So what is everyone planning for Easter? I'd love to see your menus.
Haven't started on this year's yet, but last year's was very well-received and not too difficult to prepare even though I was sick with strep throat:
Sausage, feta and roasted red pepper boureki
Roasted asparagus salad with prosciutto, poached egg and dill-lemon sauce
Moroccan spice-rubbed butterflied leg of lamb
Cous-cous with apricots and almonds
Buttered garlic naan
Cardamom panna cotta with roasted grapefruit
Stuffed Cabbage with cream sauce
Roasted Butternut Squash
Broccoli with cheese
Family loves this menu- it has become our tradition. I personally am sick of everything but the stuffed cabbage with cream sauce... But no one listens to me- I am only the cook!
i sympathize with MeffaBabe. Every year the family sets up a howl for the same entree:
DUCK BREASTS WITH PORT-CHERRY SAUCE
i've got to agree, though. It's a beautiful thing and quick and easy to cook. I usually serve it with some mashed sweet potatoes and haricots vertes. This means that I can share cocktail hour, too, instead of hovering anxiously over a roast.
If you can't find the frozen cherries, don't worry. I've even made this with canned Del Monte dark sweet cherries and it was terrific. In fact, I kind of liked it better that way. Leave the duck in the marinade for about 3 hours --that's just right.
I have to agree about the lamb. Always have lamb at Easter. Today we got invited out for Easter , so I will have to have an Easter eve gathering to have my traditional Easter dinner:
- dijon crusted leg of lamb with consomme reduction
- roasted garlic mashed potatoes
- carrots paysanne (cream and bacon sauce)
- green beans and feta salad
- poppy seed chiffon cake
- lots of big red wine
You can do the dijon crust on a whole leg or shank. I think you need to buy at least a pound uncooked per person. Lamb does tend to shrink a fair amount.
I think you could probably do lamb chops in dijon too. But I find they are a little fussy for company. I like having a roasted meat that goes in the oven well in advance so that I can then get on with all the other dishes.
I will try to find the exact recipe. It originally came from the Readers' Digest Creative Cooking more than 20 years ago. It is a beautiful book, if you ever see one at a used book store, it is a good addition. Great front section with images of all kinds of fooks that you might not have known the name of.
If you're doing a small braise, I love shanks braised in a tomato sauce scented with delicate, warm seasonings like cinnamon and allspice. Served with a creamy polenta or dilled rice to soak up the sauce and juices, it'd be the perfect dish for such an early Easter. (e.g. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...)
We have to have Italian, but I'm making lasagna with ground lamb rather than beef. And veal rollatini just to go over the top.
I'm not very happy this year. Hubby has to fly to England for business on Easter, so I have to make an Easter celebration on Saturday. This is one of these holidays when everything I make is VERY traditional. First of all, Saturday morning we take a basket filled with colored eggs, salt, horseradish, sausage and yeast bread (baba) to the Polish church for blessing by a priest. On Sunday after church (in our case it will be Saturday afternoon ) the whole family gathers at the table, shares a hard boiled, blessed egg and starts with a soup. It is called zur, and it's made out of rye flour, water, sausage, wild mushrooms, garlic and sour cream. Sound weird, but it's wonderful! That is actually the only warm food during the feast. Everything else on a table is cold- various types of hams, sausages, stuffed and roasted meats, deviled eggs, horseradish with sour cream and hard boiled eggs, beets with horseradish and caraway seeds, some herring of course, various salads, marinated mushrooms and other vegetables, yeast breads (babas), polish cheesecake (made out of farmer's cheese) and mazurkas which are thin pastries decorated with various glazes ie. chocolate, orange, almond, etc.
