The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Easter and Passover Recipes

While I celebrate Easter, I have had to cook for Passover at various times of my life. These recipes are appropriate for both and they so useful for other times during the year. My son, Steven, who has a sweet tooth as big as mine, loves to mix and make the macaroons with me.
....Chef Anthony Marini

I am thriled my friend, Chef Anthony Marini took the time to create this post for you for the upcoming holidays. Learn more about Chef Marini at the bottom of the post. I especially like the 3 options versions of the macaroons. Now, if I can convince him to fix the dinner for me that would even be better.


If you're making this dish for Easter, serve it over couscous; for Passover, serve it with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes.

- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp pepper
- 8 lamb shanks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger root
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp hot red chile flakes
- 28 oz tin plum tomatoes, crushed with juices
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine ingredients for rub. Pat into lamb. Marinate a few hours if possible. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Brown lamb well, in batches if necessary. Remove from pan.
2. Discard all but 1 tbsp oil from pan and add onions, garlic and ginger. Cook gently for a few minutes until tender. Combine cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chile flakes in a small bowl and add to onions. Cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add stock. Bring to a boil. Return lamb to pan. Cover lamb directly on the surface with parchment paper and then with a lid. Simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours or until lamb is very tender.
3. Skim fat from surface of stew with a large spoon. Add honey and lemon juice to sauce. Bring to a boil. If sauce is not thick enough, remove lamb and cook sauce, uncovered, until it is thicker.

Serve one shank per person or remove meat from bones in large chunks, return meat to sauce and serve like a stew. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

* 4 egg whites
* Pinch of salt
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* One 16 oz. package sweetened coconut
* 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, if desired, for variation #2
* OR 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, for variation #3

1. Variation #1: Coconut Macaroons
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Place the egg whites and the salt in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the sugar a little bit at a time and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Fold in the coconut with a rubber spatula until evenly mixed.
5. With a 2 oz. ice cream scooper, scoop out mixture onto cookie sheets that have been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
6. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from pan while hot to cool on wire rack.
7. Variation #2: Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons
8. Prepare the recipe as above.
9. After the coconut is folded into the egg whites, stir in 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, and continue the recipe as written.
10. Variation #3: Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
11. Prepare the coconut macaroon recipe and let the macaroons cool.
12. Lightly spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
13. Melt 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips in the top pot of a double boiler over barely simmering water.
14. When the chocolate is completely melted, dip half of a macaroon into the chocolate and place on the cookie sheet until set.

For more info: Anthony Marini is a chef and restaurant consultant. He is the Principal of The AMI Group, a firm that handles and consults on a variety of restaurant and food service concerns. You can contact him by phone at 301.377.4004 or his email, You can see him on the web at

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