Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on March 23, 2012
“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”
FOOD. GLORIOUS EASTER AND PASSOVER FOOD.
This year, Easter Sunday, the culmination of the Christian season of Lent and the end of Holy Week, falls on April 8. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the third day after Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion. Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
The Jewish holiday of Passover in 2012 will start on Saturday, April 7, and continues for seven days until Friday, April 13. The Passover Seder is the Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the holiday of Passover. The Seder is a ritual performed, usually in a home, by multiple generations of a family as well as with friends and strangers, and involves the retelling of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. The Passover Seder Plate is a special plate containing six symbolic foods used during the Passover Seder. Each of the six items arranged on the plate have special significance to the retelling of the story of the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt. The seventh symbolic food item included during the meal, a stack of three matzot (plural of matzoh, matzot are unleavened bread and are symbolic of the three castes of Jews: Priests, Levites, and Israelites), is placed on its own plate on the Seder table.
Both Easter and Passover mark important religious events and are usually celebrated with age-old Christian and Jewish customs, attending religious services, spending time with family and friends, and of course, preparing and eating fabulous food.
Time to celebrate!
And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.
~ The Bible, Mark 16:6
When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one thrifty recipe will always be included.
Easter food photo encore — one of the most beautiful photos of sliced ham I’ve ever seen. This was featured in last year’s Easter recipe/photo collection and I couldn’t resist showcasing it again — for helpful tips on planning an Easter brunch, check out the excellent food blog TheBittenWord.
Photographer/cook Daisy Bliss wrote this about her whimsical Easter cake:
I made this cake quite some time ago (I think 2005? 2006?) for Easter.
It was chocolate cake, covered in dark chocolate ganach and decorated with white chocolate filled Easter egg halves, a chocolate bunny and melted white chocolate. The cake says “vrolijk pasen” which means “Happy Easter” in Dutch.
Photographer/cook Elle-Epp summarized her Easter morning breakfast with her mother:
It was soooooo yum. The quiche is very light (no pastry crust). Just a mixture of cheese, asparagus & yellow pepper. And eggs & milk, of course.
Accompanying Elle-Epp’s quiche breakfast is a hot cross bun. Eating deliciously spiced, sticky hot cross buns at Easter is an old English tradition, dating back to the Saxons who marked the buns with a cross in honor of the goddess Eostre, the goddess of light. Frequently, they are served on Good Friday to now signify the crucifixion of Christ. Some hot cross buns recipes are posted at Simply Recipes, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse site, and BBC Recipes.
Quick recap from photographer/cook Amy Ross:
Matzo ball soup recipe from the side of the package, plus carrots and celery just like Grandma used to make. (Oh, except this time a refrigerated the matzo gunk for a few hours before making the balls, and I think that worked well.)
Background on the delicate, special Easter sweet bread colomba pasquale, shaped like a dove, from the Foodtimeline website:
Colomba is one of several special breads celebrating Easter in Italy. This dove-shaped panettone-like confection is generally described as the most popular Easter bread in the country. Some theories exist regarding its genesis. The dove symbolizes spring, Christ, and peace.
“The colomba, a pannetone-like sweet bread shaped like a dove, is Italy’s best known Easter bread. Originally from Lombardy, it is now mass-produced and eaten everywhere in the country.”
—“Festivity and Food,” Oxford Companion to Italian Food, Gillian Riley [Oxford University Press: New York] 2007 (p. 199)
“Colomba pasquale. ‘Easter dove.’ Dove-shaped Easter cake, said to have been created in Milan to honor the legend of two white doves who settled on a Milanese war chariot until the city won the battle of Legnano in 1176. Pavia also claims the cake was created in the shape of a dove by a young girl who brought it to the Lombard conqueror of Pavia, Alboin, in 572, who was so impressed that he allowed her to go free.”
— Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books: New York] 1998 (p. 79)
Another beautiful dish from Elana’s Pantry — photographer/cook Elana provided the recipe link for her gluten-free Passover Chipotle Orange Chicken main dish (novel idea to combine chili powder with oranges), and wrote this description:
This chipotle orange chicken recipe, which is my children’s current favorite entrée, will be the main course at our Passover Seder. Its sweet flavors are just right for a festive celebration.
Kulich, Russian Easter bread, is described here at Foodtimeline:
“The most famous Russian Easter bread, kulich, also has a tall narrow shape. This shape is Slavic and of great antiquity… The kulich is based on a baba dough, with more sugar, plus additions of candied peel, almonds, raisins, and saffron. The bulging top is iced and decorated, usually with Cyrillic letters standing for ‘Christ is risen’. Traditionally the kulich is take to be blessed at midnight mass on the eve of Easter Sunday. In some families it replaces bread for the entire Holy Week. It is served with Paskha, a sweetened confection based on curd cheese.”
— Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 266)
“Russian Easter Loaf. Kulich. Many Russian families still treasure an heirloom recipe for kulich. The traditional loaf is saffron- flavoured and somewhat dry in texture, but it may also be made rich in butter and cake-like, as in the second recipe below. Old-fashioned cooks still treat their kulichi very gently upon removal from the oven. They turn the bread out on to a large down-filled pillow and carefully roll it from side to side until it is completely cool, so that the loaf does not lose its shape. Kulich may be decorated with a silver or coloured dragees or, for a dramatic effect, crowned with a large red rose.”
— A Taste of Russia, Darra Goldstein [Jill Norman Book:London] 1985 (p. 108)
On her Easter cupcakes, photographer/cook Jamieanne wrote:
The family asked me to make cupcakes for Easter lunch, so I chose to make carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (I chose carrot because when you think of Easter, you think of rabbits, and rabbits eat carrots).
Photographer/cook alexik provided a descriptive Wikipedia link below for the popular Greek Easter appetizer, kokoretsi (check out these blogs, Greek Food & Beyond and How About Some Greek Tonight, for kokoretsi recipes:
Various lamb innards wrapped up with the intestines. A real treat!
Photographer/cook Jane Doughnut provided this information about the recipe she modified:
Our Easter was delicious. Adapted from luxirare.com’s recipe:
– Roll out puff pastry sheet and cut into four squares, lightly perforate the sides of each square to make a “crust” and “center.”
– Layer with sour cream, avocado, prosciutto, green onions, and cheese.
– Bake 15 minutes at 400 deg F.
Photographer Jeannie Fletcher wrote this:
Delicious caramel muffins made by my niece, for our family, Easter breakfast. Sooo delicious!!!!
A bit of kugel history from Jewish Recipes:
Kugel is a traditional Jewish dessert or side dish. The word is Yiddish for ball, but it is sometimes translated as pudding or casserole, and related to the German Gugelhupf.
Made from bread and flour, the first kugels were plain, and salty rather than sweet. About 800 years ago, their flavor and popularity improved when cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with noodles or farfel. Eventually eggs were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese and milk created a custard-like consistency which is common for today’s dishes.
In the 17th century, sugar was introduced, giving home cooks the option of serving it as a side dish or dessert. In Poland, Jewish women sprinkled raisins and cinnamon into recipes. Hungarians took the dessert concept further with a hefty helping of sugar and some sour cream.
While less renowned than their sweeter cousins, savory kugels have always existed. Early noodle recipes called for onions and salt and were tasty at room temperature. Over the centuries, inspired cooks have skipped the noodles, substituting potatoes, Matzah, carrots, zucchini, spinach or cheese.
In 1950, the Bundt pan was developed for cooking kugel, though it eventually became known as a pan used for a variety of other cakes.
Here is photographer/cook Edsel Little’s potato kugel recipe:
Potato Kugel Recipe
* Vegetable oil and matzo meal to prepare a 1½-quart baking dish
* 6 medium russet potatoes (2-1/2 pounds), peeled and submerged in a bowl of cold water
* 1 large onion, peeled
* 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/4 cup matzo meal
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
* 1 teaspoon potato starch (or baking powder, if not using for Passover)
Cook’s notes: If you have a food processor, use the grating wheel/disc (the one with the smallest holes, or in the case of Cuisinart, no actual holes). If you don’t have a food processor, use the smallest holes on your box grater. Though this step is essential to get the creamiest, most puddinglike result, you may also combine the ingredients in a blender, in small batches, and pulse to combine.
Preliminaries: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 1½-quart baking dish with oil, then dust with matzo meal.
Prepare the vegetables: Process the onions first, then remove to a mixing bowl. Process the potatoes next, and add to the onions. Once the food processor bowl is empty, use the chopping blade to process any large chunks of onion or potato that remain after the first pass through the cheese grating wheel.
Prepare, bake the kugel: Add all the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl; combine thoroughly. Scrape mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for one hour, or until crisp. Serve kugel hot.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Source: Adapted recipe from Nancy Heller, Solon.
Brief description from photographer/cook dharmabumx:
Finding faces everywhere… A delicious Easter breakfast of poached eggs, bacon, and coffee. The biscuits are out of frame. I used the poach pods… made the whole ordeal of poaching so much less of a hassle!
The leftovers of this easy, tasty salad work well in a bento lunch box — photographer/cook Alyss gives the instructions for making this Waldorf-esque tossed salad:
Easter Tossed Apple Celery Nut Salad
I had a thought for what to bring to an Easter potluck, but then didn’t have the time to make it. I was scrambling and reading The Savory Way for ideas. This not-creamy Waldorf type salad jumped out at me. It turned out FANTASTIC!
