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FYI: Recipe Note Tips - Perfect Holiday Meal

Hints for the Perfect Holiday Meal
The meal is always a high point of any special occasion. Family and friends will be flocked around the table eagerly awaiting the feast you have prepared. Make this year's holiday meal one they won't soon forget by making use of our helpful hints!

Matzo Meals. The excitement and challenge of putting on a Seder dinner may be behind you, but you've still got lots more Passover meals to think about. When all your old favorite recipes are exhausted, how about matzo pizza? Everyone will love to make their own pizzas by spreading Kosher-for-Passover tomato sauce and cheese on a piece of matzo and adding veggies to their own tastes. Yearning for lasagna? Just use your favorite recipe, substituting moistened matzo for the noodles. Add thinly sliced eggplant, artichoke hearts and plenty of spinach to make it a stick-to-your ribs kind of meal.

Luscious Lamb. The rich aroma, the knockout flavor and the contrast in textures between the crunchy exterior and tender, juicy interior of roast lamb make it a perfect main course for a memorable holiday meal. One of the great things about lamb is that it's flavorful enough to need nothing more to enhance it but a sprinkling of salt, yet its robust flavor also pairs perfectly with a wide variety of seasonings and spices. Some seasonings that taste wonderful with lamb include rosemary, thyme, oregano, cumin, garlic and red wine. Lamb should be cooked to 130 degrees F (55 degrees C) for medium-rare. Leg of lamb and rack of lamb are ideal for roasting and both make for a magnificent presentation at the table. The racks that you see in most pictures have individual bones sticking out of the top. This is known as a 'Frenched' rack of lamb, and the look is achieved by trimming the fat from between each bone. Your butcher should be able to do this for you at your request.

Ham it Up. If ham is on the menu for this year's Easter dinner, remember that bone-in hams are more flavorful than boneless ones, not to mention more decorative, making a truly glorious centerpiece for your special meal. Many brands of bone-in ham are spiral-cut. This means that the ham has been cut in a continuous spiral all the way around the bone, producing thin slices that easily peel away, making the ham very simple to serve. If you do choose a bone-in ham, take the weight of the bone into account when deciding what size ham to buy. If the ham has a large bone, you'll want to count on at least 3/4 pound for each person who will be at dinner.

Flowers: Beautiful to Look at, Delightful to Eat! Nature can make the best decorations! Don't just adorn the table with flowers this year - use them to dress up the food, too! Try tulip petals, pansies, rosemary blossoms or chive blossoms in the salad, and candied violets or rose petals for a breathtakingly beautiful and delicate dessert garnish. Do make sure that the flowers you buy for eating have not been sprayed with pesticides -- if you're not certain, just ask. To candy flowers, first give them a bath in cool water and allow them to dry completely. One at a time, dip the each flower in a bowl of egg white that's been beaten just until foamy. Drop the coated flower into a bowl of superfine sugar, covering it completely, and then fish it out with a fork. Lay the flowers on wax paper, making sure they are not touching each other, and allow them to sit, uncovered, in a warm, dry place until completely firm and dry. It's important not to put the violets in the refrigerator -- the moisture will turn them into a sticky mess. You can store these darling delicacies in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to two months.

FYI: HOW-TO'S, WHAT-TO-DO'S & ANY-HOO'S # 28

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