Passover and Easter are both fast approaching—Passover falls from the 8th through 16th April, while Easter falls on the 12th of April this year. The two festivals are closely related but celebrated in very different ways. In Jewish tradition, preparations for Seder—the feast that marks the start of the Passover holiday period—last for about two days. Food preparations for Easter tend to vary across the world, but usually involve fish for Good Friday, a meat dish such as roasted Lamb for Easter Sunday, and—if you are in Germany—a delicious dish called eggs in green sauce for Easter Monday. Here at NetCost Market, we wanted to give you some Easter and Passover ideas to help you with your preparations this year!
Classic Passover Meals
This fish dish is traditionally served as the first course on Friday night Sabbath meals. During Passover, it’s also served as the first course, setting the scene for the rest of the meal. It consists of deboned and then ground pike or carp mixed with matzo meal, onion, eggs, and seasoning that is then rolled into balls. It’s traditionally poached in fish stock and then eaten at room temperature.
Brisket is a classic dish for Passover. It’s slow-cooked, giving it a melt-in-the-mouth texture and a deep flavor. If you’d like to have a go at making it yourself, here’s how you make the perfect beef brisket:
about 7 lbs. cut of high-quality brisket, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 large brown onions—peeled and sliced, 1 lb. carrots—peeled and sliced, 1 lb. celery—sliced, 28 oz. tomatoes—diced, 10 cloves garlic, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup vinegar, 2 cups beef broth, salt, pepper.
- Preheat your oven to 300F and then rinse the brisket and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the meat all over with pepper and salt.
- Heat a large skillet on the stovetop to medium heat. Pour about 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in the skillet and the brown the brisket on both sides.
- While you are browning the brisket, pour the tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, and 1 ½ cups broth into a blender and blend for about 1 minute. Add a little salt and pepper.
- Remove the brisket from the pan and allow it to rest.
- Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil in the pan and cook the onions for a few minutes until they shrink and soften.
- Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Pour the vegetables on to a plate, and then add ½ cup beef stock to the skillet and heat it until boiling. Scrape the browned vegetables from the bottom of the pan and then turn off the heat.
- Pour half of the tomato mixture into a large roasting pan, and then place the brisket into the pan with the fat-side facing up.
- Pour the cooked vegetables onto the brisket, and then add the broth and brown parts from the pan. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover the roasting pan with parchment paper and then foil.
- Roast the brisket for about 6 hours or longer for larger cuts of meat. The meat should be tender and easily break apart with a fork.
- Remove from the pan and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce left in the pan.
Classic Easter Meals
In many parts of Europe, roasted lamb is the traditional centerpiece for Easter Sunday dinner. Although it is now widely considered an Easter dish, it actually originated as a traditional Passover Seder dish. Around Europe, the Middle East, and North America, families roast their lamb with ingredients such as garlic and lemon, and herbs such as rosemary, mint, and thyme.
Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns are a sweet and spiced bun traditionally eaten at Easter but in particular, Good Friday in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. They have grown in popularity here in the US because of their moreish flavor, especially with a good helping of butter! Try making these for the whole family with this great recipe:
½ cup raisins, 1 cup boiling water, ¾ cup warm milk—divided into ½ cup and ¼ cup, ½ cup white sugar plus and extra ½ tsp. sugar, ¼ cup unsalted butter—softened in the microwave, ½ tsp. salt, 1 packet dry yeast, 2 large eggs—beaten, 3 ½ cups unsifted all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp. the ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg. For the egg wash, —1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water. For the glaze, ½ cup powdered sugar mixed with 2 ½ tsp. milk.
- Combine ½ cup raisins with 1 cup boiling water in a bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- In a large measuring cup, combine ¼ cup warm milk, ½ tsp. sugar, and then sprinkle the packet of yeast over the top. Stir and let the mixture sit at room temperature until it starts to bubble and doubles in volume.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together ½ cup warm milk with ½ cup sugar, 4 tbsp. softened butter, and ½ tsp. salt. Stir until the butter is fully melted. Add 2 well-beaten eggs and the yeast mixture. Stir in the ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon and the nutmeg.
- Using a dough hook attachment, mix the 3 ½ cups flour, adding 1 cup at a time. Knead for about 8 to 12 minutes until a soft, elastic dough is formed.
- Add the drained raisins to the dough and then knead them through by hand for about 1 minute. Transfer the dough mixture to a buttered bowl.
- Cover with a wet cloth and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours. The dough should double in size.
- Once risen, turn the dough out on a floured surface and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll the dough pieces into balls and then transfer them to a buttered 9×13-inch baking pan. Cover with a cloth and allow to sit in a warm place for about 30 minutes until risen.
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture and then bake for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When the buns have cooled a little but are still warm, stir together ½ a cup of powdered sugar and about 2 tsp. milk. Pipe this glaze in a cross formation onto the buns.
- Allow to cool and serve with butter.
Both Passover and Easter offer great opportunities for brilliant meals, so why not make the most of it? Right now, we have a great selection of ingredients for making Passover and Easter meals here at NetCost Market, so head in-store to get your hands on some great products!