The Faithful Foodie team at Keeping the Feast dished up some of their treasured family Easter recipes to share with readers at this very special time of year.
Graphic Designer Valerie DiGiacamo, whose culinary energy and interest knows no bounds, offers her family’s special Pineapple Stuffing — a tasty side dish if ever there was one – which will accompany the baked ham at her Easter table this year and the baked ham dinner I’m preparing as well.
From Graphic Artist Jeanne Scarpato, there’s a treasured recipe for an Italian Easter proscuitto bread and a family story to go with it and from me, there’s an easy to prepare vegetable side featuring the king of all spring vegetables — fresh asparagus.
We’ll start with Valerie’s stuffing and the asparagus dish in this post, giving Jeanne her own due because she not only prepared the bread, she took the photo and wrote a charming vignette about what the dish means to her family.
Valerie’s Pineapple Stuffing
Ingredients: 1/4 cup (8 tablespoons) margarine, melted; 1/2 cup sugar; 4 eggs-beaten; 12 oz can of unsweetened crushed pineapple (with juice), 6 slices of white bread.
Directions: Melt the margarine and combine with sugar in an 8-by-8 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray; add eggs to the mixture (temper first or you’ll get scrambled eggs – find a how to at the conclusion of this post); mix in can of crushed pineapple with liquid; break white bread into small pieces and add to the mixture, stirring until all pieces are coated.
With a very busy Easter kitchen in mind, Valerie recommends do all the mixing in the baking pan to save one more bowl from the dishwasher.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered and then 30 minutes uncovered.
Asparagus Vinaigrette with Egg and Bacon
Ingredients: 1 bunch asparagus; 1 egg (hard boiled) and finely chopped; three slices of bacon, pan fried, cooled and crumbled; 1 1/2 tsp. salt; 3 tbsp. good quality vegetable oil, olive oil or canola oil (my choice lately) 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice; 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper; 3 tbsp. minced herbs – chives, chervil, dill, parsley or your favorite combination.
Directions: Trim and discard the tough ends of the asparagus; in a large frying pan, bring an inch of water to a boil, add 1 tsp. salt and asparagus, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the asparagus turns bright green.
Turn off the heat, let the asparagus rest in the water for about 2 minutes, drain, rinse and pat dry and arrange on a serving platter.
In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and spices and stir in the herbs. Drizzle over the asparagus and sprinkle with chopped egg and bacon. Serve warm or cold.
Cooking tip: If, like me, you hadn’t a clue what “tempering an egg means,” here’s a reasonable explanation:
Add a small amount of the hot liquid or substance to the egg, stirring vigorously and add a little more liquid at a time until the egg is well “incorporated”. When it is, you can add it into the mix. I’m told that if you don’t take this step and add the liquid to the egg too quickly, it will scramble.