Tag Archives: Greek Easter recipes

Natural Egg Dye

Last year I make for the first time, red eggs for Greek Easter using onion skins. I was amazed at how easy and beautiful the eggs turned out. So for Easter this year, I plan on making naturally dyed Easter Eggs in different colors using vegetables and spices many of us already have at home. I had to experiment a little to find what worked best. I suggest using either glass jars with a lid since the natural dyes take longer to color, it’s easiest to make the eggs and dyes and close the jar and store them in the refrigerator over night. The eggs will not have the same uniform color as store bought dyes but I think that gives the eggs a more organic and rustic charm. Many of the dyes needed a cup of boiling water added to an ingredient so I suggest putting the ingredients in a jar while the water is boiling and you will save some time. Below are my favorite dyes! Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you colorful food memories!
Maryann
blog red eggs
Making the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg
Place eggs in the bottom of a large pot add water to just cover the eggs along with a little sea salt and place on medium heat. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and cover with a lid for 13 minutes. Use a timer to make sure you are not over cooking your eggs. Once the eggs are done, run them under cold water to cool to stop them from cooking. The result will be a perfectly cooked hard boiled egg.
A Few Suggestions While Coloring Your Eggs

To start I suggest using glass jam jars with covers or 16 ounce plastic deli containers with lids. Add the cooled hard boiled eggs to the natural dyes. Make sure eggs are completely submerged in the dye, add a little water if the eggs are not covered. Place a lid on your container and place into the refrigerator overnight for intense colors. If you want softer color you can let eggs sit in dye for just a few hours in the refrigerator. Add hard boiled eggs to the dye once cooled unless recipe says otherwise. When making the dyes, I suggest using plastic gloves so not to stain your fingers.
blog egg dye
Natural Egg Dye Recipes
Red Beets / Pink Eggs  – Grate 4 tablespoons of red beets and add to a heat safe container. Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 cup boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, strain and add eggs to dye.
Red Cabbage/ Blue Eggs – Add 3 tablespoons chopped red cabbage to a heat safe container. Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 cup boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, strain and add eggs.
Annatto Seeds/ Reddish Golden Color – Add 2 tablespoons annatto seeds ( achiote seeds) to 1 cup of water, bring to a boil for about 5 to 7 minutes. Strain. Add eggs to the dye.
Red Cabbage and Turmeric Powder/ Green Color – Add 3 tablespoons chopped red cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder to a heat safe container. Add one cup of boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, strain and add eggs. The result is a speckled color.
Turmeric Powder/ Deep Gold Color – Add 2 teaspoons ground turmeric powder to a heat safe container. Add  1 teaspoon white vinegar and one cup of boiling water. Once dye is cool add eggs . Rinse off any residual powder.
Paprika Powder/ Light Orange – Bring one cup of water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a boil, add 1 tablespoon paprika and continue to boil for 15 minutes. Place in a heat safe container, add eggs to dye while warm. Rinse off any residual powder.Here is the post to make red dyed eggs:http://blog.entertainingbythebay.com/2012/04/03/easter-eggs-with-natural-red-dye.aspx

blog eggs

Greek Mezes

 

blog greek mezes

As I shared in a previous post, my mother is of Greek heritage. So to add  to the Easter Menu, I’m sharing three mezes recipes . Two of the recipes feature fresh mint – one against the saltiness of feta cheese and the other against the coolness of cucumbers and rich yogurt.  I’m suggesting them along with the herb crusted leg of lamb from last week’s post but they are both wonderful dishes for summer entertaining which is just a few short weeks away. The third mezes is a red chili hummus, a warming and smooth companion to the cool mint mezes, this is a perfect year round recipe. All three recipes are the essence of greek cooking, fresh, simple and delicious. Say “Yasou” to Greek cooking!

