Message From Jane
Each morning, as April nears, I love to walk out onto the little walkway from my front door and closely check the spring bulbs. Checking to see the difference a day makes in the rapid development of those tightly fisted buds of the tulips is such a joy. Of course the hyacinths and daffodils have already made their colorful, fragrant presence.
I always love to bring the spring flowers inside. The fragrant perfume and subtle hues of lilacs and hyacinths complemented by the brightly colored tulips and daffodils create a beautiful palette for springtime bouquets as well as centerpieces for springtime dinners.
For most of us, Easter has always been a major holiday and signals the real beginning of Spring and the enjoyment of being outdoors. I don't know about you, but I can never wait for the warm evenings to begin the grilling season in earnest.
Having always just loved to entertain, I plan Easter dinner weeks ahead of time-to make sure I have enough time to enjoy preparing the menu I have chosen. In the Southwest, lamb, ham or pork are generally served. I had lots of fun sharing the chorizo stuffed pork loin with all the side dishes and trimmings in this edition of my Cooking Club, which I truly invite each of you to join. Check it out
I used to really enjoy preparing a Crown Roast of either Lamb or Pork. They look so elegant and offer up juicy, tender meat with a crispy outside...all due to starting the roast at a high temperature and reducing it to a much lower one.
I like to roast the roast without a stuffing and just place a garnish of bunches of Italian parsley, mint and rosemary on the inside. The meat to me is much more succulent that way. By the way to prepare a crown roast, have the butcher trim off the small ends of the ribs and create a circular pattern of the ribs.
About two hours before dinner, rub a mixture (which can be made ahead of time) of 1 Tablespoon each fresh minced rosemary, mint and lavender with 3 cloves garlic which has been mixed with 3 Tablespoons olive oil. Salt and pepper the meat and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast at 425 F in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce to 300 F and roast about 20 to 30 minutes a pound depending on desired doneness. Pork is done at 160 F internal temperature. Lamb can be roasted to a rare temperature of 140 F.
Red chiles are great fun for adding spark and appetite appeal to your menus any time of year. I like to put red chile on meats of any kind-- beef, pork chicken or seafood as a rub made with salt, sugar and maybe black pepper and herbs and serve the meats with salsa. I also use red chile as a garnish for vegetable dishes instead of paprika, which does two things-supplies healthful capsaicin and spicy flavor.
I am including an assortment of my favorite basic meat recipes that use red chile. We are featuring red chile on special to accommodate you. All bytes members will get a 10% off deduction off any order of our red chiles and a bonus sample of our wonderful, fresh Mexican oregano.
Each of the following recipes can be quickly and easily made. And just think, you are adding health, when you add the red chile. The taco filling is a very quick and fresh tasting filling for tacos or burritos and freezes quite well.
The carnitas are one of my favorite appetizers or fillings for tacos and once made, they freeze beautifully. The chicken recipe has been a favorite of my daughter since I developed it as a consultant to the Ortega brand way long ago in the mid-seventies. Chipotle really peps up the salmon and is so easy to prepare.