Easter Dinner

on Tuesday, 19 April 2011. Posted in Food & Wine

Spring has sprung with daffidils

daffidils_up_closeI love spring. I go outside daily to see and record all the changes. In my garden Daffodils are the first large flowers to come up, and they don't get eaten by deer (unlike tulips). They come in so many colors and patterns and have a long blooming season. The full yellows seem to come out first and then the multicolored varieties follow. My daffy season finishes with fragrant multipetaled colored varieties. Because I live in coastal Maine,  Easter is daffies, pussywillows, and grass just starting up. I have childhood pictures of me in my Easter bonnets with new white gloves and ankle socks in front of my Mom's black tulips and in snow suits because of an early snowstorm. But regardless of the weather, Easter dinner is about families coming together.

My family tradition is to have ham for Easter. When I met my husband, I Ham_Cooked_with_Pinapple_Ringsadded a number of other foods to my Easter dinners such as kielbasa, paska, garlic cloves dipped in honey, and kolachki. I have chosen to showcase an easier version that isn't sweet that everyone can make. Join my family with this dinner and drink Soft Southerly mead from Fiddler's Reach LLC. The soft sweetness that comes from the Leatherwood honey from Georgia  compliments the foods so well, that one bottle just may not be enough for everyone to finish dinner and dessert. Easter_Dinner

 

Easter Dinner

Baked Ham Studded with Cloves and Pineapple Slices

Roasted Organic Red Beets

Green Vegetable Casserole

Mashed Sweet and Red Potatoes

Salad with Watercress, Tomatoes and Crackled Dyed Eggs

Russian Honey Mazurka (for dessert)

Baked Ham

Buy a large shank or butt ham. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat the pan that you will be cooking it in with a non-stick spray.  Put the ham face down on the pan. Then using a sharp knife, score the fat sections into a grid of squares. Insert a clove into the center of eachHam_studding_with_cloves square. Once you have finished, put the ham into the oven to bake. Allow 20-25 minutes per pound to cook. When finished, place pineapple rings over the cloves and return to the oven for ten minutes. Remove and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Boiled Beets and Crackled Eggs

If you don't want red hands on Easter, I would do these ahead of time.  You will be cooking the beets and the eggs together. Take small organic red beets and cut the stems off. Boil the eggs with the beets until they are tender.  Remove the eggs and run under cold water to cool. Gently crack the shell but do not remove and put the eggs into a bowl. When the beets are finished cooking, drain them BUTCrackled_dyed_eggs cover the eggs with beet water and let them sit in the beet water in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. When the beets are cool enough, slip the peels off and refrigerate. Reheat either whole, sliced, or in wedges for the dinner table.  For the salad, put a small amount of watercress or spring greens on the plate. After peeling the eggs, slice and arrange. Add slices of yellow carrots and dress with a mustard honey vinagrette. 

Mashed Sweet and Red Potatoes 

Not everyone likes candied sweet potatoes. A great savoryMashing_Sweet_and_Red_Potatoes dish is to combine two potatoe types. Peel red potatoes and cut into 1/2" dice. Put into a pan with cold water to cover and start the pot to boil. Then peel sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4" dice. Once the sweet potatoes are prepared, add them to the pot with the other potatoes. Boil until tender, drain, and place the potatoes back into the pot to dry out on a warm burner for 2 minutes. Mash well. Add some butter, cream or milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chopped fresh chives.

Green Vegetable Casserole

1 lb of fresh organic green beans, stemmed and cut in 1/2

1/2 cup sliced sweet onion

1 medium organic zucchini cut into quarters and chopped

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 soup can  of half and half or whole milk

2 ounces sherry wine or better yet - Soft Southerly mead

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon dried dill weed

After prepping the veggies, steam the green beans untilCarmelized_sweet_onions_and_green_veggies crisp/tender. Quickly rinse under cold water and dry. While the green beans are cooking, saute the sweet onion in a little olive oil until caramelized on low heat. Add the zucchini slices and lightly brown/caramelize. Add the beans and saute for 2 minutes to blend flavors. In a bowl, mix the soup, 1/2 soup can of half and half or milk, the sherry, nutmeg, salt & pepper and dill. Add to the veggies and stir. Remove from heat. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly.

Enjoy your Easter holidays.

Alice

copywrite 2011 Alice Bean Andrenyak


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