FoodNetwork.com Staffers' Easter and Passover Picks
Here at FoodNetwork.com, we staffers don’t have to look far to find dozens of tempting recipes for the upcoming spring holidays, Easter and Passover. But we also get how hard it can be to narrow down the many options and decide what to serve at your own holiday table or bring to a friend or relative’s. So much pressure, especially when you're the "food person" in the family! To help, here are personal Easter and Passover picks from our staff – the recipes we’re most excited about making and eating this weekend. They may just inspire you to start a new family tradition.
"I looked forward to the Easter bread my mom made every year – she baked Easter eggs right into it. They’re decorative and you don’t eat them, but the dough underneath the eggs is a little gooey – the best slices of Easter bread are the ones where the egg used to be, slathered with soft, unsalted butter."
"When my family would get together on Passover when I was a kid, one thing was for sure: There would be a bowlful of matzo ball soup for each of us at the table. The aroma would weave through the house as my grandma stood over the stove, transforming raw carrots, onions and celery into a hearty broth with tender chicken. The way she made matzo balls shaped how I'd like them forever: salty, soft and so dense they sink to the bottom of the bowl. Now, when I make it on my own with just a few ingredients, Grandma's cooking doesn't feel so out of reach."
"Twice-baked potatoes have always been my favorite side dish. When I was growing up, my grandma in Dallas would make them for family gatherings. I tried Ree’s casserole version for Thanksgiving last year, and it was a runaway hit with my husband’s Yankee family. Not only is it easy to make ahead and transport — I used a big, disposable foil pan that went right into my mother-in-law’s oven for heating and worked great for serving too — it’s a huge crowd-pleaser. I’ll be making it again for Easter, and probably every other holiday this year."
"When desserts lose their leavening agents for Passover, they often lose their moisture. That’s why jam-filled sweets have always been my favorite during the holiday (admittedly, they are my favorite year-round, too). Fresh-fruit preserves have a way of balancing crumbly matzo- and matzo-meal-based treats, so you almost don’t miss your regular fluffy cakes. This Lower East Side Nut Cake resembles many desserts from my childhood family Seders, but this year I’m looking forward to trying this Lemon-Coconut Matzo Jelly Roll from Food Network Magazine. Filled with raspberry jam and topped with shredded coconut and lemon-spiked frosting, this dessert will be a bright, tropical-inspired addition to the holiday table."
"Brunch wouldn’t be brunch in our family without mimosas, and this is especially true on Easter. My mom, who is notorious for buying bunny ears for the entire table to wear regardless of our age, prefers a more traditional recipe with a hint of orange juice and some good Prosecco (or Cava), but this year I’d love to shake things up a bit by adding a flavorful liqueur to the mix and some fresh berries for a garnish. We’ll definitely be starting the day with these raspberry mimosas, selfies with our bunny ears on and eggs Benedict."
"In my house, Passover doesn't just mean a Seder plate and brisket — it means chocolate-dipped macaroons! When I was growing up, my aunt used to buy them at a local Hungarian bakery, but now I'm in charge of baking them. The best part? They couldn't be easier to make! Tip: Doubling up on the chocolate really sweetens the deal."
"I’m somewhat obsessed with strawberries. Raw, baked, turned into jam — I’ll take them however you make them. But my favorite way to eat strawberries is with whipped cream, like in these shortcakes. I first made them last Easter and have been thinking about them ever since. These will definitely be on my table again this year."
"I’ve always loved baking, and long before I worked at Food Network (or before I had my first job, period) I made a flourless chocolate cake for my family’s Passover Seder. Back then, when my mom was footing the grocery bill, I always splurged for the best available bittersweet chocolate. Nowadays, with zero intimidating ingredients and a side serving of fresh whipped cream, it’s still the perfect dessert for a family that celebrates both spring holidays: Passover and Easter. As long as the dates don’t fall too far apart, I can make two cakes at a time and serve one at each gathering."
"My sister and I are obsessed with Reese's peanut butter eggs — especially when they're frozen. I've made homemade peanut butter cups before, but there's never enough peanut butter filling (which is what makes the eggs so much better!). This Easter I'm going to skip the chocolate shell and make these chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls instead. I'll share, of course, but it's inevitable that some candies will wind up stashed away in my freezer."
"Unfortunately for my traditionalist father, I see every meal — including sacred food holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter — as a chance to shake up the norm and add some spice to dinner. Rather than rely on the stodgy centerpiece roast, I like to put an Indian twist on Easter dinner, with a bowl of fluffy coconut rice, stir-fried market asparagus, pea curry, rhubarb chutney and a main course of juicy grilled tandoori-style lamb. It adheres to Dad’s time-honored tradition of a lamb feast, but packs in my mandatory heat, some ultra-seasonal spring ingredients and a chance to finally get the grill going after a long winter break."
"As a kid, I would sometimes get bummed out around Passover time. I mean, my friends received baskets filled with marshmallow Peeps and chocolate bunnies, and I got … dry, flavorless unleavened bread? While plain matzo leaves something to be desired even to my adult palate, matzo brei is a Passover dish that I crave year-round. The simple-yet-genius scramble of softened matzo, eggs and butter is pure comfort food. Some matzo brei recipes are savory – DGS Deli in Washington, D.C., adds Swiss chard and horseradish – but this recipe takes me right back to my grandmother’s salty-sweet version, drizzled with maple syrup."