From by the bay, wishing you “happy greek” food memories!
Maryann

blog feta dip

Feta and Mint Dip

Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
4 ounces greek feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspsoon coarse fresh ground pepper

Directions
Plac all the ingredients into a food processor and blend well. Place in a bowl and chill for at least one hour . Serve with pita chips or crackers.

blog tzaiki

Tzakiki

Ingredients
1 English cucumber
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups greek style yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
fine sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Peel and thinly slice the english cucumber. Coarse chop and place into a bowl. Add the sea salt and mix. Let sit for about 1 hour. Strain the cucumbers and rinse. Shake off remaining water and place into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. When serving drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve on the side of roasted lamb or serve as an appetizer with pita bread.


blog hummus



Half Greek Hummus

Ingredients
15.5 ounce can Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
olive oil to garnish
sweet paprika to garnish

Directions
Combine all ingredients except the pine nuts and paprika into a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to serve. Can serve cold or room temperature, Before serving drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pine nuts and sweet paprika.

Natural Red Dye Easter Eggs

One of the many traditions for Greek Easter is the coloring of all the boiled eggs red. In the Greek religion the Easter eggs are used to symbolize the blood of Christ. There is a game played at Easter called Tsougrisma. Each player gets a red egg. One player will gently tap the egg of another player. The winner is the one whose egg does not crack. This player will go on to play others. The winner is the one who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players. It is said that this will bring good luck to the winner through out the year. These are important traditions to my Greek heritage mother, so I did a little research. My maternal grandmother came to the United States early in the 20th Century from a small fishing village in Greece. In that small town they didn’t have access to red dyes. I discovered that the traditional way to dye the Easter Eggs was with a natural dye made from yellow onion skins. This method yields a deep rich byzantine red color, like the color that you find in many of the religious Greek icons. It’s the perfect color, the color of my mom’s childhood and it’s all natural. I suggest trying this out. You boil your eggs in the dye and you can save the dye to color more eggs, I kept it in a plastic container in the fridge. Have fun coloring your Greek Easter eggs!

blog red eggs
Red Easter Eggs
Makes 6 eggs
6 white eggs, room temperature
skins of 6 large spanish or yellow onions
3 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
In a medium ( 6 1/4 inch) sauce pan add the onion skins, water and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and place cover on the pan. Let simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain dye into a bowl and cool. The dye will appear orange, but it will yield red eggs. In the same medium sauce pan add the eggs in one layer. Cover with the cool liquid and add the salt. The eggs should be completely covered , if not add a little water until they are. Bring this to a low boil, reduce heat and cover the pan. Simmer no longer than 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a skimmer remove eggs and place on a wire rack to dry. Once dry, use a paper towel to rub olive oil on the eggs to give a glossy finish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve cold or room temperature

Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb

My mother’s parents immigrated to the United States in the early part of the 20th century from Greece. Easter by far and away is the most important religious holiday in the Greek Orthodox Church. Growing up my mother and her family would celebrate Easter with family and friends with a whole roasted baby lamb. My grandfather, my Papou, would buy the lamb and bring it to a bakery on 14th St. and First Avenue in Manhattan to be roasted. Papou would then take the subway home to Brooklyn, lamb in hand, so the family could celebrate Easter. As much as I would like to recreate my mother’s wonderful childhood memories, I’m not prepared to roast a whole lamb, but I do look forward to celebrating with the family by slow roasting a leg of lamb in the oven. I have tried different recipes over the years, but this recipe from Martha Stewart Living, is my favorite. I have adapted it a little over the years so this is the version, I’m sharing with you today. Kalo pasha……….
Happy Greek Easter!From by the bay wishing you the happiest Easter and food memories! Maryann
blog leg of lamb
Ingredients
1 leg of lamb approximately 9 pounds, bone in
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium head garlic
1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chardonnay
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

