Jacki Corser: Give Easter entree, side dishes a versatile, traditional twist

·5 min read

Last week, I spoke to creating different and easy Easter entrees for family and friends. This week, I will offer a couple of entrees and side dishes that you may fit in your menu.

I love ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, etc., but let’s step out of the box and look at a different twist on main entrees and side dishes that will be enjoyed by all during this blessed season.

According to Martha Stewart.com, ham became the meat of choice for Easter dinner because it was more readily available than lamb. However, if ham isn't your main dish of choice, lamb, pork or roast beef can also be served.

I chose to included roast beef because it is versatile and can be played with and executed with your own personal flare.

My holiday table always offers a variety of options for guests mixed in with some traditional options. Especially at Easter I tend to present many varieties of foods because spring has sprung and we can open up to the many new eating possibilities ahead.

And with this I could not agree more!

Chef Jacki Corser is a culinary specialist who resides in Cumberland, Indiana. She is a college professor teaching culinary arts and safe food practices. Chef Jacki also works with impoverished communities, offering healthy eating seminars to individuals and families.

Easy Roast Beef

Roast beef
Roast beef

Serves 10


  • 4 lb. of beef roast

  • 2 Tbsp. each of sea salt and black ground pepper

  • 6 cloves of garlic

  • 2 Tbsp. of grass-fed butter ghee or avocado oil

  • ½ cup of beef broth

  • ½ cup of dry red wine

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary

  • 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced


  • Remove roast from refrigerator about 2 hours before starting recipe to allow it to come closer to room temperature. It will still be a little cool after 2 hours and that is fine.

  • In a small bowl, combine salt and pepper.

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

  • Use a sharp knife to make 3 slits on one side of the roast (about 2-3 inches deep), stuff each slit with one garlic clove and some salt and pepper.

  • Flip the roast over and make 3 more slits on the other side and stuff with garlic, salt and pepper.

  • Rub the remaining salt and pepper over the outside of the roast.

  • Melt butter over medium heat in an oven-safe skillet.

  • Sear all sides to brown (approximately time 15 minutes).

  • emove roast to a plate and deglaze the pan with broth and wine.

  • Place roast back in pan and place onion slices and rosemary sprigs around it.

  • Roast at 275 degrees until you get to 115 degrees (about 12-15 minutes per pound).

  • Remove to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and allow to rest for about 20 minutes. The internal temp will continue to rise as the roast rests.

  • Serving temp should be 130 degrees in the center for medium-rare.

  • Mix a few teaspoons of arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch with the pan juices to make a gravy.

  • Serve roast beef with gravy and onions.

Note: This can be made with an organic if you choose to do so. You can also change the meat and add or subtract ingredients suited to your eating style.

I make this roast beef and serve on a large cut crostini for and place on a tray or Easter buffet. You can also present this open faced with crusty bread and homemade gravy. A grainy mustard or creamy horseradish served on the side if desired.

Easy Asparagus Tart

Serves 6


  • 1 sheet puff pastry thawed

  • 2 Tsp. of Dijon mustard

  • 1 bunch asparagus tough trimmed

  • 3 cups of shredded gruyere cheese or choice

  • ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Use a rolling pin gently roll out puff pastry to an 11"x14" rectangle, then transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet.

  • Prick the puff pastry with a fork, then brush all over with the mustard.

  • Sprinkle gruyere over the puff pastry, leaving a 1" border on all sides.

  • Arrange asparagus spears to be parallel with each other or design of your choice

  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and puffy.

  • Slice into squares a serve.

  • If desired drizzle a balsamic on top, or have available for guests.

Baked Risotto with Lemon, Peas & Parmesan

Pea Risotto with Lemon
Pea Risotto with Lemon

Serves 4


  • 4 tbsp. of butter

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 yellow onion chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic chopped

  • 1 cup of arborio rice

  • 3 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan - plus more for serving

  • 1 cups of frozen peas thawed

  • 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper

  • Chopped fresh parsley for the garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.

  • Peel two 1-inch thick strips of zest from the lemon.

  • Add onion and lemon zest to the butter and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.

  • Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • Stir in rice, broth, and 1 teaspoon salt.

  • Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven.

  • Bake until rice is tender, 20 minutes.

  • Remove the lid and stir in Parmesan, peas, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and ½ teaspoon salt, stirring until butter is melted and peas are warm.

  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze half of the juice into the risotto; stir to combine.

  • Remove lemon zest and serve topped with more Parmesan and parsley.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Jacki Corser: Give Easter entree, side dishes a versatile twist