Obviously, feel free to increase, decrease, add, subtract, or substitute to your heart’s content.. it’s a tossed salad after all 🙂
Apple Celery Nut Salad
* 1 Granny Smith apple
* 1 gala or Fuji apple
* 4 celery sticks, including the leafy tops
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
* 1 green onion
* 1/3 cup raisins
* 2 cups leaf lettuce, like mesclun or baby greens
* 1 cup nuts — I used a mix of hazelnuts and pecans, but almonds or walnuts would be really good too
Core and chop apples, but don’t worry about peeling them. Slice celery thinly and chop leafy tops. Slice green onion finely, including the whites and the green. Break or very coarsely chop the nuts.
Combine everything in a bowl with as much of the following dressing as you would like – go easy, the salad is so flavorful it doesn’t need much dressing.
* 5 parts oil – I used 1 part pumpkinseed oil and 4 parts walnut oil
* 3 parts acid – I used one part lemon juice and 2 parts white wine vinegar
For the amount of salad above (fills a good size salad/mixing bowl) I would use teaspoons or half tablespoons as my measurement.
PS: Adjust the types of oil and acid and this is my basic vinaigrette dressing recipe. I like cider vinegar and not-extra-virgin olive oil along with Italian seasoning and a tiny bit of prepared mustard.
Or, add a clove of garlic, pressed, or whiz the whole shebang in a blender for a minute or two.
Recipe link provided by photographer/cook distopiandreamgirl:
From Martha Stewart’s shortbread recipe – filled with red currant jelly and Mirabelle preserves.
Love these beautiful Easter eggs! Photographer Luz Bratcher provided the link to directions on how to make them:
Last night we dyed Easter eggs using this recipe. Love how pretty they turned out!
Photographer/cook Kevin D. Weeks’ recipe for rack of lamb is also posted, with more background, at his Seriously Good food blog:
Rack of Lamb with Horseradish Recipe
* 1 ea rack of lamb
* 2 cloves garlic, lg — minced
* 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
* 1 sprig rosemary — minced
* 1/4 c bread crumbs
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 300 deg F.
Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown lamb on all sides. Remove lamb, reduce heat to medium, and add garlic and rosemary. Cook until garlic just begins to brown. Add bread crumbs and stir to absorb all the oil. Mix in horseradish then coat top (meat side) of lamb with mixture.
Place lamb in a baking pan and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 125 deg F (about 20 minutes) for medium rare. Remove from oven, place on a cutting board, and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Cut rack in half and serve. Serves 2.
There are myriad other recipes to explore at Seriously Good, such as Barbequed Shrimp, Apricot-Stuffed Pork Loin, Sauteed Sweet Potatoes, and Blackberry Cobbler. Pop on over — you’ll definitely find numerous tantalizing recipes you’ll want to make.
Photographer/cook Jenn Forman Orth wrote this:
No regular wheat flour allowed for these. They are quite rich and heavy because of this. The light brown color is misleading, they are definitely chocolate (your Betty Crocker brownies probably have artificial coloring anyway).
Photographer/cook Magic Madzik gives some background on mazurki:
Mazurki (plural for mazurek) are traditional Polish Easter pies. We make our own each year, although you can also buy them in stores. But then they usually look like this.
Click the vintage Easter food ad to enlarge it — photographer alsis35 wrote this about Swift’s 1942 ham print advertisement:
Yes, it’s certainly lovely. And due to wartime rationing, at least fifty people will be sharing it. From the April issue of American Home magazine.
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:
Oyster Po’ Boy Sliders, Bao Wan, Collard Greens & Smoked Ham Hocks, Carnival Cookies, Thrifty Casseroles, Madeleines, Vegan Noodles, Southern Green Beans & Potatoes, Creole Stuffed Peppers, Gumbo, More Recipes
Grilled Chicken Taco, Peanut Butter French Toast Sandwiches, Aubergine Curry, White Cheddar Grits & Ham, Pumpernickeleis, Soups & Salads, Cashew Chicken Stir Fry, Filled Mushrooms with Tomatoes, Easy Recipes, & More
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts, Asian Meatballs, Chocolate Cheesecake, Oxtail Suet Pudding, Marmalade Chicken, Pumpkin Risotto, Gluten-Free Leek & Potato Soup, Warm Spinach Mushroom Salad, More Frugal Recipes
Red Onion Soup with Jarlsberg & Port, Sourdough Raisin Bread, Banana Coconut Pudding, Roasted Cauliflower & Olives, Ground Turkey & Pasta Skillet, Chocolate-Orange Cake Balls, Geese Bento, Cilantro Lemon Rice, Brown Butter Pear Tarts, & Thrifty Recipes
Pork & Tomatillos, New Year’s Foods, Espresso Cheesecake Brownies, Red Bean, Potato, & Arugula Soup, Popovers, Chicken & Couscous, Salads, New Orleans-Style BBQ Prawns, Italian Wedding Soup, Recipes, & More