Directions

Let leg of lamb stand at room temperature for one hour. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Rub lamb with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 pepper. Place into a heavy roasting pan. Meantime, rub head of garlic with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 1 hour until very soft. Let cool. Cut off the head of the garlic and squeeze cloves into a bowl. Use a fork to mash garlic into a paste. Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, parsley, thyme leaves and remaining salt and pepper. Mix well and place to the side. Place lamb into the oven and roast for approximately 1 1/4 hours. Rotate pan and roast another 30 minutes. Remove lamb and slather it with the roasted garlic and herb mixture and place back into the oven to roast another hour or until thermometer inserted at the thickest part reads 160 degrees for medium and 170 degrees for well done. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Transfer lamb to cuttting board and cover with foil. Pour off fat from the roasting pan and place on medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and stir with wood spoon. Pour in chardonnay to deglaze pan, scraping up the brown bits, reduce liquid to 1/2 and then add the chicken broth, stirring to combine. Add rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the lamb and serve with the gravy to the side.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with Natural Food Ingredients

blog easter eggs dyedin basket
It’s worthy exploring again the use of foods from your refrigerator and spice cabinet to make these natural dye colored Easter Eggs.
From by the bay wishing you a Happy Holiday filled with cherished food memories!
Maryann
blog egg dye
Making the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg
Place eggs in the bottom of a large pot add water to just cover the eggs along with a little sea salt and place on medium heat. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and cover with a lid for 13 minutes. Use a timer to make sure you are not over cooking your eggs. Once the eggs are done, run them under cold water to cool to stop them from cooking. The result will be a perfectly cooked hard boiled egg.
A Few Suggestions While Coloring Your Eggs
To start I suggest using glass jam jars with covers or 16 ounce plastic deli containers with lids. Add the cooled hard boiled eggs to the natural dyes. Make sure eggs are completely submerged in the dye, add a little water if the eggs are not covered. Place a lid on your container and place into the refrigerator overnight for intense colors. If you want softer color you can let eggs sit in dye for just a few hours in the refrigerator. Add hard boiled eggs to the dye once cooled unless recipe says otherwise. When making the dyes, I suggest using plastic gloves so not to stain your fingers.
blog eggs
Natural Egg Dye Recipes
Red Beets / Pink Eggs  – Grate 4 tablespoons of red beets and add to a heat safe container. Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 cup boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, strain and add eggs to dye.
Red Cabbage/ Blue Eggs – Add 3 tablespoons chopped red cabbage to a heat safe container. Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 cup boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, strain and add eggs.
Annatto Seeds/ Reddish Golden Color – Add 2 tablespoons annatto seeds ( achiote seeds) to 1 cup of water, bring to a boil for about 5 to 7 minutes. Strain. Add eggs to the dye.
Red Cabbage and Turmeric Powder/ Green Color – Add 3 tablespoons chopped red cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder to a heat safe container. Add one cup of boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, strain and add eggs. The result is a speckled color.
Turmeric Powder/ Deep Gold Color – Add 2 teaspoons ground turmeric powder to a heat safe container. Add  1 teaspoon white vinegar and one cup of boiling water. Once dye is cool add eggs . Rinse off any residual powder.
Paprika Powder/ Light Orange – Bring one cup of water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a boil, add 1 tablespoon paprika and continue to boil for 15 minutes. Place in a heat safe container, add eggs to dye while warm. Rinse off any residual powder
Red Easter Eggs
Makes 6 eggs
6 white eggs, room temperature
skins of 6 large spanish or yellow onions
3 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
In a medium ( 6 1/4 inch) sauce pan add the onion skins, water and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and place cover on the pan. Let simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain dye into a bowl and cool. The dye will appear orange, but it will yield red eggs. In the same medium sauce pan add the eggs in one layer. Cover with the cool liquid and add the salt. The eggs should be completely covered , if not add a little water until they are. Bring this to a low boil, reduce heat and cover the pan. Simmer no longer than 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a skimmer remove eggs and place on a wire rack to dry. Once dry, use a paper towel to rub olive oil on the eggs to give a glossy finish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve cold or room temperature