Favorite Family Easter Traditions, Plus A BIG Easter Ham Give-Away!

It’s almost Easter! Are you ready? We’re here to help. We’re giving away TWO coupons for FREE EASTER HAMS!

Here’s what you have to do to win:

1) Watch the above video in which my husband and I share one of our favorite Easter traditions and pork recipes. It involves sausage and Italian mothers and their sons. How can you go wrong with that combo?

2) Share your favorite family Easter pork tradition or recipe in the comment section below between now and March 28, 2012 (midnight PST).

3) Boost your chances of winning by sharing this give-away announcement on Twitter and mentioning @Porkandknife.

Italian Sausage Bread Recipe from Jeff’s Mom, Dorothy
Makes 10-12 slices

1 pound pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1/2 cup diced hard pepperoni or diced pepperoni slices
6 large eggs, lightly beaten, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 small balls of fresh mozzarella (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F, and center a rack. Roll out 1 pound of room temperature homemade or store-bought pizza dough into a rectangle about 10 X 12 inches on a lightly floured counter top. Transfer to an unrimmed cookie sheet coated with a little cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel while cooking the filling.

2. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage into small pieces. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Add pepperoni. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, mozzarella, Parmesan, and parsley. Cook 2 to3 minutes, stirring several times. The eggs should be partially cooked, and the cheese partially melted and stringy. Overcooking the eggs will make them dry. Let egg mixture cool for about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Spread egg mixture on dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Turn the shorter sides of the dough up on to the filling. Then roll the dough into a loaf, in a jelly-roll fashion. Turn the roll over with the seam on the bottom. Place in the middle of the pan. Brush the top of the loaf with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Cool slightly before serving. Eat hot or at room temperature. Wrap leftovers in tin-foil and refrigerate. Toasted, they make a delicious breakfast the day next.

33 thoughts on “Favorite Family Easter Traditions, Plus A BIG Easter Ham Give-Away!

  1. Thanks for the video. Never heard of “Pizzagaina”, but sounds like a great dish to serve a crowd I may have to give that dish a try someday. My family’s tradition actually starts the day before Easter where we host a very large egg hunt for friends and neighbors in the community followed by a casual cookout (hmm… maybe insert pizzagaina here) which normally turns into a potluck with families who come year after year and contribute to the event. Easter Sunday, both my husbands and my families come mid morning. The cousins enjoy an egg hunt with brunch ready when they finish. A super eary ham dish I found 2 years ago has become a hit and has been requested again this year:
    Cheese Ham and Potato Casserole
    1 (32oz) package frozen hash brown potatoes
    8 oz diced,cooked ham
    2 cans condensed cream of potato soup
    1 pint container of sour cream
    2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix hash browns, ham, cream of potato soup, sour cream, and Cheddar cheese. Spread evenly into prepared dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 1 hr or until bubbly and lightly brown. Serve immediately.
    Happy Easter!

  2. i have also never heard of Pizzagaina. we usually go with corned beef & cabbage on easter for our celebration. i recently used martha stewart’s recipe. it’s great cuz she posts a video online & shows you how to make it so it leaves little room for error. here is the link to the recipe i used:
    i would suggest cutting back on the salt a little for the brine & only letting it brine for 4 days. for st patrick’s day this year i used this recipe for the first time & i let it brine for 6 full days w/ the appropriate amount of salt, & it turned out much too salty. i could only taste the salt & i had really hoped the mustard & spices would come through in the meat, yet it did not. i know a lot of people make ham for easter & i might try that this year for a first, but i need a good recipe for it. a recipe low in salt for the ham would be great.

  3. I’m coming to your place for Easter – all those pies sound absolutely divine!

    Our family gathers with my mother, my sister and my nieces the week before Easter to make nut rolls. Everyone has a “station” and a specific task. There are 6 of us so it doesn’t take long if EVERYONE does her part! This recipe is handed down through my mom’s side of the family and adapted to our taste. We like a lot of filling.

    Nut Rolls (preheat oven to 350 degrees)

    1 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter or margarine melted
    3 eggs
    1/2 pint sour cream
    1 ounce yeast
    1/2 cup warm mile
    1 teaspoon sugar
    7 cups flour
    1 cup raisins (golden preferred) (optional)
    3 pounds ground walnuts
    1 cup plus 3 tablespoons melted butter
    2 cups sugar
    egg whites

    In a large bowl, mix first 4 ingredients. Add sour cream. Mix yeast with warm mile and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add this. Mix in flour. Knead dough. Then divide into 6 or 7 sections.

