This menu contains the key elements for a traditional Easter dinner. The recipes for deviled eggs and Easter ham are from my mother, but the scalloped potatoes are a lighter rendition of the potatoes she served on Easter Sunday.
Happy Easter and bon appétit!
1 dozen small to medium eggs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 package vegetable food coloring, if coloring egg whites
About 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
About 2 to 3 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise
Optional seasonings: 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
Smoked or sweet paprika for seasoning and garnish
Smoked salmon or anchovy paste
Black olives, finely chopped
Stuffed olives, sliced for garnish
Fresh dill, parsley or cilantro leaves for garnish
Place eggs in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch.
Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Remove pan from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes.
Drain off hot water and add cold water.
Crack the eggshells in water, while they chill, about 20 to 30 minutes after adding the cold water.
Peel the eggs and drain off water.
Cut into lengthwise halves.
Remove the yolks and place in a bowl.
Set the whites aside.
If coloring the egg whites, mix colors according to package directions in individual dishes.
Meanwhile, with your fingers or rubber scraper, push the egg yolks through a sieve set over a mixing bowl.
With a mixer, add in butter bit by bit, beating well after each addition.
Add salt and mayonnaise just until the mixture is thick, creamy and mounds easily in a spoon.
Blend in optional seasonings according to personal preference.
Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe into the egg whites.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
1 fully cooked, ready-to-eat ham, about 12 to 15 pounds
1/4 cup whole cloves
1½ to 2 cups pineapple/cranberry juice (mixed)
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
About 1/2 cup cranberry/pineapple or orange juice
1 large can sliced pineapple, drained well and juices reserved
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Cut off skin and excess fat on the ham.
Score the ham cutting a half inch into the meat in a diamond pattern on all sides, including the bottom.
Stud the ham with a clove where the lines intersect.
Place the ham, fat-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan.
Pour pineapple/cranberry or orange juice in the bottom of the pan, making sure the juice does not touch the bottom of the ham. Reserve some juice for the glaze.
Cover the whole affair with parchment paper and then aluminum foil and secure the foil around the edges of the pan.
Place the ham in a preheated oven and allow it to steam for 2 hours, or until heated through.
Meanwhile, mix together brown sugar, dry and wet mustard, ginger, nutmeg and just enough juice until the mixture becomes a paste.
Remove the ham from the oven.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Pour off some of the water in the bottom of the pan if necessary.
Turn the ham over and spread some of the glaze on the bottom, now turned to the top.
Return the ham to the oven and bake uncovered until the glaze is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove the ham again and turn it over once more.
Arrange pineapple slices in a design on the ham, securing them with toothpicks.
Place a cherry inside each slice.
Spread the remaining glaze over the whole affair.
Return the ham to the oven and bake until the glaze is bubbly, and a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees, about 45 minutes longer.
Rest the ham for 20 minutes before slicing.
12 to 15 large Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
About 1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
About 8 ounces Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese, shredded
About 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Coat the bottom of a large baking pan, or two baking dishes that will accommodate all the potatoes, with olive oil.
Cut potatoes into thin slices.
Arrange a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the pan.
Scatter a thin layer of onions over the potatoes.
Drizzle a little olive oil and pepper on top.
Continue layering until all the potatoes are used.
Scatter Jarlsberg and Parmesan cheese on top.
Drizzle cream around the edges and some on top and bake until browned, about 25 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.
Continue to bake until the potatoes are tender to point of a fork, about 25 minutes.
Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
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One fine body…