Spring has finally arrived.

I, for one, am overjoyed. Warm weather, spending time out of doors without a snow shovel or layers of excess clothing, backyard gatherings, and barbeques .. all of the things that make life great. About the only thing I do not look forward to is the inevitable yard work but the way I figure it that is where the industrious young enterprenuers in my neighborhood come in. I am all for helping a young business person especially if it gets me out of cutting the grass.

And .. on top of everything else .. Easter is just around the corner. Sunday, April 8. The day that the Easter Bunny makes his rounds and brings all of those wonderful, sweet treats to all of the good little boys and girls regardless of their age.

Easter is probably my favorite Spring day. It is a family day with great fun, great food, and some very colorful, very sweet treats. You have jelly beans, Peeps (gotta have my Peeps), Marshmallow eggs, malted milk balls, Chocolate Easter Bunnies (I, for one, will be very disappointed if I do not get a Chocolate Easter Bunny. The ears are such a delicacy.), and .. to top off the list .. Colorful, hand decorated Easter Eggs.

Easter Eggs go back a lot further than the Easter celebration. Decorated Eggs have been used in many societies and religions for centuries, usually in springtime rites or at the celebration of a new year. In all cases it seems they are used as a symbol of resurrection and new life. You can find a lot more information, history, and alternative decorating techniques by going to Wikipedia and searching for Easter Eggs.

What I want to do now is tell you how to cook the eggs to make a perfect Easter Egg.

As I am sure that you are aware, when you buy eggs at the grocery store they are super fresh. That is a wonderful thing most of the time, but, too-fresh eggs are extremely hard to peel when they are hard cooked. I am sure most of you have had the experience where the white of the eggs sticks to the shell or the egg just kind of falls apart when you try to peel it. I suggest that you let the eggs sit out and come to room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours. 48 hours would be even better. Then, place them in a sauce pan or stock pot [http://www.cookwareforhomecooking.com/] depending on how many eggs you are cooking. Cover with cold water and bring to a gentle boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Chill them completely before coloring and peeling.

Now that you know how to make easy-to-peel hard cooked eggs let tell you about a special treat called Crown Jewel Eggs. This is something that I found over twenty years ago in a recipe card index for international food and drinks that I got from Random House ( I think ) when I was very young and just starting out. I like to think of them as Easter Eggs for Adults because they are very colorful and make a great and tasty appetizer at those Family Easter gatherings. ( note: It is also pretty good for those summertime back yard BBQ’s. ) It is a very simple-to-prepare variation of Deviled Eggs. Even if you have never had caviar give these a try. The blended flavors of the caviar and eggs with the spice and herbs is truly an amazing treat.

Crown Jewel Eggs

  • 6 hard cooked eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika .. Hungarian paprika is best. it has a little more flavor for my taste.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • one 2 oz. jar of black caviar ( whitefish or lumpfish )
  • one 2 oz. jar of red caviar (salmon roe ) *note: You do not need expensive caviar for this. Obviously, better caviar would be great but there is inexpensive caviar available in most most grocery stores that are quite excellent. A brand called “Romanoff” comes to mind.
  • fresh parsley sprigs
  • lemon slices

 

Peel the eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and put into a mixing bowl. Add sour cream, onion, paprika, and lemon juice. Use a fork and blend completely into a paste.

Spoon the mixture into the eggs halves. Top six halves with black caviar and 6 with red caviar. Arrange them on a serving plate and garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Enjoy!

Now, I want to submit to you a Passover treat but, first, allow me to qualify this. While I am not of the Jewish faith and I do not celebrate passover except to the extent that I have a few friends that are and do. I have spent time with them during this celebration and have been served this dish and I think it is absolutely fantastic. I do not know if it is traditional but I do know what I like. This is both a tasty and easy to prepare appetizer.

Salmon Balls

  • one 16 oz.can salmon
  • one teaspoons. horse radish
  • one tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 oz. cream cheese – softened
  • one small onion – minced

 

Blend all ingredients and shape into small balls. Place on snack cracker and garnish with parsley flakes and lemon pepper if desired. It is actually very good with the lemon pepper.

To all of you from me and my Family .. Have a Happy Easter and a great Passover celebration.

Cookware for Home Cooking http://cookwareforhomecooking.com