    Filling: Melt rest of butter. Add rest of sugar and stir till dissolved. Add walnuts and/or raisins and vanilla. Divide filling into 6 or 7 parts.

    Roll out each section of dough & spread beaten egg white on top then spread filling. Roll up jelly roll fashion. Seal with egg whites. More egg white on top.

    Place in loaf pans. We line them with parchment paper. Bake for 30 min or till lightly browned. We wrap the finished products in foil. They can be frozen. They make wonderful gifts. My aunts add cinnamon to their recipes.

    We mail these rolls to out of state family members. Pack carefully!

  4. I think that we have eaten Ham every year for Easter for the past 50 years! The side dishes and desserts may vary, but we’ve always served ham. How could we go wrong?!?
    Your video/story was cute and I think my husband will love your recipe–thanks for sharing.
    I’m afraid I don’t have a really clever/creative story, but we really do love ham!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Besides making a spiral ham, I also make an Easter Pie which includes ham. My mother made it for so many years but since she passed away I am carrying on the tradition. It’s my Italian mother’s recipe so if I tell you the recipe, then …

  6. My Italian mother in law makes something similar but calls it pizza rustica. Only at Easter and she makes me my own so I can eat it all week! Has been doing that for 17 years! Love her. My Irish family sticks with roast lamb for Easter dinner. This year we will do lamb and ham since my dh’s family will also be joining us. 25 people in my little house! Wish me luck!

  7. You two are adorable! I enjoyed watching your video a lot. :) I can imagine how good it is to toast up the Italian Sausage Bread the morning after Easter. Can’t wait to make my own.

    My family’s favorite Easter Pork family is pretty traditional. It’s my Mom’s special recipe that she takes the ham, massage it with brown sugar, orange zest and insert cloves all over it. Then bake/roast it with orange juice, pineapple slices and cherries. It’s so good! The sweet, tang, and salty combination is the best!

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  8. My aunt usually cooks the ham and has a special way to fix it. Slow cooked with pineapples and cherries for garnish on top. Taste so good.

  9. Easter is a favorite holiday in our house as it combines three of my daughter’s favorite things: an exciting story, dyeing eggs, and ham. We cook our ham fairly simply, but we always serve it with a friend’s recipe for baked pineapple!

  10. I’ve never heard of a pizzagiana either. Sounds good though! Unfortunately, I don’t have a great pork story, but my family has a long and proud tradition of serving Baked Ham at Easter and I look forward to it every year. It’s delicious, and traditional and for me, an ultimate comfort food.

  11. Love the video…I am from an Italian family and the pizza-gaina/ pizza- rusticia is what I remember about Easter. Yes we had ham and the traditional Italian American dinner- but for me it was the ham pie that stole the show. As a mom now- my kids love to help me make it and they love to eat it. Nothing melts my heart on Easter to look over at my children and see them noshing on a big piece of ham pie…Buona Pasqua

  12. We usually roast a ham for Easter dinner, but the real treat and tradition is the next day we have lentil soup made with leftover ham and the soup bone. We all look forward to it and I make homemade bread to go with it

  13. Pizzagaina,,,Pizza Rustica…Ham Pie…whatever you want to call it, it’s definitely on our Easter menu….along with ham, leg of lamb, asparagus & Rice Pie.

  14. Love ham cooked anyway…. but especially love the leftovers for breakfast and ham salad.

    Thank you for the giveaway.

  15. We make an unusual side dish made with cooked rice, breakfast sausage, poultry seasoning, onions, celery, and sliced green olives. Yummmm!

  16. Being of Italian descent, we keep traditions going by having some kind of pasta dish as an entree, followed by roast. The meat is traditionally roasted lamb or sometimes goat (capretto) with sides. Then comes the desert finale, sweets of assorted cookies, cakes and Italian cheese pies. I’m looking forward to Easter…hope you have a great one, Susan.

  17. We always have ham and our Easter wouldn’t be the same without my mother-n-law’s Italian shadone and my cucidati (Italian fig cookies). My mother-n-law bakes with her childhood friend from Cleveland’s Little Italy – traditions are such fun!

  18. You two are wonderful! Jeff, in Italy the day after Easter is a holiday, so one can have a lovely breakfast with the leftovers from the day before without having to worry about going to work. My family Easter traditions are the traditions of northern Lazio: we had breakfast with pizza di Pasqua (a yeasted cake only lightly sweetened and flavored with orange zest), hard-boiled eggs, salame and capocollo (from the pork meat we had purchased a few months prior that had been cut and cured) and then fresh sheep ricotta. That was my favorite meal of the year.

