Chef Shaun's Elevated Easter Dishes



New Pit Boss Partner Chef Shaun O'Neale (MasterChef Season 7 Champion Chef & Author of My Modern American Table) serves up Elevated Easter Dishes on the Pit Boss Platinum Series Grills. If you’re looking to step up your culinary game this year and impress your Easter guests, then these dishes will not disappoint. Enjoy modern takes on classics such as Smashed Buttermilk Potato Salad and Home-Cured Ham Style Pork Butt. Put a new spin on Easter Leftovers with Ham and Bean Soup and Ham Biscuits with Pepper Jam.

From these elevated recipes to your own Easter favorites, Chef Shaun shows you can do it all on a Pit Boss Platinum Grill


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Easter Recipes – Main Dishes

Use the following recipes as the main event for Dinner:


Home Cured Ham Style Pork Butt with Charred Fennel & Onion


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Serves 6 – 8 * Prep time: 20 mins * Cook time: 360 mins

This innovative dish takes a pork butt, cures it like a ham, and smokes it in the Pit Boss Platinum Series Lockhart Grill Upper Smoke Cabinet


Cured Pork Butt Ingredients

  • 1 gallon Water
  • 1 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 6 tsp Pink Curing Salt
  • 1, 10 lb Pork Butt or Shoulder

Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup Bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Chili de Arbol
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Peppercorn
  • 4 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 4 tbsp Butter

Charred Fennel and Onions

  • 2 bulbs Fennel, fronds reserved for garnish which is optional
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 sprigs Thyme, leaves removes from stems
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Cooking Instructions

To make the home cured ham: in a food safe container large enough to hold the ham, add the water, salt, sugar, curing salt to the container and stir well until all the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add the pork and weigh down with a plate. Let cure for 7 to 8 days. Halfway through remove the plate and turn the pork.

Once cured rinse the pork under cold water several times to remove excess salt. Pre heat your Pit Boss Lockhart to the smoke setting and place the pork in the upper smoking chamber. Insert a probe thermometer and cook until you have an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Use the bourbon brown sugar glaze to coat the ham as it cooks about once every two hours and reserve some for finishing.

To make the bourbon brown sugar glaze: In a small saucepan add the bourbon and reduce by half. Add the remaining ingredients except the butter plus 1/4 cup water and cook until all the sugar has completely melted. Cook for 5 minutes over medium low once the sugars have melted, strain and return to the pan whisk in the butter. Keep warm and if needed re heat on the stove until the sugars return to liquid.

To make the charred fennel and onions: Cut the fennel and onions into wedges leaving some of the ends attached to each veggie so it will hold together while grilling. Place in a large bowl and coat with the olive oil making sure the veggies are completely coated. Season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Pre heat your Pit Boss grill to 400 with the heat shield open. Cook the veggies until lightly charred on both cut sides and transfer them to a cooler zone to finish cooking or close the heat shield and cook until tender.


Smoked Ricotta Gnocchi with Smoked Pork Ragu


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Serves 4 - 6 * Prep time: 60 mins * Cook time: 360 mins

This classic Italian American dish uses the Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart Grill to elevate it with Smoky Barbecue Pork flavors. A delicious option for those who want to try something different than the traditional ham.

Smoked Pork Ragu Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb Pork Loin, cut into chops
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 1 Carrot minced
  • 1 Celery Stalk, minced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
  • 2 cups Red Wine
  • 1 large can San Marzano Tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Parmesan Rind (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup Ricotta, strained for 30 minutes
  • 2 Russet Potatoes, baked tender and pressed through a ricer or food mill
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Flour, divided, plus more for dusting
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter

Or buy pre-made gnocchi and smoke them gently for 1 hour


Garnish Ingredients

  • Basil
  • Parmesan

Cooking Instructions

To make the smoked pork ragu: Pre heat your Pit Boss grill to the smoke setting. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on the smoker and smoke until just cooked through. Let the pork cool completely and either cut into cubes, plate in the freezer for 30 minutes and grind OR just dice as fine as possible.

In a stock pot add the oil over medium heat add the onion and season with salt and pepper, cook stirring often for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent but not browning. Add the carrot and the celery and continue to cook stirring often for 1o more minutes, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir in cook for 4 minutes or until the paste starts to brown. Add the red wine and stir, reduce by 2/3. Add the pork to the pot with the tomatoes, vegetable stock, thyme, bay leaves and the parmesan rind if using. Cook for two hours over medium low stirring often. Once finished remove the bay and thyme and serve.

