Welcome, Readers, to my Kitchen and Garden!
March is the month that I play “Plant or Weed?” in my garden. I examine the little seedlings erupting in the vegetable beds and the flower beds around our house, and try to decide if I should yank it out or let it be…for a little while longer.
It’s also the month when we may…or may not…celebrate Easter. Of course this depends on when the first full moon after the vernal equinox occurs. I personally like when the holiday falls in April. More culinary opportunities, as more fruits and vegetables are available.
I just love to talk with cooks of different ethnic backgrounds and hear what delectable dishes they prepare. My wife Suzy’s family is Slavish, and I’ve gotten to like the “Easter Cheese,” made from eggs and milk, and Paska, a bread with a dried cottage cheese filling. That’s the way they make it, anyway, although other families have their variations. They fill a huge Easter basket with ham, kolbassi, Easter eggs, beets pickled with vinegar and horseradish, Easter cheese, Paska, a stick of butter and a shaker of salt. Of course, there are plain and fancy variations: some families have beautifully decorated Pysanky eggs, fancy braids or crosses adorning their Pascha and butter molded into shapes like crosses or lambs.
Another couple we know, Gina and Dante, make an Italian festa with a traditional pasta dish, but also something that I adore—Pizza Rustica, with eggs, cheese and prosciutto. Mm-mm!!
Passover falls somewhere around this time, too, with another menu of mouth-watering dishes such as brisket, matzah balls and the wonderful flourless chocolate cake made by our friend Ronda.
Usually the people who prepare these feasts (the women, in my experience) go overboard and prepare enough food for several armies. Then the family spends the rest of the week trying to eat it all up.
My recipe for this month is Deviled Eggs.
Really, this recipe is just a guide for you. Use whatever you and your family like in the recipe. Fresh herbs are great. If you like things spicy, add some hot sauce or jalapeño to taste. It’s a great way to use up leftover Easter eggs.
Chef Robert’s Deviled Eggs
6 hard-boiled eggs (colored…or not!)
½ c. mayonnaise
3 slices of bacon, cooked very crisp and pulverized
1 tbsp. honey Dijon mustard
Dash of ground black pepper
Peel the eggs; slice them in half long-ways. Carefully remove the yolks and collect them in a small mixing bowl. Meanwhile, cook the bacon (I do mine in the microwave, on paper towels to eliminate some of the grease.)
Break up the yolks with a fork, add mayo, mustard and pepper. When the bacon is cool and pulverized, mix it in with the other ingredients.
Put a generous tablespoon of the yolk mixture in the hollow of each egg white half. Dust with paprika.
Chill for at least an hour before serving.
See you again next month!