Cook's Corner: Here comes Peter Cottontail

Published 4:08 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2006

By By Lisa Tindell
With Easter just over two weeks away, I thought now might be the best time to start thinking about what to prepare for that special day.
Easter at my house as always meant ham, potato salad, sweet peas and deviled eggs. Over the past few years a broccoli salad has been added to the menu as well. Of course we have dessert which is the traditional coconut cake or maybe a lemon ice-box pie.
Besides the fact that the day is a special recognition of the resurrection of Jesus, it's one of my favorite holidays.
Yep, Easter is right up there with Thanksgiving. Except for the Easter basket and inevitable bunny visitor, this day is for reflection, family and new life! Great food always accompanies the day, or days, surrounding Easter, that is why I love this holiday.
If you have grown weary of the same old ham and potato salad menu for your Easter celebration, maybe the recipes I'll share over this week and next will give you some fresh ideas.
With the change in seasons, it seems that our taste buds are looking for a change as well. It's time to put away the crock-pot soup/stew recipe cards and reach for something fresh, green and cool.
This first recipe is one for a salad that fits the bill on all of those points.
Mandarin Salad
One-half pound bacon
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. honey
One-half tsp. dry hot mustard
One-half tsp. celery salt
One-half tsp. ground paprika
One-fourth cup olive oil
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 bunch green onion, diced
Three-quarters cup slivered almonds
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until evenly brown. Drain, cool and crumble. To make the dressing, thoroughly blend the vinegar, honey, dry mustard, celery salt, paprika and olive oil. Place lettuce, oranges, green onion, bacon and almonds in a serving bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.
If you plan on baking a ham, there are many ways you can spruce up the flavor. Of course, simply baked ham is wonderful on its own, but when you bake it with a glaze some of the flavors are unbelievable.
I remember a time when my mother would take brown sugar, orange juice and mustard to mix up a glaze for our ham. As I recall it was wonderful with a sweet, tangy flavor. Below you'll find a few ideas on some glazes that will dress up any ham. Bake the ham as you usually would basting with your choice of glaze during the last hour of baking time. Baste several times during that hour to ensure a well crusted glaze. These glazes also would taste great on a whole roasted chicken, turkey or turkey breast!
Orange Glaze
1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
One-half cup honey
1 tsp. ground cloves
Mix ingredients until well blended.
Mustard Glaze
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Three-fourths cup white sugar
1 tbsp. mustard powder
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
One-half cup tarragon vinegar
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and mustard powder until evenly blended. Whisk together the milk and egg yolks in a saucepan, and slowly whisk in the mustard mixture. Stir in the vinegar. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thickened.
Pineapple Glaze
1 (15.25 ounce) can sliced pineapple, drained with juice reserved
1 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 cup brown sugar
Before baking ham, place pineapple slices on ham with toothpicks and place cherries in center of pineapple. In a medium microwave safe bowl combine brown sugar and reserved pineapple juice. Mix together and microwave for about 5 minutes, until mixture is thick. Pour some of this glaze over the ham about every 15 minutes in the last hour of baking, until all is used.
Apple Pie Ham Glaze
1 (20 ounce) can apple pie filling
1 tbsp. prepared yellow mustard
2 tbsp. barbeque sauce
2 tbsp. honey
Roast ham for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. While the ham roasts, mix together the apple pie filling, mustard, barbeque sauce and honey. Coat ham with the mixture when the 30 minutes are up. Return to the oven uncovered and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until ham is heated through.
There are many other glaze recipes that you might find helpful in putting a little zest in your baked ham. I hope that you enjoy trying some of these recipes.
Next week, I plan to cover some side-dish recipes and maybe even throw in a good dessert recipe as well.
Until then, Happy Cooking!

Email newsletter signup