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Arugula and deviled eggs with truffle oil dressing. (Credit: John Ross)
Arugula and deviled eggs with truffle oil dressing. (Credit: John Ross)

In his North Fork chef column in this week’s issue of The Suffolk Times, chef John Ross shares an Easter menu that includes a rack of lamb, deviled eggs and ganache-filled chocolate cupcakes. We’ve shared his recipes. 

Easter menu

Arugula and Deviled Eggs With Truffle Oil Dressing

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb With Farro/Mushroom Risotto and

Ganache-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Arugula and Deviled Eggs

Place 6 eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring them to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and plunge eggs into an ice-water bath until cool.

Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks with a fork and put them into a small bowl. Place the whites on a plate. Mash the yolks with a fork or pastry blender and stir in 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon horseradish and 1 tablespoon minced chives. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Garnish each egg with a rolled anchovy and caper and a leaf of parsley.

Prepare a dressing by squeezing the juice of 1 lemon into a bowl and whisking in 1 tablespoon white truffle oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss 1 package of baby arugula with the dressing and divide between six plates. Garnish each plate with 2 devilled eggs and serve.

Serves 6.

For the main course, roasted rack of lamb. (Credit: John Ross)
For the main course, roasted rack of lamb. (Credit: John Ross)

Rack of Lamb, Farro/Mushroom risotto and Roasted Vegetables

Lamb: Purchase an American rack of lamb. It will have seven rib bones and an eye of meat that is larger than Australian or New Zealand versions. Trim off some of the fat cover and score the remaining fat with the point of a knife into cross-hatched squares.

Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into a small casserole. Cut the tops off of 2 heads of garlic and place them in the oil along with 3 sprigs of thyme and 3 sprigs of rosemary. Cover with foil and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the herbs.

Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and add it to a small bowl. Chop 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves and 2 tablespoons mint leaves and add them to the cooked garlic. Mash them all together and stir in 1 tablespoon of the seasoned oil and 1/4 cup panko crumbs. Rub this mixture over the rack of lamb and reserve the oil for seasoning the roasted vegetables. Put the rack of lamb on a sheet pan and roast in the 350-degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees, about 45 minutes.

Vegetables: While the lamb is cooking, trim 1 bunch of carrots with stems, 1 bunch of asparagus, 2 leeks split in half lengthwise (white part), 3 small artichokes trimmed and cut in half (chokes removed) and 1 bulb of fennel cut into quarter-inch slices. Toss these vegetables in the remaining seasoned oil and place them on a foil-lined sheet pan. Season with a teaspoon of coarse salt and ground pepper. When the rack of lamb is removed from the oven, turn up the heat to 435 degrees and roast the vegetables for 20 minutes.

Farro: Meanwhile, rinse 1 pound of farro and bring to a boil in 2 quarts of water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes and drain. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a saucepan and sauté 1 package of quartered cre-mini mushrooms and 1 package of quartered shiitake mushrooms. Stir in 1 chopped shallot and the drained farro. At medium heat, stir in 2 cups chicken stock ladle by ladle, letting each ladle of stock become absorbed by the farro. Season with 1 tablespoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and remove.

At service time, place farro in the middle of each plate with a carved lamb chop on top. Serve the vegetables along the side.

Serves 6.

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Ganache: Put 2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar in a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, whisk briefly and refrigerate.

Cupcakes: Place 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate and 1/3 cup cocoa powder in a bowl. Pour 3/4 cup hot coffee over the cocoa mixture, cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk and refrigerate.

Whisk together 3/4 cup bread flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a clean bowl. Remove the cocoa mixture from the refrigerator and whisk in 6 tablespoons canola oil, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Stir the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture and divide evenly between 12 cupcake liners set in a muffin tin.

Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and place a heaping teaspoon on top of each cupcake. Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. (They will be just firm with a liquid center.) Remove and cool for one hour.

Frosting: Soften 12 tablespoons butter, cutting it into 12 chunks. Melt 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute and let cool.

Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 2 egg whites and a pinch of salt in a mixer bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan with 1 inch of simmering water in the bottom. Whisk the egg white mixture for 3 minutes over the water bath until it reaches 150 degrees and becomes foamy.

Place the mixing bowl on the mixer with a whisk attachment and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the softened butter one chunk at a time and mix in the melted chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Increase the speed and whip until light and fluffy. Cover the cupcakes with frosting and chill.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

This recipe was taken from the excellent book “America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School.”

John Ross, a chef and author, has been an active part of the North Fork food and wine community for more than 35 years. Email: [email protected]