Easter

5 Simple Recipes for Your Easter Feast

We’re keeping it classic this year with spiral-sliced ham and simple vegetable sides.

By America's Test Kitchen | April 12, 2017

Easter meal means something different to pretty much everyone. Some people have a casual brunch, while others opt for a good old-fashioned red sauce Italian feast. Some people make roast lamb, and others prefer the classic spiral-sliced ham.

Well, we’re feeling classic this year, so the centerpiece of our menu is our Glazed Spiral-Sliced Ham. Because we want the ham’s simple elegance to star, we’re pairing it with fuss-free sides and a simple yet rich chocolate dessert. (Sorry, but our chocolate dessert doesn’t involve a molded bunny. A shame, we know.)

Without further ado, here are five delicious recipes for your Easter feast.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

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Given that the star of our Easter feast is a big hunk of cured pork, maybe you’d think we’d refrain from serving anything containing cured pork as a starter. Wrong. This wilted spinach salad has bits of thick-cut bacon and slices of hard-cooked eggs, and it’s topped with a dressing made of bacon grease and vinegar. It’s simultaneously hearty and bright, and it’s a perfect pork product primer.

Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon and Chives

For a simple, one-pot potato side dish that featured the benefits of both boiling and roasting, we had to get creative. We combined halved small red potatoes, butter, and salted water in a 12-inch skillet and simmered this mixture until the potatoes turned creamy and the water fully evaporated. In the then-dry skillet, the potatoes and butter were left alone to fry and develop great flavor and color. Subtle aromatics like thyme and garlic balance well with last-minute additions like lemon juice.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have experienced a renaissance over the last several years, and we’re very happy about that. Roasting is a simple and quick way to produce Brussels sprouts that are well-caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside. To ensure we achieved this balance, we started out roasting the “tiny cabbages,” covered, with a little bit of water. This created a steamy environment, which cooked the vegetable through. We then removed the foil and allowed the exterior to dry out and caramelize. It’s an easy recipe, and a simple way to add a vibrant green vegetable to your spring holiday feast.

Glazed Spiral-Sliced Ham

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It pays to know exactly how to make a glazed ham that's truly worthy of a special occasion. Our recipe for a moist ham with a glaze that complements but doesn’t overwhelm the meat includes avoiding labels that read “ham with water added” and heating the ham to an internal temperature of no higher than 120 degrees. Soaking the ham in warm water before heating it and placing it in an oven bag or wrapping it in aluminum foil are also part of our perfect glazed ham recipe.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

They may not be the most fancy dessert in the world, but these chocolate crinkle cookies are the perfect way to cap off an unfussy Easter feast. For cookies that live up to the name, we use a combination of unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder (plus a boost from espresso powder) for a deep, rich chocolate flavor. Using brown sugar instead of granulated lends a more complex, tempered sweetness with a bitter molasses edge that complements the chocolate. A combination of both baking powder and baking soda gave us cookies with the right amount of lift and spread, helping produce good fissures on the outside. But the real key was rolling the cookies in granulated sugar before the powdered sugar. It helped produce the perfect crackly exterior and kept the powdered sugar coating in place.

What’s on your Easter menu this year? Let us know in the comments!

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