To make the gnocchi: Pre heat your Pit Boss Lockhart to the smoke setting, place the ricotta cheese in a bowl and place in the upper smoking cabinet. Smoke on the smoke setting for 2 hours making sure the cheese does not start to melt, if this starts to happen just let the smoker cool before shutting the doors again.

Combine the ricotta and the processed potatoes in a medium sized bowl and mix well to combine. Make a well in the mixture like you would if making pasta. Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture in the well and sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour around the edge onto the potatoes. Gently whisk in the egg with a fork until it is dense enough to use your hands. Place the other 1/2 cup of the flour on your work surface and transfer the gnocchi to the work area. Gently knead the dough working in flour as needed it may be sticky. Once a soft dough has formed place in a bowl large enough to hold it and sprinkle with flour cover with a bowl and place in the fridge.

When ready to make the gnocchi, cut off 1/4 of the dough and roll into log snake like logs a little under 1/2 in thick. Cut out individual gnocchi at about 3/4 in.

There are several ways to shape the gnocchi: you can use a gnocchi board and lightly roll them, using a fork and gently press down to leave indentations, or just use a finger to leave a depression. Place the gnocchi on a lightly floured sheet pan and place in the fridge for 15 minutes or just until a crust has formed on the gnocchi (if not using immediately, freeze and transfer to a Ziplock bag).

To cook the gnocchi, bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt turn the temp down to a simmer. Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil and the butter. Cook the gnocchi working in batches until they start to float and then for 1 minute longer. Strain as much as you can with a spider or mesh strainer and transfer to the skillet to sear and brown. Once golden brown and slightly crispy remove to a paper towel lined sheet pan and serve immediately, top with the smoked pork ragu, basil and cheese.


Pea and Mint Stuffed Smoked Shells


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Serves 4 * Prep time: 30 mins * Cook time: 120 mins

For a meatless Easter entrée, these Pea and Mint Stuffed Smoked Shells are filling enough to satisfy vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests alike. Rich and creamy cheese gets a refreshing zest from the mint for an awesome flavor combination.


Stuffed Shells Ingredients

  • 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas, thawed
  • 3 tbsp Mint, minced
  • 1 Lemon Zest and Juice
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • Salt & freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 box Jumbo Shells

Parmesan Bechamel

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup AP Flour
  • 3 cups Whole Milk, plus more if need to thin béchamel
  • 1 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 1 tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & freshly Ground Black Pepper

Garnishes Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Peas, lightly cooked in butter
  • 1 tbsp Mint, chiffonade
  • 10-12 Snap Peas, blanched and cut in half (optional)

Cooking Instructions

To make the shells: In a large bowl add the ricotta, frozen peas, mint, lemon zest and juice, egg, salt and pepper gently mix until well combined. Transfer to a piping bag and place in the fridge until ready to use. Cook the shells to the manufacturer's directions and let cool on a sheet tray until room temp. Fill the shells as much as possible and place the shells in a ring in a large cast iron skillet working from the outside edge to the middle. Place in the fridge until ready to proceed.

To make the parmesan béchamel: In a sauce pot add the butter over medium heat add the butter and let melt until it stops foaming, add the flour and cook whisking almost constantly for about 3 minutes or until you can smell the flour is lightly toasted and the roux is lightly golden. Add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken, add 1 cup of the cheese, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and whisk until well combined and the sauce thickly coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pour over the shells and top with top with the remaining cheese.

To cook the shells: Pre heat your pit boss grill to 400 degrees with the heat shield closed. Place the skillet with the shells on the grill and cook for about 30 minutes until the béchamel is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned. Garnish the peas, mint and snap peas and serve.


Easter Sides and Appetizers

After choosing one of the enticing entrées above, grill a few of these elevated Easter sides and appetizers from Chef Shaun for an Easter dinner you won’t forget.


Smashed Buttermilk Potato Salad


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Serves 4 * Prep time: 20 mins * Cook time: 40 mins


This isn’t your mom’s potato salad. Chef Shaun uses the Pit Boss Platinum KC Combo Griddle to crisp the potatoes until they are golden brown. They are then smashed and combined with buttermilk and other spices and herbs for a creamy and wonderfully aromatic side that is full of savory flavors.


Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Baby Golden Potatoes
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Mayo
  • 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Chives, diced, half reserved for garnish
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

To make the potato salad: Bring a pot of water to a boil and season well with salt. Cook the potatoes until just tender about 12 minutes depending on how big your bay potatoes are. Strain and move to an ice bath to stop cooking and cool. Once cool drain and let air dry for about 30 minutes. Once dry lightly smash with a bench scraper or sturdy spatula, potatoes should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick once smashed. Gently move to a sheet pan.

