Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Counter-Programming

Sue was hoping that Netflix had "Jesus Christ Superstar" on their streaming plan -- no dice. I could show "Life of Brian" for her family... but I get the feeling the language and full-frontal nudity may be out of the question for some of my nieces and nephews.

But what I really wanted to talk about is the alternative to Easter food. What's with ham, anyway? Jesus certainly didn't have any. Not at the last supper, nor the one before that.

I've always hated ham (jamon iberico and prosciutto are another thing altogether, but as Alton Brown says, "That's another show."). So since we've started hosting Sue's family Easter, I've come up with alternatives. Last year was an Indian chicken pilaf (made with Kosher chicken for my future daughter-in-law, an no butter *sigh*). This year, it's b'stella, from one of our favorite cookbooks, "Cooking Under Wraps" By Nicole Routhier (ISBN 0688108679, currently out of print, but you find a used copy, snatch it up!). I've made this dish before, and it's one of the most fragrant, rich dishes in the world. Chicken poached with cinnamon and black pepper, then mixed with sauteed onions, garlic, ginger and spices, cream, cilantro and mint; scrambled eggs made with some of the poaching liquid; all enclosed in phyllo with almonds, sugar and cinnamon. Sweet, spicy, wow. But it's a kitchen-killer: I'm on about four pots and pans so far, and I haven't melted butter for the phyllo yet.

I'm betting this will be gone... and the ham will have lots of leftovers. I'd rather it were the other way 'round, though.

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