  19. Pizzagiana sounds pretty tasty! For our family pork, and more specifically ham and bacon have a special place at almost every holiday meal, even Thanksgiving! I have a pretty absurd pork story but it’s not from Easter, it’s from this past New Years. Last year I purchased my own home and looked forward to hosting a holiday for my family (finally), so New Years Day 2012 was mine! I proudly purchased a fancy country ham (brand not to be named but it’s well known) at a gourmet grocery store in town, soaked the thing for 24 hours (which is a right pain!) and then put it in to roast for another 8 hours or so. During the soaking process I called my mom a few times because the smell was a little yeasty and it worried me…can’t be ruining the first holiday I host! She assured me that it was fine and was all in my head. New Years Day mom came over early to cook peas (good luck) and other sides, I kept begging her to smell the ham…convinced it wasn’t right. Again she said it was ok and I just wasn’t used to the smell since we usually buy pre-cooked spiral sliced hams. Moment of truth, we slice the beast and serve it…I’m still convinced something is wrong but the whole family takes pieces of the ham, bites into it and then (even after I’ve tasted it and mouthed to my mom that I just can’t eat it — it was gross) they all proceed to act like it’s good. I couldn’t hold it in any longer and proceed to apologize to my whole family, tell them not to eat the ham because its just tasting off. They all disagree and finally after a few minutes of protest my dad breaks down and says yes, it does taste strange. Gamey, oily, salty…all in all gross. Fast-forward, thanks to a large volume of appetizers and sides New Years isn’t a disaster but a bit of a joke, come to find out the ham I lovingly cooked and messed with for more than two days was rancid! The company who made the ham refunded the money but man it took days to get that smell out! Needless to say, I definitely have to make up and atone for that ham-disaster!

  20. My favorite Easter dishes are baked honey ham accompanied by cheesy potato casserole. cheese+potatoes+ham= a happy mouth and full tummy.

  21. Our Easter dinner tradition is Ham with pineapple and brown sugar, potato salad, deviled eggs, and baked beans. The ham would be a great prize to share with my family.

  22. Years ago we started having the “easter bunny” leave clues all through our house to the final location of the “easter baskets”. This prolonged the search and made the easter fun last a little longer and the kids loved solving all the clues. My kids are now 19, 17 and 10 and still ask every year if we are going to do the scavenger hunt with clues. The older I get the harder the clues seem to get, but I still spend the Friday night before the “hunt” on Saturday coming up with all the clues. We enjoy our baskets on Saturday so that Sunday is left for church and family time. Of course a ham is always a part of our Easter Lunch!

  23. Your recipes sound great. I may have to try them and start some new Easter traditions. My husband and I are 100% Polish, but I always liked Italian food better. I too was intimidated by my mother-in-law’s specialty–pierogies. You had better luck with sausage bread than I had with pierogies when I first attempted to make them. I’ve perfected them after 35 years.

    Since we are Polish we always have to have ham and kielbasa with horseradish for Easter.
    However, one of my oldest friends, who is Italian, showed me how to bake a ham a long time ago, and I always make it this way. I insert cloves and put pineapple slices on top. Then you just pour the pineapple juice over it. The last ingredient is a product which originated in my home town of Detroit–Vernors ginger ale.

  24. ha! ha! You guys are hilarious! You should take your act on the road- hee! hee! Not being Christian, we don’t really have an Easter tradition. But, just like any other holiday that revolves around food, we love to partake in the festivities! We hide eggs around the yard for the kids, and invite the family over for dinner. Since Persian New Year is usually a couple weeks before Easter, the family has been getting together and eating for weeks now!

  25. I enjoyed your video! You sure seemed to have a lot of fun making this video! And the recipe suggestions sound good, too.
    I usually take the lazy way out and cook my Easter Ham in a crockpot like this:
    1 Ham, pre-cooked, bone-in, spiral cut
    3 Cups Brown sugar
    1 Can pineapple tidbits, undrained
    Cover the bottom of the crockpot with brown sugar. Place ham on top of the brown sugar and add the pineapple tidbits with the juice. Sprinkle ham with more brown sugar. Cook for 7-8 hours. Done and delicious!
    We just have a quiet, laid back Easter. Nothing fancy.

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