Hosting a relaxed Easter brunch is a great way to catch up with family and friends, and there’s no better way to do it than on the grill. (Let other people wait in long lines for steam table food.) You can even cook while supervising an outdoor egg hunt for kids or adults.
We’ve collected some of our favorite brunch-worthy recipes from the thousands Steven’s published, making it easy for you to put together a crowd-pleasing menu, from cocktails to dessert.
From all of us here at Barbecuebible.com, Happy Easter!
Start the party with a twist on the classic Bellini cocktail, invented in the 1930s by Guiseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, and named after the pinkish toga of a saint in a painting he admired. (The artist’s name was Bellini.) In Steven’s version, the fruit is sugared, grilled, pureed, and topped off with bubbly Prosecco or Champagne.
Once you’ve tried our incomparable Smoked Deviled Eggs, kissed by wood smoke, plain ones are kinda “meh.” Hard-cooked eggs are peeled and lightly smoked before the filling is prepared. We love them topped with everything from chopped bacon to smoked salmon to chives. Tip: For perfectly centered yolks, lay the eggs on their sides on the carton the day before cooking. It really works!
A perennial favorite in the Raichlen household, Hot-Smoked Salmon is a great way to start a Sunday—especially Easter Sunday. Because salmon has a high oil content, it can occasionally be fishy-tasting. Steven likes to soak the fillet in spirits—rum, vodka, whiskey, or even aquavit—before curing in salt and brown sugar. For wood, he prefers cherry. Serve with your choice of condiments—chopped hard-cooked egg, chopped onions, capers, toast points or bagels, etc.
Here it is—an antidote to the ubiquitous egg bakes that will be on countless American tables on Easter Sunday. Bring out your biggest, baddest cast iron skillet and wow your guests with this sophisticated take on bacon and eggs.
Spring is maple syrup season in northeastern North America, meaning it’s a great time to make this addictive treat. (You’ll never want to fry bacon in the house again.) Cured, smoky bacon—Nueske’s is one source we recommend—is brushed with syrup, then crusted with brown sugar before being grilled. Cut into smaller pieces for serving, if desired.
For centuries, lamb has been traditionally served to celebrate Easter. If you don’t want to commit to the whole leg of lamb (incidentally, find our favorite source for lamb here), diminutive lamb chops fit the bill. They can be nibbled hot off the grill—that’s why they’re called “finger burner lamb chops.” No knife or fork needed, meaning they can be enjoyed by standing guests. Perfect for grilling on a hibachi if your larger grill is occupied.
From the pages of Steven’s book Project Fire comes this photogenic salad. Featuring one of our favorite seasonal vegetables—asparagus—it’s enlivened with a bright vinaigrette made by charring lemons and blending them with best-quality extra virgin olive oil. This is a recipe you don’t want to lose.
This simple dessert, which showcases whichever berries are in season, has been enjoyed for years by attendees of Barbecue University, the intense 3-day program Steven teaches annually at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. And because it uses store-bought pound cake—we’ve found Sara Lee’s just holds up better on the grill than homemade—it’s incredibly easy to make and serve. If only adults will be in attendance, add a splash of tequila or Grand Marnier to the cream after whipping.