For children and families, Easter is all about eggs. Aside from their decorative qualities and the thrill of the hunt, using them creatively in a special Easter brunch can welcome guests in a yummy way. In fact, a sparkling holiday meal can include spring garden-infused omelets, frittatas or quiche dishes, and perhaps stray a bit from the fold by featuring other seasonal delicacies when the earth once again yawns and stretches in the sun.
Try these recipes for an unforgettable Easter brunch celebration with the ones who mean the most to you.
Ham, Egg, and Asparagus Bake
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup yellow (or red) bell peppers, chopped
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen cut asparagus, thawed, or 10 fresh stalks, cut
2 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425º F (220 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Mix ham, onion, peppers, and asparagus in the prepared baking dish. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, flour, Parmesan, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Pour over ham mixture. Bake 20 minutes in preheated oven or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Continue baking 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Artichoke Hearts Gratin
A delicious, easy veggie side dish that goes great with everything!
6 fresh-cooked or canned artichoke hearts, halved (the latter drained well)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
Place artichoke heart halves on a paper towel cut-side down to drain for about 15 minutes. Set oven rack about 6 inches from heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with vegetable oil. Place artichoke heart halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; drizzle with olive oil. Broil artichoke hearts until browned on top, about 7 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
Hot Cross Muffins
A twist on an old favorite. Bet you can’t eat just one!
2 cups packaged biscuit mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1/2 cup currants or raisins, soaked in hot water to plump, drained
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sift before measuring
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, soft
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix biscuit mix, sugar, salt, cinnamon, eggs, milk, melted butter, and orange peel. Add plumped raisins or currants. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Make vanilla icing and drizzle or pipe over muffins to make cross shapes. Makes 12 hot cross muffins.
Combine all icing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Stir until smooth and well blended. Adjust for spreading consistency if necessary, adding more milk or more confectioners’ sugar.