By Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays. Certainly, the requisite chocolate doesn't hurt (Cadbury mini-eggs are my indulgence of choice - you have to love a day when it's appropriate to consume a whole pack of chocolate before noon!), but I love the time spent around a table packed with family, usually after a morning church service. Here are some of my favorite recipes, just perfect for this important holiday. Some are new, some old, but all would be perfect to share with anyone you love. Wherever you're celebrating, our team at Flavors wishes you bon appetit! 
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Truffle Deviled Eggs
These delicious starters are bright yellow (hopefully to remind you of spring daffodils and NOT of the pollen that has so ungraciously blanketed Atlanta of late) and the addition of truffle offers a twist on the traditional. This recipe appears in the spring (current) issue of Flavors and is courtesy of ADAiRE Professional Chefs. Best of all, they are quite easy to make! 
Yield: 6 servings

6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons truffle cream or shavings
1/4 cup mustard salt and white pepper to taste
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup truffle oil
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

Carefully cut eggs in half and remove yolks. To serve as pictured, halve eggs as shown and cut small slice
off bottom of each egg to stabilize them. Combine yolks, mayonnaise, truffles and mustard. Add salt and
white pepper to taste. Pipe yolk mixture back into egg whites. Toss arugula with truffle oil and finish with
salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh chives. 

Corn, Feta & Tomato Salad 
I love this recipe - it's simple and easy to double (or even triple for a large group). A friend passed it along to me years ago, and it's been a staple recipe for me ever since. Plus, I find that marjoram (the "secret" ingredient!) is an under-used herb, so it adds a nice surprising flavor. Forgive me for not having a photo immediately - hopefully I will add one after I make up a batch this Easter weekend! 
Yield: 4 servings

3 large ears of corn (you may grill these or microwave them, if you're in a hurry), shaved off of the cob
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half (use red  or orange, or a mix; yellow is too monochromatic with the corn)
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. fresh marjoram (may use dried, if necessary), the tiny leaves picked off of the stems
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled 

In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and feta cheese. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper (salt conservatively, so that you can add more later). Toss the dressing with the salad, and add the feta cheese and marjoram. *Since the feta is salty, taste first before adding more salt to taste. NOTE: While you can serve this salad immediately, the flavors marry well if left in the refrigerator for at least an hour. 
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Pesto Pork Tenderloin
This recipe was another favorite recipe from  ADAiRE Professional Chefs from my spring entertaining article in the current (print) issue of Flavors. I'm honestly not a huge fan of ham (I think I've been in too many countries where ham was a staple and it's turned me off a bit), but this recipe offers an updated take on traditional Easter pork. The pesto crust on the outside is a lovely green and the panko offers a nice crunch, while the meat is perfectly tender. 

Yield: 6 servings

2 cups chopped fresh basil 
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 pounds pork tenderloin
 salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor and
blend, scraping down the sides occasionally until well blended. Transfer to a bowl. Beat in Parmesan cheese
by hand then beat in softened butter and panko. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and coat with
the pesto mixture. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing and
serving. 

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New Perry Hotel Lemon Chess Pie
Growing up, I was a chocolate girl all the way - fruit didn't seem like much of a dessert. However, lemon chess pie was one of the things I always looked forward to, particularly this recipe, which is one of my mother's favorites. It was clipped out of a magazine ages ago (likely by my grandmother, "Dee Dee" or even her mother, Grandma Georgie), originally on the menu at the historic New Perry Hotel, in Perry, Georgia. I cheat a little and use a store-bought crust, but more power to you if you brave making your own (one of my goals for 2012!). It ends the meal on a sweet note, and it is beyond simple to make - just mix the ingredients, pour into the crust and let the oven do the rest of the work!

Yield: 8 servings


1 1/2 cups sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 large lemons 
Juice of 3 large lemons (under NO circumstances use bottled - fresh is the ONLY way to go!)
5 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
One 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar, zest and juice in a bowl. With a hand mixer, beat yolks in one at a time. Drizzle butter in, beating constantly. Pour filling into prepared pie crust and bake, on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack (pie should be room temperature before attempting to cut it). Enjoy! **Store in the refrigerator. 

 
 
By Jennifer Bradley Franklin


I read an article recently in one of my favorite Southern publications, Garden & Gun, about what sets Southern women apart from those originating from other regions. One excerpt from the piece struck me as particularly true. Author Allison Glock writes, “The reason we Southern women take care of ourselves is because, simply, Southern women are caretakers. An example: I have lived in the North off and on for fifteen years. In all that time, only once did another woman prepare me a home-cooked meal (and she was from Florida). I recently visited Tennessee for one week and was fed by no fewer than three women, one of whom baked homemade cupcakes in two different flavors because she remembered I loved them.”

In keeping with the theme of Southern women being natural nurturers, one of our Flavors editors recently gave birth to her second child and I’m pretty sure she’s not needed to cook a single meal in the the month since her son was born. An army of her friends have signed up on a very detailed calendar, offering to bring dishes - from casseroles to roast chicken and from homemade marinara to desserts - so that she can focus on being a mom.

This is a rather long-winded introduction to the purpose of this post: as Southerners, it seems to be in our blood to cook for others, relishing the opportunity to see someone else enjoy the fruits of our labor. It’s our way of saying, “I love you” or “I’m here for you.” With this in mind, here are some of my favorite “sharable” recipes from around the web (click the titles to view the whole recipe).
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Deep-Dish Apple Pie

This is my go-to recipe when I need a dessert - Ina Garten (a.k.a. Barefoot Contessa) never disappoints. Of course, the pie includes all of the spices you’d expect - cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (I sometimes add ginger too, even though it doesn’t call for it), but also incorporates citrus juice and zest for another layer of flavor. It’s delicious. If you don’t care to brave making your own crust, spring for the refrigerated variety from the grocery. I like to serve this with a simple homemade cinnamon whipped cream: ½ cup heavy cream, a few tablespoons of granulated sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon, whipped until fluffy. 

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Hearty Lentil Soup

I love this recipe because it makes a HUGE amount and it’s extremely healthy. The recipe above (via AllRecipes.com) doesn’t include meat. So, to make it a bit heartier, I add two bone-in, skinless chicken breasts and four thighs and then let it all simmer together for an hour. The chicken imparts a great, meaty flavor. Then, remove the chicken pieces and shred them with two forks, discarding the bones. Add the shredded chicken back into the soup before adding the spinach (it’s fine to use frozen, if that’s what you’ve got on hand).

Biscuit-Topped Chicken Potpie 

This recipe from Cooking Light offers a healthier twist on a classic recipe, which can be especially great for new moms who are watching their post-baby waistline. The use of ingredients like egg whites, white meat chicken, reduced fat milk and lots of veggies make this dish so hearty, you won't miss their fattier counterparts. Bonus: this dish is just as good the next day!