Pre heat your Pit Boss KC Combo griddle over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and let heat until lightly smoking. Place the potatoes on the griddle and cook until crisp and golden brown. Transfer back to the sheet pan and let cool.

In a small bowl combine the bell pepper, sour cream, mayo, buttermilk, garlic powder, parsley, 1/2 of the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and pour over the dressing toss well until the potatoes are well coated. Top with the remaining chives and serve.


Charred Spring Veggie Salad with Smoked Burrata & Prosciutto

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Serves 4 * Prep time: 20 mins * Cook time: 80 mins

For a refreshing salad with some smoke flavor, try Chef Shaun’s Charred Spring Veggie Salad with Smoked Burrata and Prosciutto. The smoked Italian meat and cheese gives the salad a salty and savory flavor combination that blends well with the earthy charred spring veggies.


Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon-Style Mustard
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Spring Veggie Salad Ingredients

  • 8 oz Asparagus, woody ends trimmed and discarded and cut into ½-inch pieces, blanched
  • 8 oz Sugar Snap Peas, ends trimmed and thinly sliced on a bias, blanched
  • 1 bunch Broccoli Rabe, blanched
  • 1 cup Arugula Leaves
  • 20 Garlic Chives or Regular Chives, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 20 Pea Shoots
  • ¼ cup Fresh Parsley Leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves, roughly chopped

Garnish Ingredients

  • 10 Sugar Snap Peas
  • 5 to 6 slices of Prosciutto, roasted crispy
  • 2 oz Shaved Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 balls of Burrata Cheese

Cooking Instructions

To make the lemon vinaigrette: Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and honey in a medium bowl and whisk to dissolve the honey. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. You may have leftover dressing that you can use on another salad; it will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

To make the salad: Pre heat the griddle of the Pit Boss KC Combo over high heat, drizzle with olive oil and add the asparagus, snap peas and broccoli rabe and char slightly. Remove to a bowl to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, sugar snap peas, arugula, garlic chives, pea shoots, parsley, and cilantro.

To make the smoked burrata: If using the Pit Boss Lockhart, set smoker to smoke and place the cheese in the upper chamber for 1 hour keep an eye to make sure heat does not get over 90 in the upper chamber.

If using the Pit Boss KC Combo, place a tray of ice inside the smoker and set to the smoke setting. Place the cheese on a try on the upper shelf and smoke for 1 hour keeping an eye on the temp and making sure the cheese does not begin to melt.

To make the garnishes: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add the sugar snap peas and blanch for just a few seconds, until just a little softened but still very crisp. Scoop the snap peas out with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel–lined plate to dry. Split them in half to expose the peas, trying to keep all the peas on one side.

To serve: Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to lightly coat. Divide the salad among plates, top with the prosciutto and shaved Parmesan, and arrange the sugar snap peas around the salad.

Portobello Gratin

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Serves 4 * Prep time: 10 mins * Cook time: 40 mins

For those who are being conscience about their carb intake, this side is a great option as it replaces the traditional potato for big and juicy portobello mushrooms.


Ingredients

  • 5 Large Portobello Mushrooms, try to find similar sizes
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan, divided
  • 3 sprigs Thyme, leaves removed
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp Parsley, minced
  • Cooking Instructions

    To make the gratin: Remove the stem and using a spoon gently scape the brown gills out from the underside of the caps, work carefully as not to break the mushrooms. Slice the mushroom caps into about 1/4 in slices and line them up neatly in a large cast iron skillet. In a saucepan add the heavy cream over medium heat add 1/2 of the cheese, thyme, garlic and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the cream starts to thicken. Pour the cream over the mushrooms and transfer to your Pit Boss grill set to 400 degrees with the heat shield closed. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes. It will start to look wet, but the liquid will cook away. Halfway through the cooking top with the remaining parmesan cheese and cook until browned on top and the mushrooms are cooked tender. Top with the parsley and serve.


    Asparagus & Jarlsberg Tarts

    Asparagustart image

    Serves 4 * Prep time: 30 mins * Cook time: 40 mins


    Creamy Jarlsberg Bechamel sauce is poured over asparagus on a crusty and flaky tart. A decadent choice to serve with the Ham Style Pork Butt.