I just made marinated pears and peppers, they will be wonderful with these heavy sausages :-)
We do a symbolic meal each year - call it a Christian seder. This year it will be a bit smaller, b/c my husband is defending his PhD 3 days after Easter and can't help cook except on Easter. Each dish is paired with scripture for the symbolism in case you are trying to figure what is so symbolic about the menu. I think we will be doing
Goat cheese and aleppo pepper mousse with hazelnut oil and whatever fruit or veggie looks good and fresh to accompany - or could turn into a soup
Eggs baked in ramekins with herbs, prochuitto, grape tomato, and crouton
Lamb chop with cherry balsamic sauce, polenta, and wild mushroom and asparagus
Red beet salad TBD
Almond cake (Thomas Keller) with rhubarb compote, roasted blueberries, and whipped lavender creme fraiche
Mignardis: seseme coins (from Pure dessert), lemon cornmeal cookies (CI), cinnamon bon bons
I don't have a recipe - just basically a goat cheese mousse (which is really just goat cheese (chevre) lightened with heavy cream, whipped in a food processor or mixer. Nothing fancy. Instead of black pepper that we have added before, I would add aleppo pepper to taste and drizzle with hazelnut oil. Although I may be doing something else because I am fickle!
Traditional Italian Easter menu here....
Mushroom Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
Roast Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Pecorino
Roast Asparagus, Stuffed Artichokes, Eggplant Sautee with Balsamic Vinegar
Ricotta Cheesecake, Assorted Italian Pastries, Espresso
Main course will be plain roasted leg of lamb. Usual accompaniements might be a bit difficult as easter is early this year - but if we can get Jersey Royal potatoes and early peas then it'll be a fine herald of spring
I always do a very traditional Northern Italian menu:
Pizza di Pasqua (all cheese bread) served with hard boiled eggs and various salumi
Leg of lamb (roasted with garlic and rosemary)
Oven roasted potatoes
Piselli con prosciutto
Cheese cake (Ricotta)
I am getting hungry already...
I have been serving this menu since I took over cooking the family supper BUT have never gotten the Pizza di Pasqua right. My Nonna's recipe was very vague and mineis always dry. This is NOT the cheese filled pizza di pasqua that they serve for easter dessert in other areas of Italy,this is very much a bread with parmigiano and peccorino--but it is quite tall, almost a brioche. This is the recipe I've figured out thus far but would appreciate any advice.
PIZZA DI PASQUA DI FORMAGGIO
1/2 lb Pecorino half grated, half cut into 1/4" cubes
1/2 lb of Parmigiano half grated, half cut into 1/4" cubes
6-8 cups flour
6 egs (room temp)
3 packets of yeast
6 Tbs Olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup warm water if needed to ensure dough is soft enough
1/4 lb prosciutto cut into small cubs
2 tbs of Rosemary finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
egg for glazing
Form a circle of flour (grated pecorino and salt/pepper may be mixed into flour as a first step) and drop in eggs one by one; add yeast, and pour onto batter. Start kneading dough, adding oil. Knead dough 8 to 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface adding water as necessary. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Place in bowl, cover well with moist cloth and place in unheated oven to leaven for 2 hours. After 2 hours turn dough into greased tall pan and allow to rise for another 40 minutes. Glaze surface with beaten egg, and place in 400F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350F for another 45 minutes.
Suggestions: Use greased parchment paper to line the interior (bottom and sides) of the pan to avoid the Pizza sticking.
I'm moving so we're trying to clear the freezer of summer stuff too...so we're having:
apps: fresh figs stuffed w/ blue cheese and proscuitto
Roast rack of lamb
Lobster risotto (finally! a way to use the lobster stock we made)
Chestnut and bacon roasted brussels sprouts
and on special request....Fruit Pavlova for dessert
Having two Easter dinners (to keep both sides of the family happy of course)
Antipasto (prosciutto, melon, artichokes, olives)
Homemade traditional Italian lasagna
Roasted chicken, peas with pancetta, salad, etc
Italian Lemon Cake and home baked cookies
(We usually do lamb, but got our hands on an organically grown young goat this year)
Italian seafood salad and fried artichokes
Maccheroni alle uova (God bless my mom) with traditional sauce
Slow Roasted Goat (ribs, shanks, etc - marinated and roated with onions, herbs and wine) My DH dreads this since we all fight over the split heads (brain and cheeks are delish!)
Roasted Quail wrapped in pancetta and rosemary
Dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, asparagus, stuffed huge artichokes
Mesculin salad with lemon and EVOO
Fruit and cheese
Espresso and lemon olive oil cake, pandoro, amaretti
"Pasquetta" which is Easter Monday
We make and eat a Pizza Rustica (salami, cheese, eggs, etc in a bread dough); doesn't have the same feeling of eating it on an Italian mtn top but oh well!
itryalot - I was just going to post asking for Pizza Rustica recipes. Had a falling out with mom, and that's something I dearly miss. We've never had a chance to make it together. Bread dough, farmer's cheese, salami, ham, and mozz cheese all together. I have a recipe from http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r3...
but haven't tried it yet, something seems off.
There are two schools of thought. The first is that the dough is used as a "container" with a more liquid filling (with eggs incorporated) as a filling and then topped with the dough. The inside comes out more like a denser quiche.
Then there is another one where the ingredients are kneaded right into the dough.
Do you know which one you did?
We are going to my fiancee's sister in law's house, and she's making ham, which he swears makes him sick(I think he'll probably be OK-but whatever-he doesn't like pork!) Anyway, I'm bringing a lemon cheesecake, and a lamb salad that I make with bbqed lamb kabob marinated with lemon and vegetables (mushrooms, onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes) I put this with asparagus with basmati rice, olives, olive oil, feta cheese and red wine vinegar-I then add some salt and pepper. I don't know who else will eat it, but Tim will be happy!
This year I'm having an Easter bruch with some friends.
Breakfast Potatoes with Onions and Asaragus Tips
Chocolate Torte w/ Raspberry Sauce
My family doesn't have any Easter dinner traditions, but hopefully we will start one this year.
I'm home for the weekend, so I'll be cooking Easter dinner after morning church service for my parents and little bro. A very informal meal, but then we're never fussy or formal. I've decided on a loosely Mediterranean menu. We'll be having:
Greek salad (the usual cukes, kalamatas, tomatoes, onions, plus romaine and feta)
Grilled rack of lamb served with a salmoriglio sauce
Whole-wheat couscous (that's what's in the pantry)
Focaccia, with leftover herbs from salmoriglio
(or perhaps the above recipe for Pizza di Pasqua di Formaggio)
Homemade Key Lime Pie, with Key limes (aka Mexican limes)
The menu sounds very summery, but then we're in Florida. Best time of year to grill out is before it gets too hot. The only thing I'm worried about is the couscous: never have cooked it before and I'm hoping it won't be too bland.
We are having roast turkey breast with an apricot-sage glaze, spiral ham with cloves and pineapple glaze, deviled eggs, potato salad and an asparagus tart. I just need to decide dessert.
Turkey (Dad's taking care of this one, the rest are me)
Green beans w/ almonds
Crusty French bread
Raspberry cupcakes (from April's Bon Appetit)
So mine is a bit odd. Older Dad just getting back into town with his wife at noon wants me to bring over a meal she would like. She is an appetizer gal. Plus paper plates and utensils so no clean up.
1st service: potstickers with dippings sauce (pork & leek ones from Asian market) and a plum/soy/tangerine juice sauce + ginger and also some of those kinda awful mini quiche things you get at the mega marts (she loves them and kids seem to like them too)
2nd service: teryaki chicken wings (she is a wing-nut), sausages, roasted asparagus, coleslaw with a more Asian vinegraite) braided egg bread with a softened boursin cheese as a spread.
Dessert: Banana cake (out of the freezer from a friend) and spray whipped topping (!)
Going Classic retro-American this Easter...
Deviled Eggs and Crudite Platter to start.
Ham (bone-in, spiral sliced, uncured, no water added, from Whole Foods) with dried cherry and stout glaze
Cauliflower in Mustard Cream Sauce
Buttered Baby Potatoes
For dessert I'll buy a buckle or a crisp from a great local bakery.
Having lived in NYC away from our families for a several years now, the fiancee and I decided that we missed Easter meals and invited a bunch of friends over for an Easter lunch tomorrow. (No?) thanks to Michael Pollan, we're preparing nearly the entire meal with Greenmarket purchases - which really limits us this time of year here in New York.
