No Easter Like Greek Easter

Ever since I went to my first Greek Easter six years ago, it has become one on my favorite holidays.

At first, I was a little nervous about eating lamb and other Greek food since there are many different seasonings (depending on the recipe you follow). But to my surprise, I greatly enjoyed the food and the red egg tradition. It is always fun to see how competitive people get when cracking an egg.

The Red Egg Tradition

By traditional, these eggs are made carefully and then woven into tsoureki (three-braided Easter bread that signifies the Holy Trinity) and is a key piece to the fun-game called tsougrisma (TSOO-grees-mah). The word means “clinking together” and obviously when you do that with eggs, they will crack. With Greek Easter, this cracking symbolizes Christ’s resurrection from the dead and birth into eternal life.

The Game

To play, each player holds a red egg, and one taps the end of her or his egg lightly against the end of the other player’s egg. When one egg’s end is cracked, the person with the unbroken egg uses the same end of the egg to try to crack the other end of the opponent’s egg.

To learn more about this tradition, follow this link here.

Now I mentioned trying lamb for the first time. Thankfully, my boyfriend’s family knew that this would be my first time attending a Greek Easter so they made the traditional lamb stew. There are different recipes that have a few tweaks to them but this is the one used.

Greek Easter Lamb Soup with Egg Lemon Sauce

Ready in: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs lamb, bone in
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 bunches dill, chopped
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped very thin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  1. Trim the lamb of most of the fat. Cut lamb into bite-sized pieces. If the bone is too thick to cut through, cut all the meat off, but save the bone. 
  2. Add olive oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add lamb and bone(s) and saute for 10 minutes, stirring often. 
  3. Add green onions and saute for another 3 minutes. 
  4. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then immediately lower to a simmer. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. 
  5. Add lettuce, dill, salt, and pepper. Simmer for one hour. 
  6. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice. 
  7. While whisking, ladle 2 ladlefuls of broth from the soup very slowly into the egg-lemon mixture. Make sure to keep whisking the whole time. You’re trying to bring the temperature of the eggs up. 
  8. Turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heat. Pour in the egg-lemon sauce and stir the soup immediately.
  9. It is important to not cover the soup, as the eggs may solidify.

Just Desserts

With Easter coming around the corner, here is a cute and delicious treat to share with the family!  Here is a step by step recipe for personal cheesecakes!

The first step is to Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, line your cupcake tin with liners.

First you will make the crust by mixing the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter.

Press the crust into the bottom of each of the cupcake liners.

Now it’s time to make the actual cream cheese layer.  Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer until blended.  Add eggs 1 at a time and mixing on a low speed after each egg is added until just blended.

Spoon the cheesecake mixture over the crusts.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the centers are almost set.  Let them cool completely and then refrigerate for 2 hours.

Now time to decorate!  You can use shredded coconut to form a nest and fill it with chocolate eggs.  If you are not a coconut person you can also use nut toppings which is what is pictured below.  They make the perfect Easter treat!

Here is the full recipe with instructions!

  • 1-1/4 cup graham crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. desiccated unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 54 speckled chocolate eggs (250 g)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix graham crumbs and butter; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
  4. Bake 18 to 20 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
  5. Top each cheesecake with 1 Tbsp. coconut; shape to resemble bird’s nest. Fill with chocolate eggs.

Let us know what you think of the cheesecakes! Have a great Easter lovelies!