    Jarlsberg Bechamel Ingredients

    • 4 tbsp Butter
    • 4 tbsp AP Flour
    • 1 1/2 cups Whole Milk, plus more if need to thin béchamel
    • 3/4 cup Jarlsberg Cheese, grated
    • 1 tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg
    • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
    • Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    Asparagus Tarts Ingredients

    • 1 package Puff Pastry
    • Flour for dusting
    • 1 Egg
    • 1 tbsp Water
    • 1 bunch Green Asparagus, blanched
    • 1 bunch White Asparagus, sub another bunch of green if you can’t find white, blanched
    • 1/2 cup Jarlsberg Cheese
    • Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    • 1 handful of Baby Arugula
    • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
    • 1 tsp Lemon Zest

    To make the Jarlsberg béchamel: In a sauce pot add the butter over medium heat add the butter and let melt until it stops foaming, add the flour and cook whisking almost constantly for about 3 minutes or until you can smell the flour is lightly toasted and the roux is lightly golden. Add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken, add the cheese, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and whisk until well combined and the sauce thickly coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You will probably have a little more béchamel than you need, reserve for another use.

    To make the asparagus tarts Dust your work surface with flour. Pre heat your Pit Boss Grill to 450 with the heat shield closed. Decide whether you want to make individual tarts or one large tart. If making 1 large tart cut 1 piece of dough in a long rectangle about 1/8 in thick. Take the second piece of dough and cut strips 1/2-inch-wide the length of the edges of your tart, whisk together the egg and water and brush the edges of the large rectangle piece. Place the strips on the edges of the rectangle to create an area in the middle to place the asparagus.

    If making individual tarts repeat this process but cut your first sheet into 4 rectangles. Once tart shells are assembled place them on the grill to cook for about 30 minutes or until the dough starts to rise, crisp and turn golden brown.

    Once cooked remove from the grill and lay in the asparagus, pour in some of the béchamel and add another layer of asparagus. Top with the cheese season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and return to the grill to cook for another 15 minutes. In a small bowl add the arugula and drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Once the tarts are cooked top with the arugula salad and serve.

    Easter Leftover Recipes

    If you are going with a traditional ham, you can use the leftover meat with these next level recipes to make the next few nights of dinner special.

    Ham and Bean Stew

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    Serves 6 * Prep time: 20 mins * Cook time: 120 mins


    Peppers, tomatoes and beans are integrated with a vegetable stock and mixed with leftover ham for a hearty stew that is full of comfort and flavor.


    Ham and Bean Stew Ingredients

    • Leftover Ham, diced large
    • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 large Yellow Onion, minced
    • 1 Green Pepper, minced
    • 1 Red Bell Pepper, minced
    • 1 Celery Stalk, minced
    • 1 Jalapeno, minced
    • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
    • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
    • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
    • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Chilis
    • 1 package Ham Soup Beans or a Variety Bean Pack, soaked to manufacture directions
    • 8 cups Good Vegetable Stock, plus more if needed
    • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
    • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
    • 1 tbsp Onion Powder

    Garnish Ingredients

  • Grated Parmesan
  • Scallion
  • Parsley

  • Cooking Instructions

    To make the stew: In a Dutch oven or large heavy stock pot add the oil over medium low heat (About 300°F on the Pit Boss with the Flame Broiler Plate closed). Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes stirring often until translucent and completely soft but not browned. Add the 2 bell peppers, celery and jalapeño and cook for 10 more minutes stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir cook for about 4 minutes or until the paste starts to brown. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for about 2 hours until all the beans are tender, and the liquid has thickened and become a stew. If the mixture begins to get too thick while cooking, add more stock 1 cup at a time.

    Ham Biscuits with Pepper Jam

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    Serves 6 * Prep time: 20 mins * Cook time: 20 mins


    This leftover ham recipe works well for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack. It just depends on how much you want on your plate! The pepper jam is a flavorful combination of sweet-heat.


    Pepper Jam Ingredients

    • 10 Fresno Chilis, minced
    • 10 Jalapeños, minced
    • 1 Red Bell Pepper, minced
    • 1 cup Cider Vinegar
    • 1 package Sure Jet Fruit Pectin
    • 1/2 tsp Butter
    • 5 cups Sugar

    Biscuit Ingredients

    • 1 package of Biscuits, made by manufactures directions
    • Leftover Ham cut into rings

    To make the pepper jam: In a stock pot add the Fresno chilis, jalapeño, bell pepper, vinegar, pectin and butter and bring to a rapid boil. Stir in the sugar return to boil and boil for exactly 1 minute. Skim off any foam. Transfer what you will use into a bowl and place the rest in canning jars, you will have more jam then you need (If you know how to can food then process the jars accordingly if not the jam will last about a month). Spread on the biscuits and top with the ham. Enjoy!

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