Christians, Easter is a time to rejoice. Lent is over, and for many, it’s the end of 40 days of self-sacrifice. Some may have given up meat, sweets or other food indulgences, and Easter marks the day they can bring some of those little foodie pleasures back to their plates.
Our Easter breakfast menu will not have you sacrificing family time to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. We’re keeping things simple, so you have time to enjoy the springtime holiday.
Our recipe for Breakfast Ham with Red-Eye Gravy is a variation of the classic Southern favorite. The recipe puts the ham drippings to good use, calling for a teaspoon of coffee grounds as a special seasoning. Those who don’t love coffee need not fear, the flavor is subtle—and delicious.
Scrambled Eggs with Sour Cream makes a splendid partner for the breakfast ham. With this recipe, your eggs will turn out rich and fluffy—just be sure to serve them nice and hot. A great general tip is to warm your dinner plates in the oven for 30 seconds or so, so they won’t put a chill on your hot food.
Fresh is best
A refreshing and rewarding side dish that makes your breakfast spread special is our Breakfast Fruit Cocktail made with luscious fresh fruit. It’s a sweet way to welcome spring and get your servings of fruit. You’ll never want to settle for canned fruit cocktail again.
Another wonderful side dish, homemade Cherry-Pecan Bread, will add a festive touch to the breakfast table, especially if you prepare it using a pretty, decorative mold. Moist and flavorful, with the added crunch of pecans, you’ll want to serve this more than just on special occasions.
Toast and jam may seem rather ordinary, until you taste this Cinnamon-Blueberry Jam. It’s got a real “wow” factor going for it. You may want to make enough to give some out as gifts—it’s that good.
To expand or alter the suggested menu, you might want to try Mushroom-Spinach Strata; Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes; Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes; Cheddar Chive Scones; Spring Citrus Salad; Sun-dried Tomato and Chive Deviled Eggs or Sweet Citrus Butter.
Breakfast Ham with Red-Eye Gravy
This marvelous Ham and Red-Eye Gravy recipe will work its Southern charm on anyone lucky enough to enjoy it for breakfast. The inclusion of coffee grounds as an ingredient in the recipe may sound a bit strange, but it adds spice to the ham in an unexpected and delightful way.
Why try? Even non-coffee drinkers will love the flavor the coffee grounds add to the ham. You’ve got to try it just to experience the taste.
Foodie Byte: We use a Cook’s Ham Steak in this recipe, which can be found in just about any supermarket. But you can use a country ham if you prefer a salty-tasting ham. Many country ham companies will now ship cooked, sliced hams right to your door.
The ham drippings and coffee grounds, when mixed with flour, make the flavoring for a white gravy.
3 (1/8- to 1/4-inch thick) country ham slices
1/4 cup butter
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon coffee grounds
Cut ham slices into serving-size pieces. Make cuts in fat to keep ham from curling.
Melt butter over low heat in a heavy skillet; add ham, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Add coffee and coffee grounds and simmer for 5 minutes.
Scrambled Eggs with Sour Cream
Scrambled eggs are an all-time breakfast favorite. This ultra-easy recipe turns out fabulous scrambled eggs every time. Serve them for your Easter breakfast or brunch and everyone will be egg-static. In our Easter morning spread we partner the scrambled eggs with country ham and red-eye gravy. But of course they’d be wonderful with bacon, sausage, pancakes or any breakfast staples.
Why try? This recipe is so easy, yet so delicious, and it works great with a crowd. So, if you’re having guests staying over, this will be an excellent choice, and will make everyone happy. You can easily double it to feed a larger gathering.
Foodie Byte: The sour cream adds a wonderful richness to the recipe. It’s a real difference-maker!
8 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon kosher salf
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with half-and-half, salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan. Add the eggs and cook them over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the desired doneness. Off the heat, add the sour cream, chives and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
Breakfast Fruit Cocktail
Preparation time: 10 minutes; Serves: 2
A fresh fruit cocktail offers so much more in flavor, texture and nutrition than the canned version. It’s a great way to start the day toward your recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables. This fruit cocktail can be breakfast in and of itself or part of a larger weekend breakfast buffet.
Why try? What a delicious, refreshing way to enjoy your fruit! Pick fruits in season to maximize the flavor.
Foodie Byte: The best way to enjoy the fresh fruit cocktail is to eat the fruit, then drink the juice.
Foodie Byte Plus: You can add or substitute just about any fresh fruit to this cocktail to suit your taste.
