilly Pulitzer. The confection features layers of cubed strawberry cake (yes, the boxed kind) separated by bright green pistachio pudding (yes, the instant kind) and whipped topping (yes, Cool Whip), garnished with fuchsia pink Peep bunnies. Childish? Yes. Cavity-inducingly sweet? Yes! The perfect way to end a culinarily ambitious meal? You betcha! And, like the rest of the Easter meal, it was completely deserving of being served on late Aunt Mary’s beautiful pink and ivory colored Wedgwood Williamsburg Husk china.
It was such a special day filled with great stories, delicious food and lots of laughs. I hope you enjoy the photos of our Easter fun and I’ve included the recipe below for the delicious leg of lamb. It will definitely be appearing at our next Easter feast and with any luck…so will the Miskews!
“Grilled Leg of Lamb with Rosemary & Lemon”
Adapted from Ina Garten’s show, “The Barefoot Contessa”
1 5-lb. butterflied leg of lamb (it’ll weigh more before the bone is removed)
2 lbs. plain, unflavored yogurt
1/2 cup good olive oil, plus more for grill
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 3 lemons)
3/4 cup fresh whole rosemary leaves stripped from the stem (approx. 2 large bunches)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.) Combine yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a large non-reactive bowl or jumbo-sized plastic bag. Add the lamb, making sure it is covered entirely with marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator, covered, overnight or for at least 6 hours.
2.) Before grilling, be sure to bring the lamb to room temperature. Just prior to cooking, heat grill and scrape the marinade off the lamb, wiping the meat with paper towels, and seasoning it generously with salt and pepper. Brush the grill with oil to keep the lamb from sticking, and grill on both sides until the internal temperature is 120 to 125 degrees for rare. This will take 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how hot the grill is.
3.) Remove the lamb to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve arranged on a platter, garnished with additional rosemary sprigs and lemon slices.
April 2, 2016 / Stephanie Miskew / 23 Comments
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