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The Cookstr 10: Ten Recipes for the Spring Holidays (Part Two: Easter)

April 3, 2010

Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian calendar, a time when Christians celebrate rebirth and resurrection. Feasting is a big part of this holiday, and luckily the theme of new life is also very much present in so many of the foods that are emerging at this time of year. Traditional Easter foods include eggs, lamb, and ham. And, because of where Easter falls in the year, a plethora of tender spring vegetables also round out many an Easter spread.

Photo by Joseph De Leo

Last week we hoped that those who weren’t Jewish would find things to appeal in that issue of The Cookstr 10, which focused on Passover. This week, we are also hoping that we’re serving up 10 recipes that will be contenders for all kinds of different spring feasts.

And before we sally forth into the recipes, can we just take a moment to say that we are finally feeling super-confident that spring might actually be coming? As in, “Till the soil, Walter, it’s time to start a-plantin’!”

Happy Easter to all those who are celebrating, and see all of you at the farmers’ market.

1. Terry Golson’s Deviled Eggs. Eggs are a big part of Easter, carrying with them the symbolism of rebirth and resurrection. While you’re hard-boiling a batch for dying, throw in a half dozen more for the eternally popular snack or appetizer of deviled eggs. This recipe has traditional seasonings like mustard, relish, and a sprinkle of paprika, and calls for low fat ingredients, which clearly means you should eat more than one.

2. Lora Zarubin’s English Pea Soup with Crème Fraîche. In some parts of the country, fresh peas are starting to appear in farmers’ markets. A sweet, fresh pea, straight from the pod, is nothing like the starchy or overcooked or canned peas you might have suffered through as a child. Grab them as soon as you see them, and then as soon as you get home, start this soup. Chilling the peas before and after cooking them helps them retain their gorgeous bright green color.

3. Tom Fitzmorris’s Root Beer-Glazed Ham. If you haven’t heard of or tried a ham glazed with soda, it will probably sound just plain weird. But in fact, the ingredients used to make different sodas do wonderful things to a ham as it cooks, resulting in a sweet and savory piece of meat that has a whole lot of flavor layers. If you make the glaze the night before the big dinner you can pop the ham into the oven first thing in the morning.

4. Christopher Idone’s Glazed Carrots. Simple, sweet, and pretty on the plate. Four ingredients (including the carrots…and the salt, pepper, and butter–shoot, we just gave away the whole recipe).

5. Mario Batali’s Leg of Lamb with Green Olives, Prunes, and Roasted Shallots. A leg of lamb is one of the most dramatic and anticipated centerpieces of the Easter feast, and this dazzling specimen is first slathered in a marinade of olive oil, onion, garlic, lemon and rosemary. Olives, shallots, prunes and wine are scattered all around, and the whole thing gets roasted to perfection.

6. Michael Chiarello’s Roasted Artichokes, Carrots, and Fennel with Pan-Roasted Halibut. The flavors in this dish are clean, the fish is moist and soft, and the vegetable selection is flexible. You can take this recipe in any number of directions (even swapping out the fish for chicken or meat, if you’re so inclined!).

7. Crescent Dragonwagon’s Fresh Slow-Baked Artichoke Quarters with Minted Crumbs. Prepping the artichokes is a bit of work, but kind of satisfying in that kitchen-zen way. The delicate meat of the artichoke buried under a crisp herbal topping is quite the reward. Just get all your ingredients together, and be the artichoke.

8. David Burke’s Potato Purée. Potato purée is essentially mashed potatoes with a slightly looser consistency, and is a lovely date for meat, poultry, fish, or anything that is holding court in the center of a plate. This purée calls for both butter and olive oil, which may seem slightly decadent but…oh, who are we kidding, it is slightly decadent.

9. Flo Braker’s Cinnamon Bubble Buns. Not exactly hot cross buns, but these cuties brown up nicely and each bun resembles the kind of bubbles kids blow through little rings in the summertime. They get a roll in a cinnamon-sugar coating before they are baked, and a brush of vanilla glaze. The recipe includes directions for storing leftover buns, which kind of made us laugh.

10. Sarah Leah Chase’s Polish Easter Cheesecake. The flavor of lemon is quite pronounced in this not-too-sweet traditional Polish cheesecake. A great make-ahead dessert.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. hellie permalink
    April 9, 2010 1:28 am

    those glazed carrots are fantastic. so simple and yet so full of flavour! i seasoned them with black pepper from Kampot which i picked up on a recent holiday in asia. its aromatic quality really compliments the sweetness of the carrots.

  2. May 29, 2010 7:24 am

    any suggest for Memorial Holiday this week ??

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