1 red apple, sliced very thin
1 green apple, sliced very thin
Strawberries, quartered (some left whole for garnish)
White cranberry juice
Start by filling an 8-ounce glass full of sliced apples, cut strawberries and raspberries.
Top it off with two parts cranberry juice and one part white cranberry juice.
Garnish with a strawberry.
Preparation time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 1 hour
Homemade fruitbreads add a festive and delicious touch to your breakfast table. Use a lovely decorative mold to take things up another notch.
Why try? This recipe offers you a sweet way to dress up breakfast—or serve it as luscious yet not-so-decadent dessert.
Foodie Byte: We topped this Cherry-Pecan Bread with a dusting of powdered sugar. To make it more of a dessert, you could drizzle on a vanilla icing, perhaps with a little lemon or orange zest.
Instead of pecans, you could easily substitute other nuts.
The use of the mold really does add visual appeal. Just be sure to grease the mold well with oil or baking spray so the bread won’t stick.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
1, 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream sugar, butter and eggs until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt, stir into creamed mixture. Add buttermilk, mix well. Stir in nuts, cherries and vanilla.
Turn batter into a well-greased 2-quart steam mold.
Bake 1 hour. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
This Cinnamon-Blueberry Jam is so good, you’re going to want to have it on hand at all times. It’s a jam that’s just too good to partner with peanut butter, but it’s a wonderful way to make your breakfast spread special. (Okay, if you really want to, you can make “gourmet” peanut butter and cinnamon-blueberry jam sandwiches.)
Why try? The pairing of cinnamon with blueberry creates an incredible flavor experience. Slather it on biscuits, toast, muffins — even pancakes.
Foodie Byte: This jam will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.
This Cinnamon-Blueberry Jam makes an outstanding gift at holiday time — or anytime you want to brighten someone’s day.
5 pints blueberries, washed
3-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons water
5 cinnamon sticks
Place blueberries, sugar, and water in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the berries begin to release their juice (add a little more water if necessary to prevent sticking).
Raise the heat slightly and add the cinnamon sticks. Boil the mixture gently, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy, approximately 20 minutes.
Transfer to sterilized pint jars, seal with the lids or melted paraffin, and store in a cool, dark place. Makes 2 pints.
This hearty strata is a wonderful dish for a breakfast or brunch. It’s simple to make and loaded with flavor.
Why try? You can prepare it a day ahead and just pop in the oven about an hour before you’re ready to serve. Its pleasant aroma helps make the morning go smoothly.
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, divided
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
2 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 to 1 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
5 eggs, beaten
2-1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Soften 3 tablespoons butter, spread on bread, set aside.
Melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté mushrooms, onions and spinach 5 to 8 minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet, season with salt and pepper, set aside.
In a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish, layer 1/2 bread, mushroom mixture and cheese. Repeat layers in the same order.
Mix eggs, milk, mustard, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Pour over layers, refrigerate overnight.
Bake uncovered 1 hour at 350 degrees or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, serve immediately.
Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes
This quick-cooking side will add a tasty burst of color to your table.
Why try? This recipe may be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Which is great if you’re preparing it for an early brunch or weeknight dinner.
Foodie Byte: By using smaller tomatoes, such as cherry or plum tomatoes, you can easily turn this side dish into an appetizer.
6 tomatoes on the vine
Salt and pepper to season the insides of the tomatoes
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, fresh, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, minced (about 2)
1 cup breadcrumbs, classic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 2 cloves)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degress.
Cut off the top 1/4 of each tomato and scoop out the seeds and juice, leaving only the thick outside flesh.
Combine parsley, thyme, green onion, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and sour cream in a medium sized bowl.
Season the inside of each tomato with additional salt and pepper. Stuff each tomato with about 1/3 cup of filling. Place the tomatoes on a sheet tray and bake for about 15 minutes.
Remove tomatoes from oven and top each tomato with 1 tablespoon of gruyere cheese and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Put back into the oven for one to two minutes or until the cheese has melted. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes
Rich and creamy scalloped potatoes are an excellent make-ahead choice for large family gatherings and pair well with almost any protein including ham, steak or roast beef, pork loin, turkey, or roast chicken.
Why try? Scalloped potatoes are a great special occasion potato dish that transports easily. This recipe features rich Gruyere cheese and fresh leeks.
