Easter Feast RecipesEaster Feast
Easter nostalgia conjures up memories of egg hunts, baskets of candy and glazed ham studded with canned pineapple slices and maraschino cherries, which inspired us to revisit classic Americana foods and update them with a global twist. We’ve created a modernized Madmen-era menu featuring pure comfort foods that are familiar yet fresh. Some things, however, are perfect the way they are, so we’ll happily serve a ‘50s dry martini to toast the holiday and its announcement of spring.
It’s an oldie but goodie, and usually people love them or hate them. The addition of chipotle and cilantro adds heat, flavor and lots of color, so even doubters might be swayed. They’re best ice-cold, so be sure to put out a few at a time and replenish as needed.
Yield: 4 servings
Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with an inch or two of cold water. Bring to a boil and shut off heat. Cover pan and keep eggs in water for 12 minutes. Remove eggs and peel them under cool running water. Slice in half lengthwise. Gently remove yolks and add them to a medium bowl. Break yolks with the back of a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, chipotles and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add cilantro and mix.
Place cooked egg whites on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Add egg mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a star-shaped tip. Pipe 1–1 1/2 tablespoons of the egg mixture into each egg white. Cover loosely with foil so you don’t crush filling and refrigerate until serving, at least 2 hours. To serve, garnish each egg with 2 slices of chives.
Easter without glazed ham is like Thanksgiving without turkey – pure blasphemy. We’ve used pineapple juice as the base of the glaze as an ode to the past but added curry and cloves to keep it from being too sweet.
Yield: 10 servings
Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Using a sharp knife, remove skin and most of fat from ham. Score remaining fat and pierce ham with cloves. Place ham, fat-side up, in a large roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Raise oven temperature to 375˚F.
In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup pineapple juice. Cook on medium-high heat and, when reduced by half, add sugar and molasses. Stir well. Remove from heat and mix in curry. Rub glaze mixture over ham and place back in roasting pan. Add 2 cups pineapple juice to pan. Bake for another 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally, until thickest part of ham registers 155˚F on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Shaving fresh truffles over creamed spinach elevates a sound dish to Hall of Fame status. If fresh truffles aren’t available, then canned whole truffles will suffice. If you choose this route, then shave the truffles over the cheese and bake the entire dish together. (Our favorite resource is D’Artagnan.)
Yield: 5–6 servings
Fill a large bowl 1/3 of the way with ice and add some cold water. Bring 5–6 quarts of water to a boil in a stockpot. Add 3 tablespoons of salt to water. When water is boiling again, add spinach and submerge. Cook for 10 seconds and remove, plunging spinach into ice bath. Strain spinach well.
Preheat oven to 400˚F. On medium heat on stove, add butter to a saucepan. When foam subsides, add garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, until light golden-brown. Add flour and whisk constantly. Cook for 3 minutes and add milk, continuing to whisk. When mixture has thickened, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and mix well. Grease an oven-safe dish with butter and add spinach mixture. Top with grated cheese. Bake until cheese is light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Shave truffles on top of spinach and serve.
This dish is best at the height of summer when corn is at its peak at the farmers’ market; however, grilling the ears and adding basil bolsters the flavor and still yields a delicious treat. Just take care to be judicious with the smoked salt, since a little goes a long way.
Yield: 4 servings
Preheat grill to 425˚F and brush with oil.
Add butter and basil to a small bowl. Mix ingredients well and season with pepper.
Add corn to grill and cover. Turn occasionally, until entire ears are charred but not burnt, about 15 minutes. Rub 1 tablespoon of butter on each ear until melted and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese evenly. Sprinkle just a few grains of sea salt on to corn and serve immediately.
Finicky eaters will be hard-pressed to find a problem with these three-bite addictive wonders. If you can’t find packages of tenderloins, then just slice up two or three entire breasts and the recipe will work just as well.
Yield: 3 servings
In a medium bowl, add flour and season with pepper. In a small bowl, add eggs and a teaspoon of water. Beat until yolk and whites are mixed. In another medium bowl add Panko breadcrumbs. In a food processor, add pretzels and pulse until coarsely ground, about 15–20 seconds. Add pretzel crumbs to Panko and mix.
Using your left hand, add 5 pieces chicken to flour and coat well. Still using your left hand, add chicken to egg mixture. Make sure egg has completely coated flour on chicken and remove chicken with right hand. Allow excess egg to drip off. Place chicken into breadcrumbs and coat evenly, using right hand only. (Switching hands prevents the flour, egg and breadcrumbs from coating your fingers.) Remove from bowl and place on a sheet tray. Repeat process with remaining chicken.
In a large sauté pan on medium-high heat, add enough oil to fill pan by 1/4-inch. When oil is shimmering but not yet smoking, add chicken. Don’t overcrowd pan; if necessary, work in batches. Fry until cooked through, about 4–5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of chicken. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
In a small bowl, add both mustards and honey and mix well. Add mayonnaise and mix until there are no lumps. Cover and refrigerate until serving.