Flying Pig Farms ham
Organic roasted leg of lamb (using the recipe in Frank Stitt's cookbook)
Mashed parsnips and turnips
potato and sweet potato gratin
sauteed collard greens with slab bacon
roasted green beans (had to buy these @ grocery)
carrot cake (alton brown's recipe)
Guests are bringing quiche, baklawa, and another dessert
Yum. Lots of lamb... I've never actually cooked lamb. So rather than attempt it for a visiting family of 8 for the first time, I'm going for a fairly simple meal:
roast chicken with potatoes
roast beef with yorkshire pudding
mushroom white wine risotto
cheeses and pate, nueske smoked spiral sliced ham, polish keilbasa with beet horseradish,asparagus and shitake mushrooms sauted with shallots, thyme and ginger (New Basics), roasted garlic and sweet potato hash (Blue Ginger); mac and cheese (for the little kids). Chocolate and vanilla bunny cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
I know I am cooking up some lamb shanks in the pressure cooker. That is as far as I have gotten.
We decided on our menu last Sunday after trying Molly Steven's Braised Lamb Shanks. They sit in a mint brine for two days before braising. Serving them with mint jelly.
Braised Lamb Shanks w/ Mint Jelly
Greek Salad (lettuce, cukes, red, yellow, and orange peppers, olives, feta, and a great dressing)
Coconut Rice with Cilantro and Mint
Cheesecake (as requested) w/ fresh strawberries (they are soaking in sugar overnight so that they can be spooned over the cake.
Friends are bringing deviled eggs, hummus, and maybe caviar.
We're having a simple butterflied leg of lamb, marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary, then grilled. The last time we did this (two years ago) it was so easy, and so out of this world, that I've remembered it ever since. I planned the rest of the menu after we received our co-op order this week: lots of broccoli and squash, so I made a broccoli-bacon salad and will grill the squash alongside the lamb--and we got beaucoup oranges this week, so I made an orange pound cake.
I read that sangiovese is a good complement to simple grilled lamb; didn't have time to go hunting for the one I was thinking of, but grabbed one that looked good at the store. When I got home I saw that it had been produced in Castellina in Chianti, a lovely town where we actually stayed for several days last spring. So that's going to be a sentimental treat for us!
Happy Easter, everyone!
Don't laugh, You'd think I'm feeding an army....haha. Don't worry I'll have pictures of everything tomorrow. ;) I'll be up all night.
Vegetable Crudités with a Cream Cheese and Chives Spread
Pickled Herring with a Slice of Fresh Onion on Rye
Shrimp Cocktail with Homemade Horseradish Cocktail Sauce
Giant Mushrooms Stuffed with a Feta Cheese Based Filling Topped with Fresh Toasted Breadcrumbs
Simple Green Salad with a Variety of Dressings
Belarusian Potato Salad
Smoked Ham Basted with a Tangerine Glaze
Slow-Roasted Turkey Breast
Fresh and Smoked Sauerkraut Over Kielbasa
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Mashed but Fluffy Potatoes
Mrs. Paul’s Famous Sweet Potatoes
Asparagus Roasted with Garlic and Parmesan
Butter Infused Corn
Homestyle Baked Beans
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Fruit Pie Thing ala Me
Chocolate Brownie Cake
Balsamic and Dijon Glazed Ham
Caramelized Vidalia Onion and Potato Gratin
Oven Roasted Carrots (maybe with a honey/balsamic glaze)
Caramel-Walnut Upsidedown Banana Cake
Hopefully I will be able to blog about this at some point tomorrow. The cake smells AMAZING already!
Can't believe we are the only one's doing this, but we are actually having rabbit for Easter dinner. Happen to have some homemade rabbit sausage in the freezer along with some rabbit ragu so it just seemed natural to pull it out for Easter.
Will do some kind of veg and addditional side, whatever we feel we can handle in addition to prepping short ribs for tomorrows anniversary dinner.
Easter with the family has been postponed until next weekend, when we will have a more traditional leg of lamb.
I don't often cook rabbit, but I feel lucky to have such a no-fuss meal waiting for me! Are we sick for eating the Easter bunny?
I wasn't planning anything big but did pick up a ham. Ended up making the ham and serving it with greek-style lemon potatoes as well as green beans with mint, feta and toasted pine nuts. Everything was fabulous!
We returned very late Saturday night from a week long dive trip to Belize so I wanted to do something simple and easy for Easter dinner. We picked up a ham from a local (AZ) pork shop before we left. Early Sunday morning I made a quick trip to the grocery store for the rest of our ingredients. I made a tangerine sage glaze for the ham and carrots. We also did roasted garlic mashed potatoes and roasted white squash. Simple and delicious!