Foodie Byte: Use a mandolin to quickly cut the potatoes into perfect thin slices. Immediately place them in a large bowl and cover with the chicken broth and cream to keep the potatoes from discoloring.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 medium leeks, thin sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 pounds (about 10 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and sliced ?-inch thick
2-1/4 cups chicken broth
2-1/4 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 cups)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Add potatoes, broth and cream; heat to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of a potato slice with some resistance), about 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake until cream is bubbling around the edges and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Cool slightly before serving.
Cheddar Chive Scones
These warm and cheesy scones make an unexpected and welcome addition to any meal. Ideally suited for an Easter buffet.
Why try? A perfect accompaniment to any meal, these scones are full of flavor. Try them with dinner and maybe even breakfast.
Foodie Byte: This recipe can be a base for any flavor of savory scones. Replace the cheddar and chives with your favorite flavor combination.
3 cups all purpose flour plus additional for rolling
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup cold unsalted butter, ?-inch cubes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream plus additional for brushing
1 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add dry ingredients to food processor.
Pulse cold butter into dry ingredients to form pea size crumbs.
Pulse in egg and egg yolk. Approximately two pulses.
Pulse in milk and heavy cream. Approximately three to four pulses.
Pulse in cheddar cheese and chives. Approximately two pulses.
Flour a clean counter space and your hands. Empty dough from food processor onto floured surface. Knead dough a few times using the heel of your hands. Approximately 10 times. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough to ?-inch thick. This should form a round disk that is 10-12 inches wide.
Use a round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut scones. Place scones onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of the scones with reserved cream.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden.
Spring Citrus Salad
A beautiful salad of radicchio and butter lettuce in two contrasting colors of spring: green and deep purple. Topped with paper-thin fresh fennel bulb and plump orange segments, tossed with a homemade raspberry-citrus vinaigrette.
Why try? This simple yet elegant salad is light and refreshing with juicy sweet orange segments and fragrant fennel bulb. An excellent fresh component to a rich Spring meal.
Foodie Byte: Salads are inherently healthy and packed with nutrients, but the bonus to this recipe is that the vinaigrette is very light in comparison to other homemade varieties that often use double or triple the amount of oil.
3 naval oranges
1 fennel bulb, top fringe removed
2 heads butter lettuce
1 head radicchio
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons raspberry white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
To segment oranges, cut off the stem and blossom ends and cut away the peel, following the curve of the fruit. Cut out each segment, by gently sliding your knife between the membrane walls toward center of fruit. Squeeze leftover membranes and reserve juice for vinaigrette.
Using a mandolin, carefully slice fennel bulb, paper-thin, horizontally.
Remove core from lettuces and tear into large bite-sized pieces.
For citrus vinaigrette, combine shallot, vinegars, orange juice, salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Slowly add olive oil, while whisking, until well incorporated. In a large salad bowl, toss together lettuces, fennel, orange segments, and the vinaigrette.
Sun Dried Tomato & Chive Deviled Eggs
These handsome deviled eggs add bright color and flavor to your Easter buffet.
Why try: This spin on a classic will delight your guests. Deviled eggs are also a perfect dish to bring to a potluck.
Foodie Byte: Allowing the eggs to continue to cook in the hot water with the heat off will help ensure that the eggs are perfectly cooked. The addition of butter gives the filling a smooth silky feel.
1 dozen large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, minced plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon chives, minced plus additional for garnish
Place eggs in medium pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot with a top and bring water to a boil.
Turn off fire and leave eggs covered for 13 minutes. The eggs will continue to cook in the hot water.
Remove boiled eggs from the pot and immerse in cold water.
Remove shell from egg. Cut egg in half, length-wise.
Place yolk into a mixing bowl. Use fork or back of a spoon to make yolks smooth.
Add mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce and butter to yolks. Mix until smooth.
Fold sun dried tomatoes and chives into egg mixture.
Fill a zip top bag with the egg mixture. Cut the tip from the bottom of the bag and push egg mixture toward the hole. Fill the empty egg whites with the egg mixture.
Garnish with chives and sun dried tomatoes.
Sweet Citrus Butter
This simple recipe offers an easy way to add citrus flavor to everything from muffins to toast to biscuits.
Why Try? This recipe will not take long to whip up and the citrus butter spread can be stored for up to one month.
Foodie Byte: When softened, this butter can be formed into a variety of shapes to decorate your table.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream butter in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Add in the rest of ingredients and mix until incorporated.
Chill citrus butter for an hour.With a melon baller, scoop butter into small balls for serving.