Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Relaxing Easter Picnic

Easter snuck up on me this year and I found myself without a menu or a plan. I really wasn't in the mood to cook dinner and enjoyed the day relaxing at home. Trapper and I went for a long walk and puttered in the garden for the rest of the morning. It was such a beautiful spring day and a late afternoon picnic seemed like the perfect ending to an easy day.

One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon is to crank up some music, open a nice bottle of Champagne or wine, and get lost in cooking...so that's what I did. I made a quick trip to the store, turned on my favorite Pandora station, and uncorked a bottle of Sika Syrah I purchased at a recent wine dinner. I prepared another sandwich from the latest Bon Appetit (cover sandwich hereand a chocolate mousse cake from Around My French Table. In between recipes, I chased Trapper around the yard with my camera and snapped a few Easter photos to share with all of his Facebook fans.

Pressed Coppa Sandwiches with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

LOVED this sandwich - especially the broccoli rabe pesto...

Making the "Pesto"

Assembling the Sandwiches before "Pressing"

Pressed Coppa Sandwiches with Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Bon Appetit, April 2013
(Makes 4 Sandwiches)

Ingredients:

1 pound broccoli rabe (rapini)
Kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino
2 teaspoons honey
8 slices country-style bread
8 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced sweet coppa or prosciutto
Olive oil (for skillet)

Preparation

Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green, about 30 seconds; drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain; squeeze out water; cut into 1-inch pieces.

Combine broccoli rabe, garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes a large skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until broccoli rabe is very soft, 40-50 minutes. Let pesto cool slightly. Mix in Pecorino and honey.

Build sandwiches with bread, provolone, coppa, and broccoli rabe pesto. Brush a large skillet with oil and heat over medium-low heat. Working in batches and brushing skillet with oil as needed, add sandwiches to pan, cover with foil, and place a heavy skillet on top. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese melts, 4-5 minutes per side (you can also use a lightly oiled panini press).

Trapper's Easter Photo

Since the Easter Bunny missed my delivery of Chocolate Cadbury Creme Eggs, I had an excuse to try one of the recipes I missed early on in French Fridays with Dorie - Michel Rostang's Double Chocolate Mousse Cake. I'm not sure how I missed this one back in January 2011 because I made the other three recipes that month, but there must have been some compelling reason to forego chocolate that month - New Year's diet perhaps?

The preparation for this cake is unique in that you prepare a chocolate mousse flavored with bittersweet chocolate and espresso, bake 1/3 of the mousse in a dessert ring (or springform pan minus the bottom), let it cool, pour the remaining chilled mousse over the cooked base, and slip it back into the oven for another 30 mniutes. The mousse filling puffs up as it cooks and then deflates as it cools. Dorie recommends refrigerating it for a few hours and serving it chilled. A dusting of cocoa powder, and dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream, seals the sweet deal. The Daily Herald published the recipe, here.

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

1 comment:

The Mom Chef said...

Wow. Wow, oh wow. That sandwich looks amazing. I mean ridiculously so. I hadn't tabbed it in the magazine (which may be my favorite issue ever), but now I'm going to have to rethink it, thanks to you.