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Easter 2010

Hey guys...

Im in process of putting together my Easter dinner menus and would like to branch out of the obvious ham and sweet potato misery.

What are you doing for Easter dinner???

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  1. Although not celebrating Easter as a religious event, we always take advantage of any holiday weekend to make a bit more effort with the meals. Sometime we'll be having roast lamb - it's the traditional meal.

    1. My Uncle Aldo makes the gravy with shredded meats and sausage, seves it up with moustacolli (sp?). I bring the roasted peppers with lots of garlic, basil, balsamic, and EVOO. Cousin brings a tomato salad, bread of course. There are appetizers of grilled sausage of develd eggs. CAN'T WAIT!!!

      1. Braised beef brisket with a stone ground mustard sauce, mixed green salad with a variety of lettuce types (including some purple if you can find it) with cheese crisps blended into it, roasted red potatoes and a peasant bread with garlic/butter spread.

        1. If not lamb, I like to do a veal roast. Maybe some old fashioned potato croquettes, and I always seek out some fresh spinach from a local farm, to make creamed spinach. Sometimes that's the hardest part, depends on the weather and the timing of Easter.

          1. we always have italian easter pie -pizza rustica-which consists of sliced and diced meats (ham, pepperoni and salami, eggs, grated cheese, basket cheese and mozz....it's incredibly delish

            6 Replies
            1. re: babbabooey

              I make this sometimes too, I add in roasted red bells and basil.

              1. re: babbabooey

                In the Boston area, that's usually known as "pizzagena". It's made only for Easter. My neighborly nonna next door always saves a slice for me.

                Anyway, in my family tradition, grilled lamb (marinated on Good Friday and Holy Saturday) is the centerpiece. Spinach (cooked or raw in salad) and asparagus are commonly featured, and a grain-based dish (wheat is most symbolic for the day (the grain of wheat that falls, dies and is reborn) - bulgur would be the easiest choice - but traditionally any grains, very commonly rice, would suffice). Eggs can also feature. While Catholics in the First World rarely abstain from dairy products (as well as animal flesh) during Lent as was once common for centuries (Orthodox Christians still do), dairy products still traditionally feature prominently in breads and foods and desserts as a residue of the older tradition.

                1. re: Karl S

                  Thats what my Gran called it. It is such a treat and a bit pricey to make.

                  1. re: Karl S

                    I think the "real" Italian is pizza chiena (pronounced kee-ayna). I could see where "gena" or "gaina" would come from.

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      Indeed, but if you spelled it correctly virtually no one would recognize it in writing! That's why I put it in quotes. Boston has a lot of Avellinese, from Campania.

                    2. re: Karl S

                      I forgot, gotta have grain pie for dessert! It's a once a year treat.

                  2. If you think ham is a misery our plan wouldn't be right for you but it works for us.

                    We get a Honey Baked ham -- served cold. Then I make the rest: a puréed soup of carrots and leeks, scalloped potatoes, cole slaw, homemade rolls from baked squash in a size generous enough for sandwiches and a Lemon Grove cake. I also make chocolate truffles in the shape of eggs.

                    Everything can be made in the few days before Easter so the day is a pleasant but an effortless buffet.

                    1. Easter is a religious holiday for us, so we always do a symbolic meal (think Christian seder). Anyway, because of that - we always have lamb. We do a multi-course plated meal, each course with a meaning. But we haven't decided on all of this years meal yet. For dessert, we will be having a french style pastry, with a hazelnut sponge base, chocolate mousse and a core of rosemary caramel cremeux, hazelnut praline, topped with a cherry gelee, served with candied hazelnuts and morello cherries - maybe olive oil powder. i have fun with the desserts. The second dessert course will be comfort bites: mini cereal milk cookies (from Momofuku craze), "shirred eggs" (toasted coconut mousse wtih mango yolk, and hot peanut butter chocolate with pate fruit. I find cooking relaxing so I really enjoy doing crazy things. Most everything can be made before so Easter is really not that hectic. We always sous vide the lamb, so it is rather effortless. Even without that set up - lamb is really easy. 7 hour leg of lamb is super easy - the oven does all the work.

                      We don't like ham, or scalloped potatoes or most things traditional. Except maybe the lemon desserts and eggs. We're rather odd.

                      1. Pastierra was always a tradition at our house when my mother was with us. It's 1lb. of perciatelli (thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through it), 12 eggs, 1lb. of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Cook pasta just short of al dente, drain, cool slightly, mix with beaten eggs and cheese, and season with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Pour into a prepared lasagna dish and bake approximately one hour or until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out dry. Let sit about an hour before serving. It's also good cold. To change it up, sometimes I add some lightly sautéed diced pancetta or mortadella to the mix before baking.

                        1. If you'd like to venture out from the normal ham dinner, you could do a southern "fresh" ham (one that isn't smoked or anything -- fresh pork meat). Those are really good. You could also make crown of roast pork with a nice stuffing in the center of the frenched ribs. Dramatic and pretty presentation.

                          I've also done a whole salmon, and that was a lot of fun.

                          Do the whole Greek lamb easter special. It's a lot of work, but you'll enjoy it.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JanetLong

                            God! I LOVE fresh ham. My stepmother used to do it all the time. The meat was so succulent and the crispy skin all over the roast was to die for!

                            Haven't seen a fresh ham in decades. But I suppose if I did find one it would be that new generation of "lean" "white meal" pork that's not worth the time to slow roast it. =(

                          2. I celebrate Passover, but sometimes do have folks over for dinner on Sunday that might be Easter... Am thinking of something a bit different for the holidays this year. I ran onto a recipe I copied out of a James Beard cookbook years ago for a whole roasted veal breast with the bones.

                            His description of how it tastes and of munching on the crispy bones is very alluring....

                            1. I love lamb chops--they're good room temp as well. served with a salsa verde with plenty of fresh mint; to start a classic watercress soup and on the side little rosti (potato pancakes) or you could always just roast the potatoes with rosemary and garlic. I love a mixed fresh fava, aspargus and artichoke salad with bits of pancetta, a beautiful wine and a lemon tart for dessert. (or cheesecake--I am having a craving for classic ny style cheesecake)

                              1. leg of lamb, potatoes or couscous, wilted spinach or roasted asparagus. something lemon for dessert.