Easter feasts?

Easter is just over a week away and although we don’t celebrate the religious holiday, we do sometimes make a special spring meal. This year, we have invited a group of our singer colleagues for brunch, to relax over mimosas and celebrate the end of Holy Week (which is always a long and tiring week for church musicians).

We’ll be a group of 6-8 people, and I’m still bouncing ideas around in my head. I’m leaning toward a luncheon menu rather than a brunchy (i.e. breakfast meats, fruit salad, etc.) one. I’ll probably make a couple of snacky appetizers to enjoy while we show everyone the new house. If I can get my hands on some early rhubarb, chicken liver pate with rhubarb compote may make an appearance. I’ll definitely make deviled pickled eggs, and maybe some crudites with an easy dip to round things out.

For the meal itself, I’m considering a first course of lamb lollipops with minted pea puree and/or mint pesto, although I’m not sure I want to serve plated courses - a more casual family-style thing might be better for this crowd. I’m not a huge ham lover but I know it’s traditional, so maybe I’ll glaze a small one and offer another “main” as well (but probably not lamb racks, that could get a little pricey for 8 people!). I would rather smoke a pork shoulder, but having it rested and ready to pull by 1pm would mean starting it at 3am, yikes! I suppose I could smoke a side of salmon to go with ham…hm. We’ll see. I look forward to getting some inspiration from all of your menus.

Sides will likely be a potato gratin (DH’s favorite), roasted asparagus and whatever other vegetable looks good when I shop, or a springy salad. The ramps I planted in the fall are doing very well in my yard so I will probably harvest a few leaves and make some ramp butter and biscuits or Parker House rolls.

Dessert is also up in the air - DH’s family tradition is pineapple upside down cake, so that may be the winner, but I do love a nice citrus dessert in the spring. Pierre Herme’s lemon cream is always a winner, either in a large tart shell or as individual tartlets.

Hit me with your menus and any suggestions you might have for mine!

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Sounds fabulous!!!

The rhubarb is up here in NJ so you should be able to find some. I almost always make strawberry rhubarb pie for easter.

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Not sure of my own plans yet for this year, often someone hosts easter brunch and we all contribute a dish.
One year i made a super simple salad with piles of fresh parsley, basil, mint, and chives tossed with some little delicate lettuce leaves from the farmers market, some thin sliced little radishes and a lemony dressing. A nice fresh “spring” side to some of the heavier options.

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That s very ambitious, I’m impressed. We tend to the simple.

We always have baby potatoes, asparagus with chopped hard-boiled eggs, glazed new carrots, cr creamed fresh peas with baby onions, potato salad, and a ham. Strawberry shortcake is usually the dessert.

There are always other things, but those are the standards. It’s pretty simple, but all everyone really looks forward to the new spring vegetables.

We have panettone in the morning, no fancy brunch.

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I haven’t figured out my menu yet but finally bought a ham today. Part of me was leaning towards duck for a change as I’ve never roasted a whole duck.

I need to figure out a menu that is a balance between interesting and not too tiring to prepare. Too often, I go crazy on the menu, cook up a storm and am exhausted and in bed for several days after the dinner.

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Stick to the ham, that’s easy. Duck is more of a fall food, that’s when they are nice and fat. :slight_smile:

How many people are you cooking for?

Just three people.

Pan seared lamb racks finished in the oven with port sauce, sauteed asparagus, and scalloped potatoes. Apple tart with ice cream to finish.

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I finished my menu today - now making a shopping list. Fingers crossed that the markets are full of beautiful spring produce. Here’s the final!

Cocktail hour snacks:
Deviled pickled eggs
Crudites with dill dip
Spiced pecans

Brunch:
Smoked pork shoulder, pulled, with two sauces (I can do this overnight, yay!)
Fennel slaw
Parker House rolls (for sandwiches or as dinner rolls)
Sous vide salmon with pea puree
Spring vegetable saute (baby artichokes, asparagus, leeks, sugar snaps - we’ll see what looks good)
Potato gratin
Strawberry rhubarb salad (if I can find rhubarb, if not, I’ll punt with herb stuffed mushrooms or something)

Dessert:
Pineapple upside down cake with whipped cream

I started my eggs pickling last night and they are already looking pretty in pink! I use my mother’s traditional midwestern recipe that calls for beets/beet juice and a cinnamon stick. I don’t actually care for beets, but I tossed them in the pickling liquid as well and will add them to the crudite platter for a pop of color (and for beet lovers to enjoy). It’s a lot of stuff, but a good deal of prep can be done in advance. I will be busy on Saturday!

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Honestly, the little kids are big kids now, so I’m probably heading to Coachella. Vegan snacks and kombucha cocktails. Maybe play with molly. :slight_smile:

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Go easy on yourself, none of your guests or family would want you killing yourself over a meal to the point where you need days to recouperate!
Buy a fantastic loaf of bread, toss together a super fresh bright salad with spring lettuces and herbs and some sugar snap peas/radishes/fennel and a simple vinegrette. Some steamed asparagus with a quick buttery dribble, and those pain in the butt yet ever popular devilved eggs as an appetizer alongside some good olives, and maybe crudite with a creamy dip (like one of those sour cream/herb things)
Outsource dessert or do ice cream/berries and whipped cream.

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Excellent advice. And +1 re the deviled eggs. Those are a must.

Ha! I may cut my losses this year and go for brunch. My husband and son are staying with grandma until Easter Monday and I’m the lucky gaffer on call for the operating room.

Yes!! Totally treat yourself to a fantastic brunch out! Although the on call thing might mean you only get one mimosa… :wink:

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We have no religious faith but have never let that stop us enjoying a good dinner at times when others, with faith, are celebrating. It matters not if it is Easter, Eid, Diwali or Passover.

Yesterday - asparagus, followed by fish pie (cod & prawns, tomato sauce, puff pastry, Sparkenhoe Red Leicester & celery to finish

Tonight - lemon sole goujons, followed by roast pork fillet (stuffed with garli & prunes), fondant potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, more cheese

Tomorrow - potted shrimps, roast lamb, Jersey Royal spuds, peas, mint sauce, rhubarb pavlova

Tomorrow - Vegetable pakoras, mixed vegetable curry (Rick Stein recipe), rice.

One of us will have various types of alcohol. The other will look on, enviously.

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Very well said! We are the same on both counts. Your meals sound lovely!

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roast pork fillet (stuffed with garli & prunes) mmmmmmmm

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold