Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on April 15, 2011
FOOD. GLORIOUS EASTER AND PASSOVER FOOD.
Celebration and resurrection, rebirth and rejuvenation after a long, dreary winter, freedom and hope… uplifting emotions and expectations are tied to the holy days of Easter and Passover (Pesach).
Time to celebrate — I love this time of year.
Schedule for Passover 2011, 5771
First Seder – Night of Monday, April 18, 2011
First Day – Tuesday April 19, 2011
Second Seder – Night of Tuesday April 19, 2011
Second Day – Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Third Day – Thursday, April 21, 2011
Fourth Day – Friday, April 22, 2011
Fifth Day – Saturday, April 23, 2011
Sixth Day – Sunday, April 24, 2011
Seventh Day – Monday, April 25, 2011
Eighth Day – Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is April 24 this year.
Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.
~ Charles M. Crowe
Passover has a message for the conscience and the heart of all mankind. For what does it commemorate? It commemorates the deliverance of a people from degrading slavery, from most foul and cruel tyranny. And so, it is Israel’s — nay, God’s protest against unrighteousness, whether individual or national.
~ Morris Joseph
When available, recipes or recipe links will accompany the “Fab Food Friday Fotos” — at least one frugal recipe will always be included. Several recipes below can do double-duty for both Easter and Passover.
Writer and cook Olga Massov at her Sassy Radish blog wrote this about her love of onions and her glazed pearl onions recipe:
Honestly, if someone told me I had to go and live on a uninhabited island and could bring one vegetable with me, it would be an onion. My kitchen feels oddly empty when I run out, which is why I buy loads of them at once as if the great onion famine is going to set in any day. I always wonder about the folks in the check-out line with a singular onion – why just one? Can’t you just chop up a great deal of them and make caramelized onions, spread them on bread with a little fleur de sel and you have a meal fit for a king?
Glazed Pearl Onions in Port with Bay Leaves Recipe
* 3 10-ounce bags unpeeled pearl onions, root ends trimmed but left intact
* 3 cups ruby Port
* 1-1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
* 4 bay leaves
* 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Using sharp knife, cut X across root ends of pearl onions; place in large bowl. Pour hot tap water over onions; let soak 1 hour. Remove onions from water and peel.
Transfer to a baking dish. Add Port, broth, bay leaves, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook for an hour and a half until the onions are nicely browned and the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes 10 servings.
Photographer/cook Mary wrote:
I literally just finished garnishing this cake for our Easter dinner tonight. For all you Canadians, it’s on the cover of the May 2007 issue of Canadian Living.
Here’s the recipe from Canadian Living… it’s reportedly one of their most popular recipes:
Orange Carrot Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze
This recipe makes 20 servings.
* 3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened
* 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar (375 mL)
* 3 eggs
* 2 tbsp grated orange rind (25 mL)
* 2 tsp vanilla (10 mL)
* 3 cups all-purpose flour (750 mL)
* 1-1/2 tsp baking powder (7 mL)
* 1-1/2 tsp baking soda (7 mL)
* 3/4 tsp salt (4 mL)
* 1 cup sour cream (250 mL)
* 1 cup grated carrots (250 mL)
* 1 cup icing sugar (250 mL)
* 3 tbsp orange juice (45 mL)
* White chocolate, curls
Grease 10-cup (2.5 L) classic or fancy Bundt or tube pan; dust with flour. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in orange rind and vanilla.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with sour cream, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of sour cream. Fold in carrots. Scrape into prepared pan; tap pan on counter and smooth top.
Bake in centre of 325°F (160°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to rack; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap; store in airtight container for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 1 month.)
Glaze: In small bowl, mix icing sugar with orange juice until smooth; brush over cake. Garnish with chocolate curls and Candied Orange Rind.
Tip: To make white chocolate curls, spread melted chocolate thinly with palette knife onto clean baking sheet; refrigerate until pliable but not sticky, about 15 minutes. Brace pan against body. Holding palette knife with 2 hands and at 45-degree angle away from you, pull through chocolate to scrape into curls, refrigerating pan if chocolate begins to soften. Refrigerate curls until chilled.
Historical significance of the Passover Seder plate from photographer wordscraft:
The Passover Seder Plate is a special plate containing symbolic foods used by Jews during the Passover Seder. Each of the six items arranged on the plate has special significance to the retelling of the story of the exodus from Egypt, which is the focus of this ritual meal. The seventh symbolic item used during the meal — a stack of three matzos — is placed on its own plate on the Seder table.
