Emeril's Easter Feast

Springtime Mushroom and Green Pea Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup finely diced smoked ham

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrots

½ pound quartered button mushrooms

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock or low sodium canned chicken broth

2 sprigs fresh thyme

¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup frozen green peas

¼ cup heavy cream

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the butter and oil over medium high heat until hot. Add the ham and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are golden brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat so that the soup just simmers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Stir in the peas and heavy cream, let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the thyme stems and serve ladled into hot bowls.

Yield: About 1½ quarts

Seared Petite Lamb Chops With Rosemary Balsamic Reduction Sauce

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves

2 teaspoons minced garlic

kosher salt

8 (4-ounce) double lamb rib chops (2 ribs) with bones attached, ribs frenched

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons minced shallots

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth

1 large or 2 small rosemary sprigs

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, parsley, rosemary and 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic. Season with salt to taste and set aside. Set a 12-inch oven-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the lamb chops liberally on all sides with the kosher salt and black pepper. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil to the sauté pan and place the lamb, fat side down, in the pan. Sear the lamb until the fat has rendered and the skin is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook the lamb, turning to cook evenly on each side, about 2 minutes on each side. Baste them with the herb and oil mixture. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the lamb has reached the desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes for rare. (Alternatively, you can grill the lamb chops.)

Make the balsamic reduction sauce while the lamb is roasting in the oven: Set a 10 inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots to the pan and sweat until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the remaining teaspoon of garlic to the pan and "sweat" for 30 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar and rosemary sprigs to the pan and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock to the pan and continue to cook until sauce has reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, remove the rosemary sprigs and swirl the butter into the pan. Keep sauce warm until ready to serve, but take care not to allow sauce to boil or it will separate.

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