A slew of Easter brunch menus at U.S. restaurants illustrate how some Philadelphia-area chefs are using simple seasonings and a lighter touch to take the cuisine from stuffy to hip. At the Whip Tavern, chef Wyatt Lash has turned bubble and squeak, a traditional side dish, into a pan-seared pancake served with Scottish salmon and a dill hollandaise sauce.
Three light main-course recipes use asparagus and eggs as key ingredients. One calls for adding a fried egg to a salad of pan-seared asparagus and frisee; another combines hard-cooked eggs and roasted asparagus; the third adds an egg-based custard to sauteed asparagus and scallions.
Chef Enrique Yescas is giving banquet food a new reputation by cooking up more gourmet offerings for conferences, meetings and wedding receptions. His Pan-seared sea bass with orzo and pomegranate beurre blanc was such a hit at one event that an attendee requested the recipe.
Executive chef Michael Baccari of Bravo Brasserie in Providence, R.I., has the key to making delectable sea scallops: He pan-sears them, tops the pieces with shallot tarragon cream sauce and serves them over mashed potatoes and wilted spinach.
Filet mignon has historically been a symbol of luxury and romance, making it a perfect cut of meat to serve on Valentine's Day. The filet can be broiled, grilled or pan-seared and still come out tender and tasty. Better yet, it's relatively low in fat compared with other red meat cuts.