Free Range on Food: Learning to cook, Passover, taking control of the kitchen, this week’s recipes and more!

It’s spring and so even with all the stress and sorrow over the coronavirus pandemic, we look forward to precious holidays, buds and blooms.

How are you celebrating Passover and Easter this year? Are you going to gather with family and friends on Facebook, through Zoom?

Food writer Susan Barocas, who is joining us for the chat today, plans to that. And she offers a few variations on favorite Passover dishes, such as a vegetarian matzoh ball soup, a nut-free haroset and a delicious herby kuku, for a year that will be less than traditional

Even if you’re enjoying the meal with your small household, your brisket is a great idea because you can enjoy the leftovers throughout the holiday. Try Ellie Krieger’s terrifically tender recipe. Ellie also is joining us for the chat.

Eggs are a big part of both Passover and Easter celebrations. If you can get your hands on them, we want you to make the most of the experience, so we pulled together a primer on ways to hard-cook them by steaming or boiling.

And, Becky Krystal poached a batch, figuring out the simplest way is also the best.

Trouble finding certain products or ingredients? We’re trying to help. Becky has a collection of sweet treats that can be made without eggs or flour.  If you do have flour on hand, Becky, who has been finding comfort in baking like the rest of us, recommends seven layer cakes to try.

Sometimes the fresh herb selection is sparse at the grocery, so Becky reminds us to make the most of the dry seasonings in our pantry. 

These days, a lunch break can be a bright spot in a day. Becky gathered a few recipes that will make those lunches at home a little more special. And Kari Sonde rounded up sandwich options for when you’re just not feeling the whole cooking vibe.

Becky pulled together some braises, breads and slow-cooker recipes for those long days at home.

Do you crave pasta when you’re stressed? Try Joe Yonan’s Pasta With Pecorino and Pistachios, which looks like a bowl of spring deliciousness.

Speaking of pretty, make this super-easy golden puff pastry quiche, which was almost too lovely to cut into.

If you’re craving a fried chicken fix, but don’t want the calories or mess, try Ellie Krieger’s Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken With Chicory Salad. It’s so delicious that we made it to test it – and then make it again just to eat it again.

Spinach, frozen or fresh, adds nutrients and flavor to a variety of dishes. Kari Sonde rounded up some of our favorites from the Recipe Finder at The Post.

We know there are plenty of folks who are learning to cook or are trying new things now while practicing social distancing at home. Daniela Galarza is here to talk about that phenomenon, and we’re all here to help. For example, check out Becky’s collection of advice and recipes to help you in your “stay-at-home baking” efforts. 

Tamar Haspel advises us all that now is the time to take stock — literally — of our kitchens, and make changes for the better.

And, Virginia Willis, award-winning cookbook author, is here in the chat today to share tips for making the most of our pantries, freezers and refrigerators.

Feel free to ask us questions here in the chat or through email at [email protected].

We’re standing by.

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