A Springtime Luncheon Party… served with ease
Written by RALPH VINCENT
Spring is here with its promise of rebirth and better days to come. It is comforting to remember the possibilities of this season as we face continued challenges and safety restrictions during the COVID 19 pandemic. For safety, springtime celebrations should be limited to our household members. Nonetheless small family gatherings can still be festive.
To celebrate this special time of year, I have taken an informal easy-to-prepare luncheon menu and dressed it up a bit. Inspired by the classic club sandwich, Egg Salad Triple Deckers are served alongside Potato Salad with Dill and Shallots. An awesome cocktail will make things even more festive. Pineapple Prosecco Rum Punch is a fun and refreshing tipple you can make in batches ahead of time. Cherry Cocoa Tiramisu with Amaretto Liqueur and Almonds wraps up lunch sweetly.
I hope you enjoy preparing this menu. Have fun in your kitchen, enjoy cooking for the people you love and remember…food doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to taste good!
PINEAPPLE PROSECCO RUM PUNCH
Ingredients per cocktail:
1 and ½ cups of white rum
I prefer classic Bacardi
1 and ½ cups of pineapple juice
½ cup of fresh lime juice
Spumante sparkling wine
I like Brut Prosecco
Garnish with pineapple & lime
Pour the rum along with the pineapple and lime juices into a pitcher, stir to blend and chill in the refrigerator. When it is time to serve, fill 6 wine glasses ¾ with ice and divide the rum and juice mixture among them. Top off each drink with enough Prosecco to fill the glass, and garnish with a few pineapple chunks and a lime slice and enjoy!
12 hard cooked eggs,
cooled and peeled
2/3 cup best quality mayonnaise
and additional for the bread
½ cup thinly sliced spring onions
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley,
2 tablespoons prepared
horseradish, drained well
½ teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste
About 12 to 18 thin slices of tomato
depending on size, drained on
18 slices of lightly toasted sandwich
bread of your choice
Coarsely chop the eggs and place in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, place the mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, horseradish, white pepper and salt, stir until the ingredients are well blended. Scrape the mayonnaise mixture into the bowl with the eggs and stir gently until combined.
Spread additional mayonnaise to taste on 12 bread slices, place 2-3 tomato slices on 6 of the bread slices and place arugula leaves on the other 6 slices. Divide egg salad among the bread slices, on top of the tomatoes and arugula. Stack each bread slice with tomatoes on top of each bread slice with arugula. Top each sandwich with a third slice of bread. Cut each sandwich diagonally and secure each half with 4-inch frilled toothpick.
CHERRY COCOA TIRAMISU
with AMARETTO LIQUEUR & ALMONDS
One 7 oz package of lady fingers
Two 8 oz packages of cream
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
13-oz jar of cherry preserves,
I like “Bonne Maman” brand
1 cup of sliced almonds
2 tablespoons unsweetened
1 cup of amoretto liqueur
½ teaspoon freshly ground
For the filling, in the bowl of a mixer combine the cream cheese and heavy cream until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar, cherry preserves and almond extract and mix until well combined. Set aside. Divide the lady fingers evenly to make 2 layers. Place the amoretto liqueur in a pie plate and working quickly dip half the lady fingers in the liqueur and line the bottom of an 8 inch by 11 inch serving dish with them. Spread half the filling over the lady fingers. Sift 1 ounces of the cocoa powder over the filling and sprinkle with half the sliced almonds. Dip the remaining ladyfingers in amoretto liqueur, and place in a layer over the almonds, spread the remaining filling over the ladyfingers and sift one ounce of cocoa powder over the filling and sprinkle with the remaining almonds. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
About 3 pounds of Yukon Gold
potatoes scrubbed and cut into
bite sized pieces
½ cup minced shallots
½ cup finely minced fresh dill
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium to high heat and lower the heat to medium to keep the water bubbling. Cook for about 12 minutes or until fork tender. Carefully drain the potatoes into a colander and place them back into the pot to cool. Add the shallots and dill, add salt and pepper to taste, stir gently to combine.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard together and pour over the potatoes, stir gently to combine and pour into a serving dish. Garnish with chopped parsley and dill if desired. Chill until time to serve.
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