Kasha (buckwheat groats) is one of the most economical, healthy, filling dishes out there — it’s a favorite among Russian and other Eastern European mothers to serve on cold wintry nights. No recipe for the photo above was provided, but here’s a cheap, fairly easy kasha recipe with bowtie pasta, mushrooms, and onions from Robin Bellinger at Serious Eats:
* 2-3 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil
* 2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 cups sliced mushrooms (button, shiitake, portobello, or a combination), optional
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 6 oz. bowtie pasta
* 1 large egg
* 1 c. whole kasha (whole roasted buckwheat groats)
* 2 c. hot chicken stock
* 2 T. chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Brown and remove to a large bowl.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until tender but firm. Drain and toss with the browned onions and mushrooms.
Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add the kasha and stir until all the grains are well coated. Wipe out the skillet and set it over a high flame. Add the egg-coated kasha to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the grains are toasted and separate, 2-3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add and add the hot chicken stock. Stir, cover, and simmer until the stock is absorbed and the kasha is tender but not mushy, 7-8 minutes.
Stir the onion-mushroom-noodle mixture into the kasha. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
The dish can be made 1-2 days in advance and reheated, uncovered, in a 350°F oven. If it seems dry, add 1/4 cup chicken stock.
Some terrific tips for planning an Easter brunch are provided here at TheBittenWord blog.
Photographer/cook Amancay Maahs provided the recipe for these Easter Birds’ Nests:
(Yield: 12 nests)
* 2 cups mini-marshmallows
*1/4 cup butter
* 4 cups (6-oz. package) chow mein noodles (or rice noodles)
* Whoppers Mini-Eggs (or jelly beans)
* 12-cup muffin pan
1. Butter the cups in the muffin pan.
2. (In a 2-qt sauce pan) combine marshmallows & butter. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted (6-8 minutes.)
3. Stir in noodles, until well coated.
4. With buttered fingers, press mixture on the bottom & up the sides of each cup of the muffin pan. (You may find the need to re-butter often, and move quickly & carefully as the mixture is very sticky & hot!)
5. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs or until firm.
6. Remove from the pan (you may find it easier to sit the pan in warm water to loosen them up first!)
7. Fill with Mini-Eggs!
Hot cross buns have been a traditional Good Friday/Easter treat for centuries. The recipe photographer/cook Isabelle Boucher provided is from the Messy Cooks blog. The site has more information and photos, so check it out:
This year, instead of using the traditional combo of glace fruits and currants, I decided to give my buns a makeover by using dried cherries and lots of lemon zest lemon zest. I’m quite pleased with the results -they’re tender and rich and not too sweet, just like a hot cross bun ought to be, but the lemon and cherry give them a light tangy flavour that’s perfect for spring.
In fact, there’s no need to restrict these tasty treats to Easter alone. They’d fit in perfectly as part of a non-denominational spring brunch or tea party… instead of piping on the traditional x-shaped icing cross, just drizzle the icing overtop in a more random pattern or serve without any icing at all.
Lemon-Cherry Hot Cross Buns Recipe
* 1-1/2 cups lukewarm milk
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1 tbsp yeast
* 1 tbsp lemon zest
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 4-1/2 cups flour
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
* 1/4 tsp cinnamon
* 3/4 cup dried cherries
* 1/4 cup candied lemon peel
* 2 tbsp each sugar and warm water
* 1 cup icing sugar
* 1 tbsp lemon juice
* 1/4 tsp vanilla
Combine milk, butter, sugar, egg, yeast, lemon zest and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to dissolve.
Add remaining dough ingredients, and stir until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is soft and elastic, but still slightly sticky. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the top; cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a clean surface, and divide into 20 evenly-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and place in a greased 9×13 pan (you can also use two 9″ round pans, if you prefer). Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 375 deg. F oven for 30-35 minutes, or until buns are golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare glaze by combining sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Brush onto the buns as soon as they come out of the oven, and set aside to cool.
While buns are cooling, prepare the icing by stirring together icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Scoop into a piping bag (or McGuiver one by snipping off one of the bottom corners of a sandwich bag), and pipe an icing cross onto the top of each bun.
Photographer/cook and webmistress Elana Amsterdam of the food blog Elana’s Pantry wrote this and provided the link for the Passover Torte recipe:
For the Jewish Betty Crocker in all of us, here’s a delectable cake recipe for Passover.
Examiner.com has an easy recipe for Chocolate Fallen Soufflé Cake that’s gluten-free and perfect for Passover. Whipped egg whites are used to make the cake light and puffy, and it has a crusty top.
Summary of the stuffed potatoes from photographer/cook woodenmask:
We saw these on Cook’s Country, a PBS cooking show done by the same production team as America’s Test Kitchen. They sounded really good.
The big secret to these is crisping the potato skins with butter, then filling them with a potato/boursin filling.
They were good – definitely the best stuffed potatoes I’ve had – but probably not worth the finicky amount of detail. I’d much rather have really good mashed potatoes.
