Cook’s Corner: Behold the new colors of Easter eggs

04/16/2014 12:00 AM

04/14/2014 2:00 PM

Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year, not only is the hot spring fashion color, but it has made its way into the Easter egg parade. Forget the pastels of yesteryear; what’s trending now are vivid colors. McCormick developed these formulas for making vibrant dyes.

To use: Mix food coloring with 1/2 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon white vinegar. Submerge the eggs for at least 5 minutes:

Radiant Orchid — 7 drops blue, 3 drops neon purple

Hemlock — 3 drops blue, 12 drops green, 6 drops yellow

Cayenne —1 4 drops red, 1 drop blue, 1 drop yellow

Dazzling Blue — 20 drops neon blue, 1 drop neon purple

Violet Tulip — 2 drops red, 20 drops blue

Freesia — 1 drop red, 45 drops yellow (25 drops make up 1/4 teaspoon)

Celosia Orange — 2 drops red, 17 drops yellow

Placid Blue — 4 drops blue

Reader Question

Q: I love the fresh taste of the scallops with pea risotto at Atria. Can you get the recipe?

P.A.

A: This makes a beautiful spring entrée, and as risottos go is not that difficult to make as long as you have the time and patience to let the broth absorb slowly. The garnishes aren’t necessary but do make for a great contrast of flavors from the crisps of Parmesan and Prosciutto, with the cardamom milk adding just the right nip of spice.

Cookbook Corner

The Good Housekeeping Sunday Dinner Collector’s Edition Cookbook (Hearst, $35) is nostalgic and comfy and embraces the notion that making and sharing meals as a family ought to return to our busy lives, if only once a week. I love the concept, but even more I love the book’s all-encompassing scope, with 1,275 recipes, 52 seasonal menus and tips on every page that will help both novice and seasoned cooks. It would make a perfect wedding or graduation gift.

The recipes in this just-released edition are a wonderful blend of old and new. The Easter menu, for example, suggests eggs stuffed with smoked salmon and cucumber, radishes with pea puree, pineapple glazed ham, roasted asparagus, scalloped potatoes and both carrot cake and lemon-ricotta cheesecake. There are recipes for each dish, plus preparation and cooking time estimates, calorie counts and serving suggestions. You might think you don’t need a recipe for how to roast asparagus, but the kitchen tips also tell you where to break the stalks and how to store until cooking time (place stalks upright in a glass of water). I love the old-fashioned appeal of the pineapple glazed ham recipe, but for those who want something new there are variations like the melba-glazed ham here and a tomato-onion glaze as well.

Popcorn

Here’s a great twist on popcorn, quick to make and just in time for taking in spring training games, whether in the bleachers or sitting on the couch. Sweet chili popcorn packs some heat along with familiar peanuts and caramel. You can find more popcorn recipes at popcorn.org, a nonprofit that promotes popcorn for the industry.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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