Monday, April 17, 2006
It Was A Great Easter...Thanks To My Friends On The Food Network
This Easter I had a little help from Rachel Ray and Giada DE Laurentiis on the Food Network. Rachel Ray hosts the show 30 Minute Meals which I usually watch daily at 6:00pm & 6:30pm. Giada DE Laurentiis is the host of Everyday Italian at 4:30pm. I tape it everyday and watch it at night. I had family over for Easter and served a Triple M BuddaBall Spiral Sliced Ham, and served one of Rachel Ray's recipes, the Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and two from Giada, Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice and the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart. All three recipes were fantastic. I altered them each to my taste.
For the Roasted Potatoes, I used her recipe, only I added sweet potato pieces, which I think really made this dish extra special. As the potatoes roasted the sugars from the sweet potatoes caramelized and added extra yumminess. I also cooked them about 15 minutes longer than she does because I like my potatoes golden brown and crunchy. They were delicious.
The Tomato Stuffed with Rice was as good as it looks. To simplify things, I used Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (Brown Rice). It takes 90 seconds to cook and the brown rice is much more nutricious than plain white rice. For you sceptics out there, you wouldn't even know it was brown rice because there are so many fresh herbs, cheese and seasonings that give it such a great flavor. Trust me. I even left the cheese out of one for a lactose intolerent relative and he still loved it.
When I saw the episode on the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, I couldn't wait to make it. Easter was the perfect reason to try it. Instead of the frozen thawed crust Giada recommends, I used an organic chocolate ready crust. This worked out really well, although I had extra batter which I was afraid would overflow so I made another small square pan. In this pan I made my own crust using graham crackers and melted Smart Balance Spread. I actually liked this one even better. I have to say, the hazelnuts were a pain to peel but I guess it was worth it in the end. The texture is kind of like a peacan pie only a little more dry and dense. Deelish!
If you want to try these recipes, you can click on the underlined recipe names above-they are links. Try my alterations, I think you'll love them!