A note – they were even better reheated two days later; what we call the “Casserole Effect”.
Asparagus is associated with Easter because it’s typically in abundance in springtime. This beautiful asparagus salad with eggs only serves 1 if it is the main course, several more if it is a side salad. The recipe was provided by photographer/cook esimpraim from the food blog Dishing Up Delights:
Shaved Asparagus Salad
(From Mark Bittman aka #4 from The List)
Makes 1 serving
* 1 bunch large asparagus, shaved with a vegetable peeler, leave the tips whole
* 1-2 eggs, hard boiled and cut into chunks
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Lemon juice
* Salt and pepper
Mix the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste and toss with the asparagus. Top with the cut-up eggs and serve immediately.
Historical background on this gigantic egg constructed in Vegreville, Canada:
A large percentage of Vegreville’s population is of Ukrainian Canadian descent. The world’s largest pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) was created to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1974 and to celebrate Vegreville’s ethnic heritage.
|· Egg Width: 25.7 feet||· Turns like a weathervane||· Visible Facets: 3,512|
|· Egg Height: 18.3 feet||· Weight: 5,000 pounds||· Nuts and Bolts: 6,978|
|· Total Height: 31.6 feet||· Internal Struts: 177||· Triangular Pieces: 2,206|
|· Material: Aluminum skin||· Star Patterns: 524||· Man Hours: 12,000|
Photographer/cook Christa Burns provided the recipe for her father’s carbonara pasta dish:
Pasta Carbonara Recipe
* 1 lb sweet Italian sausage shopping list
* 3/4 lb prosciutto or cooked ham, thinly sliced shopping list
* 8 Tbsp butter shopping list
* 1 lb spaghetti shopping list
* 1 cup minced parsley (1/2 cup if dried) shopping list
* 6 well beaten eggs shopping list
* 1-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese shopping list
* Pepper to taste shopping list
How to make it
* Cook spaghetti, drain and return to pot.
* Remove casings from sausage and chop the meat. Finely chop the ham.
* Combine 1/2 of the ham with sausage in a frying pan with 4 Tbsp butter. Cook on medium/low heat, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until sausage is lightly brown and ham is frazzled looking.
* Remove meats from heat and blend the remaining half of ham with cooked meats.
* Add meats, 4 Tbsp butter, and parsley to spaghetti. Mix quickly to blend.
* At once pour in eggs and mix to coat spaghetti well.
* Add cheese and pepper and mix again.
* Serve with more cheese.
What are chicken cracklings? Photographer/cook letouj explains:
When cooking with chicken pieces other than skinless breasts and thighs, one at times finds oneself with leftover skin and fat not used in a recipe. Slice it into thin strips and fry in a skillet as you would bacon. Everybody likes to steal the crispiest bits of skin off a piece of fried chicken: this leaves you with nothing but those crispy bits, plus some nice schmaltz that can be poured off into a jar and used for making matzo balls, roasting potatoes, or whatever you like.
Wikipedia gives this historical background on charoset:
Charoset, haroset, or charoses is a sweet, dark-colored, chunky paste made of fruits and nuts served primarily during the Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt as mentioned in Tractate Pesahim of the Talmud. The word “charoset” comes from the Hebrew word cheres — “clay.”
Recipes in the Sephardi tradition are usually cooked and may include raisins and ingredients native to the Middle East such as figs, dates, and sesame seeds. For example:
* In Egypt, it is made only of dates, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and sweet wine.
* In Greece and Turkey, it consists of apples, dates, chopped almonds, and wine.
* In Iraq and Central Asia, it sometimes consists of grape jelly
* In Italy, it can include chestnuts
* In Spanish and Portuguese communities of the New World, such as Surinam, it may include coconut.
Not all Jews use the term “charoset”. Some of the Jews of the Middle East instead use the term “halegh”.
Photographer/cook Avital Pinnick is also the webmistress of This and That, and provided this easy recipe for her charoset — check out her blog for photos showing how it is created and for more information on Judaism, her life in Israel, and other recipes:
Sephardi-Style Charoset Recipe
Makes about 1 cup.
* 8 large, juicy dates; pitted
* 1/4 cup red wine (I use dry because that’s what we have around the house)
* 1/4 cup almonds
* 1/4 cup walnuts
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* Pinch ground ginger
This is very much a “too taste” recipe. If it’s too thick, add more wine. If it’s too thin, add a couple more dates or cook longer. Increase the nuts if you want. Just remember that it needs to be a thick paste.
Simmer the dates with red wine in a small pot, mashing from time to time with a spoon, until smooth and thick. Let the mixture cool.
Chop the nuts in a food processor. Fold nuts into the cooled date mixture. Chill.
A kosher and happy Passover to everyone!
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Past three months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts: