Passover and Easter recipes with Chef Jamie Gwen

Morning News

Chef and radio host Jamie Gwen joined us live via Skype with Passover and Easter recipes for the entire family. For more information on Chef Jamie Gwen you can visit her website or follow her on social media @ChefJamieGwen.

Ralphs Grocery Stores are offering pickup and delivery! Order online through their website.
You may also order your produce directly from Melissa’s Produce.

Super Easy Cheesy Brunch Sliders
1 package brioche or sweet rolls, 12 rolls to a pack
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large eggs
8 thin slices deli ham
8 slices cheddar cheese

For the Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

– Preheat your oven to 40ºF.
– Cut the whole loaf of rolls in half horizontally, so that you have a bottom half and a top half. Set the top half aside, and place the bottom half in a greased 13 x 9” baking dish.
– Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the beaten eggs, season with salt and pepper, and scramble until the eggs are just cooked through and still soft.
– To make the sauce, combine the mayonnaise and Sriracha and stir to combine. Spread half of the mixture on the bottom part of the rolls and top with the scrambled eggs. Top with the sliced ham and finish with a layer of cheese. Spread the underside of the top half of rolls with the remaining sauce and place it on top to create a great big sandwich of sliders. Melt the remaining butter and brush the top of the rolls liberally. Place the sliders in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes until the rolls are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
– Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Using a knife, cut along where the rolls separate making sure you cut through the bacon.

Serves 4

Spring Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto & Roasted Garlic Aioli
A boneless and butterflied leg of lamb cooks quickly on the grill, imparting fabulous flavor and smokiness, while still guaranteeing you the ability to cook the meat to perfection. For Easter or Passover, this recipe will dazzle your eyes and your palate.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 3-pound butterflied boneless leg of lamb, trimmed

– Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in your blender or food processor and blend to combine. Place the butterflied lamb in a resalable plastic bag and add the marinade. Refrigerate for 24 hours, to impart fabulous flavor.
– Remove the lamb from the refrigerator 1 hour before you’re ready to grill, to guarantee even cooking. Remove the lamb from the marinade, pat dry and discard the marinade.
– Preheat your Twin Eagles Grill using a 2-Zone set-up (one side of the grill on high heat and the other side on no heat to cook the lamb indirectly using the radiant heat as convection).
– Place the lamb on the grill over direct heat and sear both sides, creating grill marks and locking in the juices. Move the lamb to indirect heat, cover the grill and cook until an internal thermometer registers 125ºF, about 15 minutes total for medium-rare, depending upon the thickness of the lamb.
– Transfer the lamb to a cutting and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
– Serve with Mint Pesto and Roasted Garlic Aioli.

Serves 6 to 8

Mint Pesto
Fresh mint and parsley combine for this bright Spring pesto.

2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pistachios
2 peeled garlic cloves
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt & freshly ground pepper

-Combine the mint, parsley, walnuts and garlic in your food processor. Process to a paste. Slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend well. Taste to adjust the seasoning.

Roasted Garlic Aioli
Aioli is a classic preparation, a mayonnaise base with roasted garlic infused into each creamy, heavenly bite. You can make mayonnaise from scratch or use this cheat method for instant gratification.

1 cup prepared mayonnaise
6 roasted garlic cloves (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt & freshly ground pepper

– Combine the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth.
– To roast garlic, cut the top third off of a bulb of garlic and drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast at 325°F for 1 hour or until the garlic cloves are caramelized and tender. For individually peeled garlic cloves, drizzle a handful of cloves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the seasoned cloves in an aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, shaking the packet a couple of times during cooking, or until the cloves are tender and golden.

Chicken with Dates
This simple, flavorful dish is perfect for Passover dinner. Sometimes cut-up potatoes are added as well for a one pot meal.

2 large chickens, cut into quarters
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
3 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons honey
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound dates, halved lengthwise
Juice of 2 lemons

– Season the chicken quarters with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the chicken in batches and brown on all sides over high heat. Remove the chicken and set aside.
– Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the spices, honey and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and return the chicken to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
– Skim the fat from the surface. Add the dates, lemon and saffron and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve the chicken with the dates and sauce.

Serves 8

Matzo Bark
Sweet, chocolate-covered toffee matzo crackers with a salty, crunch nutty topping; delicious! Happy Pesach.

4 to 5 sheets Passover matzo
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped roasted salted almonds or pistachios

– Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
– Arrange the matzo in one flat layer in the pan, breaking up and fitting the pieces as needed to cover the whole pan.
– Combine the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil, and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Once it starts to boil, continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until it turns into caramel. Remove the caramel from the heat and pour it evenly over the matzo, using an offset spatula to coat the matzo. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and let stand for 1 minute, until the topping is slightly solidified. Pour the chocolate chips evenly over the matzo, and return to the oven for 1 minute to soften the chips. Remove from the oven and, using the spatula, spread the melted chocolate out over the matzo in one layer.
– Sprinkle the nuts over the top. Let rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes, then refrigerate at least 1 hour, uncovered.
– Break into pieces and store between parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week until ready to serve.

Peeps Crispy Treats
Non-Stick Cooking spray
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 packages Peeps marshmallows, 3 different colors
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 cups crispy rice cereal

– Cover a 9×13″ pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking with cooking spray.
– Melt the butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the butter has browned and smells nutty, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
– Place 2 packages of blue Peeps in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and microwave for 30 seconds more. Add 1 tablespoon of the browned butter and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the melted Peeps and mix well. Add 2 cups of crispy rice cereal to the marshmallow mixture and stir well. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
– Repeat using the remaining peeps and brown butter and rice cereal, to create 3 separate colors for the layers.
– Let cool for 1 hour, then lift the treats out of the pan, cut and serve.

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