Even if Easter is not a holiday observed in your home, you’re likely to have family or friends around over the holiday weekend, so it’s always nice to have an idea up your sleeve to serve for a bunch or breakfast.
A different way to prepare the vegetables with a big ham or turkey dinner is always welcome too, so following are a couple of ideas to help make your holiday weekend more fun for everyone, and filling too.
We’ve always had an Easter egg hunt for the littlest ones around our home on Easter Sunday, followed by a family dinner, to which we usually add a few friends as well.
Tradition demands it involve a ham, but it’s always nice to change it up a little with something unusual in the way of a vegetable.
After the Easter weekend is the beginning of the Spring Wine Festival in the Okanagan, and I’m kicking that off in my own way this year, with the launch of a book which fans of this column have been requesting for years.
I’d like to invite you to join me in celebrating the publishing of Jude’s Kitchen by the Okanagan Institute, at the B.C. Wine Museum, Thursday, April 28, 4 to 6 p.m., the day before the beginning of the 10-day Spring Wine Festival.
So that we have an idea of the numbers, please go to my website and reserve a spot at: www.judiesteeves.com
The book includes 200 or so of my favourite recipes from the past dozen or so years of this column, along with full-colour photos of nearly a quarter of those.
After May 1, it will be available at book stores and other locations where books are sold.
A highlight of the book is the wine pairings contributed by acclaimed B.C. wine writer and author of the definitive books on the wines of B.C., John Schreiner. His margin notes recommending local wines to serve with many of my recipes add a very exciting additional dimension to my book.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Apple
This is a sweet, sour and salty mix that will turn the most determined sprouts hater into a lover.
1 lb. (454 g) brussels sprouts
2 slices of bacon
1 tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
2 tbsp. (30 ml) water
1 tsp. (5 ml) honey
Select even-sized sprouts; small ones cook more quickly. Trim off the stem ends and outer leaves and cut an x into the stem stub.
Slice bacon into lardons, narrow strips cut across the grain. Brown in a medium-sized pot.
Meanwhile sliver shallot and add to bacon, turning until translucent and soft. Remove and drain bacon and shallots.
Cut apple up into small dice.
Drain and discard most of the fat from the pot and then brown the brussels sprouts briefly over medium heat.
Mix lemon juice, water and honey in a small bowl.
Add the apple and the lemon juice mixture to the pot, turn about to coat the sprouts and cover and turn the heat to low. Steam the sprouts and apple for about 10 minutes, or until the sprouts are still a bit crisp, but cooked.
Serve garnished with the bits of bacon and shallots.
Easter Eggs in Toast Baskets
These look cute and are very tasty. This is an easy idea for serving breakfast to a bunch of people. Just increase the amounts to suit. You could substitute fresh chopped chives for the green onions.
A good wine to pair with this, and one that would also go well with your ham dinner, is the Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery’s Census Count Chardonnay. This crisp but fruit-filled wine is a good example of the elegant chardonnays the Okanagan Valley can produce, smooth and yet with a fresh finish. It’s a delicious wine.
4 bread slices
2 bacon slices
2 tbsp. (30 ml) cream cheese
2 small green onions
1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Cut bread slices into rounds as large as possible on the slice and use rolling pin or bottle to flatten them a bit.
Spray muffin cups with an oil spray and gently push the rounds of bread into the cups to form a nest to hold the egg.
Bake the cups for about 10 minutes, or until toasty and brown.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon and dice it in to small pieces; mince the green onions and parsley.
Whisk together the eggs, bacon, cream cheese, onions, parsley, salt and pepper.
Divide amongst the toast cups and cook at 375 F for about 12 minutes, or until firm, but not overcooked.