Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter Feast Down South


Authentic Recipes From Lara Lyn Carter


By Doc Lawrence

Guy Fieri with Lara Lyn Carter
ALBANY, Georgia-Fresh from a spectacular celebrity chef performance at the renowned South Beach Wine & Food festival, Lara Lyn Carter isn’t slowing down one bit. This rising star Georgia girl has very high ambitions, always aiming for that mythical culinary paradise where excellence and talent blend seamlessly, combining kitchen skills with generations of cooking tradition that produce terrific taste.

“I loved every moment at South Beach,” Lara Lyn said, “and being elbow to elbow with legends like Guy Fieri, Martha Stewart and many others told me that our food in the South is the hottest cuisine in the country today.” Ms. Carter, whose hit 2015 TV series  Thyme for Sharing with Lara Lyn Carter on Georgia Public Broadcasting introduced her to a new expanded audience, showcasing her recipes and charming stories in the gentle style of her hardcover cookbook, Southern Thymes Shared, had tourists from the planet’s four corners lined up at the international food event. “My Georgia shrimp and grits and popular whiskey bites flavored with Jack Daniel’s really caused a stir,” she recalled with laughter.

“When these very friendly people asked about the ingredients, I replied that most everything was grown in Georgia. Just like me!”

It’s Easter week down South where the Easter Sunday feast is a hallowed tradition. Chef Lara Lyn Carter has several appropriate recipes, all originals from her heralded Albany, Georgia kitchen. Nothing is from a cooking team or stylist. Everything is as authentic as her soft South Georgia accent.

GRILLED LAMB CHOPS WITH SWEET ONION SAUCE
8 lamb chops cut 1/2 inch in thickness
MARINADE
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped finely
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine the olive oil, rosemary and lemon juice together. Place lamb chops in a shallow baking dish. Rub both sides of the chops with mixture. Cover the chops with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Grill the chops over medium heat turning every 5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove chops from the grill and serve with Sweet Onion Sauce.

Sweet Onion Sauce 

1 large sweet onion diced (Vidalia if available)  

1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup brown sugar2 tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped finely1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 

In a skillet combine the onion, olive oil, brown sugar, and rosemary. Cook over medium-low heat to gently cook the onions until tender and just beginning to caramelize. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar until well blended. Serve the sauce warm for wonderful flavor.


SPRING PEAS WITH PANCETTA & CARAMELIZED ONIONS
4 cups of fresh English peas
2 tsp. salt
6 ounces pancetta diced
2 medium Vidalia onions sliced thinly
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. butter
Cook peas in salt and enough water to cover peas. Bring peas to a boil then cover and reduce heat cooking 45-50 minutes or until tender.
While peas cook, place pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until brown. Remove pancetta from skillet and drain on paper towels. Add butter to skillet and put sliced onion and sugar in skillet until onions soften and begin to caramelize.
When peas are done, drain the peas and pour in a bowl. Mix the pancetta and onions in with the peas and serve warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.  

COCONUT CAKE
2 ½ cups cake flour sifted then measured
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
½ cup butter at room temperature
2 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sift dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter and add the egg yolks and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately beating well. Beat for one minute after all ingredients are in bowl. Pour batter into two greased 9-inch cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes then turn onto rack to finish cooling.  Cool completely before frosting. 
Icing
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. of sugar
1 cup water
½ cup egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sweetened coconut
Combine two cups of sugar and water over high heat stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring when mixture reaches boiling point. Remove pot from heat. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites, two tbsp. sugar and salt until stiff and gradually pour in hot mixture while beating constantly. Add the vanilla while still beating. Frost layers and sprinkle generously with coconut. Frost the outside of the cake and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Wines have an exalted place alongside Lara Lyn’s Easter feast. Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône wine region in southeastern France, one of the most renowned appellations of the southern part of the Rhône Valley, connects history and tradition with flavors, just what you expect from a Southern dinner on this meaningful day.

           Happy Easter






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