So, about the rest of Easter dinner – each of these recipes were winners, and went over like gangbusters – so much so that everyone was fighting over the au gratin potatoes. My mother declared them the best she’s had in her 56 years. I guess that recipe, along with the others, is going into my permanent rotation.
We had some ham – since there were just 4 of us at dinner, I got another cottage ham from Thurn’s. It was just the right amount, and I even had a little tiny amount of leftovers for the next day. I used a different glaze recipe this time, though – which made a great sauce that complemented everything else on the plate. The picture came out a bit shiny.
Apricot Glazed Ham
recipe adapted from Recipezaar
3 lb. cottage ham (smoked pork shoulder)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 c. apricot preserves
3/4 c. hot water
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. dry mustard
Simmer cottage ham in a pot of water on stovetop for 2 hours. Remove netting from ham and place ham in baking pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients. Blend well, and pour over ham. Bake 40-50 minutes, and baste every 15 or 20 minutes with pan juices. Slice and serve, using extra glaze as a sauce.
Along with the ham, we had the aforementioned au gratin potatoes – I don’t know if these were so good because of what I cooked them in (a Le Creuset 2-quart casserole), or because of the recipe itself. Either way, the flavoring is spot on and it formed a nice crust where it met the pan. I used New York Cheddar, kind of on the sharp side.
Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin
recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse
2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly (not too thin – about 1/4″)
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a medium gratin dish with butter. Cover the cottom of the pan with an overlapping layer of potatoes. Lightly season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and top with a layer of cheese. Continue layering potatoes, seasoning and cheese, ending with the remaining cheese on top.
Pour the cream over the potatoes, pressing lightly with your hands to cover the potatoes with cream. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the cheese is absorbed into the potatoes and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake until the mixture is bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
And to complete the meal, we had some balsamic glazed carrots – we had a hard time deciding exactly what vegetable to have, but these were quite delicious and balanced the saltiness of the ham out nicely. We halved the recipe and still had a lot of leftovers.
Carrots Glazed with Balsamic Vinegar and Butter
recipe courtesy Bon Appétit
For ease, use the peeled baby carrots sold in plastic bags in the produce section of most supermarkets.
Makes 10 servings.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 1/2 pounds peeled baby carrots or regular carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté 5 minutes. Cover and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in sugar and vinegar. Cook uncovered until carrots are tender and glazed, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chives and toss to blend. Transfer to bowl and serve.
Oh, I almost forgot – we also had store bought hot cross buns. I think we didn’t even cut into these, and sent them home with my mother for her to enjoy with coffee.
All in all, quite the satisfying plate. I may just replicate this entire meal for next Easter as well.
And how was YOUR Easter?