Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Mar 26, 2013

A Very Lush Easter

Still planning your Easter menu for this Sunday?  Need an alternative to lamb?  Whether it's a brunch or dinner, here are some ideas to help you celebrate the holiday and arrival of spring.

Wake up to Easter egg hunts to the smell of these Limoncello Breakfast Rolls.  Prep them the night before so you can quickly pop them in the oven before all the holiday action begins.

What better way to start off brunch with a cocktail or two?  Make use of all those blood oranges at the market with this Blood Orange, Ginger Beer & Tequila libation.  If you haven't hard-boiled all of your Easter eggs, then turn them into fizzes with a classic Gin Fizz or an Apricot Bourbon Fizz.  For an all day drink, the Kew Garden Cocktail with white rum, St. Germain, lime, cucumber and mint can easily be made by the pitcherful.  Give your Old-Fashioned a festive and spring twist by using a little St. Germain and lemon bitters in this Elder Fashioned.
Nothing says Easter like eggs, right?  This Leek & Pancetta Risotto with a Fried Egg on top is a great meal to serve at brunch, and you can cook up a large batch for guests.  Another simple pasta dish that can be served for brunch or dinner is this Chicken & Swiss Chard Pasta Bake, and you can offset all those Easter Basket sweets by using whole wheat penne.  Marcus Samuelsson's recipe for Red Grits & Shrimp is incredibly flavorful and a nice way to end the Mardi Gras season.  One of my dad's favorite pork preparations is this Pork Loin with White Wine, Fennel Seed and Mustard Sauce.  Whether it's Easter or another holiday, this usually makes an appearance on our table at least a few times a year.

Last year when the Lush Chef's parents came to visit during Easter, I served this Sticky Orange Cake with Vodka & Marmalade Glaze for dessert.  It's vegan, but that didn't stop all of us from devouring this moist cake.  It's simple and quick to make, and can be served for brunch or with pistachio or vanilla ice cream after dinner.  A couple of years ago, I also served this cooling Orange Moscato Pudding to my parents for Easter.  It's another light dessert to end a heavy holiday dinner.  Even though pears and Riesling are more appropriate for the winter, this Pear Riesling Sorbet is still a perfect spring dessert.  If you have any of that Limoncello still lying around from the breakfast rolls, then use the rest for a Limoncello Rosemary Cake.  The candied lemons and rosemary sprigs make such a festive and tasty decoration.