Traditional Easter Classics

All time favorites.  Traditional Easter Classics.
Beet soup.  Pierogi.  Horseradish sauce.
Easter Sweet Bread.
Enjoy the Menu Shoppe finds.
Enjoy this Easter season.
Chilled Beet Orange and Dill Soup
3 15-ounce cans julienne beets, drained, 3/4 cup liquid reserved
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat (2%) buttermilk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 cups finely diced unpeeled English hothouse cucumber (about 1/2 large)
Additional chopped fresh dill
Combine half of beets, half of reserved beet liquid and half of orange juice in blender. Blend until smooth. Blend in half of buttermilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped dill. Transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining beets, beet liquid, orange juice, buttermilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons dill. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled).  Trim soup with cucumber and additional dill. Ladle into bowls.
Mustardy Potato Pierogies
Courtesy of Grant Achatz of Chicago’s acclaimed Alinea restaurant
From “Comfort Food From a Rebel Chef”
Pierogi dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg yolk, beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Filling
3/4 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for coating
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sour cream, egg, egg yolk, butter and salt. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough briefly until smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and boil until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and peel them as soon as possible. In a bowl, mash the potatoes with the sour cream, mustard and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. On a floured work surface, roll out the pierogi dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 20 rounds. Brush off any excess flour and moisten the edge of each round with water. Place a level tablespoon of the potato filling on one side of each round, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Fold the dough over the filling to form half-moons and press the edges firmly to seal. Cook the pierogies in the boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large, shallow dish. Add a little vegetable oil and toss to coat lightly. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Add the pierogies and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pierogies to a platter. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
Creamy Herbed Horseradish Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup prepared horseradish, drained
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Melt butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic–sauté until soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add wine–simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Whisk remaining ingredients into shallot mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead).
Pascha – Easter Sweet Bread
3 pkgs. active dry yeast
2 1/2 c. warm water
2 c. flour
4 lg. eggs + 2 egg yolks, well beaten
7 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins ( soaked )
Dissolve yeast in warm water, add 2 cups of flour and blend well. This coats the yeast and helps it to develop.
Mix in sugar, melted butter, salt, eggs and additional flour, a little at a time. Knead well until dough is no longer sticky and springs back when lightly poked. Let rise in a covered bowl in a warm place, free from drafts, about 1 1/2 hours or until dough is tripled in size. Punch dough down. Take 1/2 the amount of dough you want the size of the Pascha to be. Knead lightly and shape into a ball. Put in a greased round pan–preferably an 8″ or 9″ loaf pan. Cover all pans and let rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes. Brush tops lightly with mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon cold water. Sprinkle lightly with poppy seeds. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until bread has turned a golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped on the bottom.
NOTE: Raisins may be added with the last addition of flour. They can be made soft and fluffy by soaking them in warm water for 30 minutes before use. Drain well and dust lightly with flour before adding to mixture.
*some traditions add 1/2 cup whiskey ( optional )
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