Easter Preview

 

Easter was always a time spent with lots of family,  lots of food and other things. This year will be hard on most people, not being able to get together, search for colored eggs or we always loved to play croquet in the big backyard. Whatever you do I’ve added some of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy.

Deviled Eggs

  • 1 dozen large eggs, two weeks old
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, approximately
  • 1-2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoon red wine or sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped shallots
  • ½ teaspoon finely snipped chives, reserve some for the garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Paprika or Smoked Pimenton (Spanish Paprika), optional

The shell of fresh eggs is tightly attached to the egg itself whereas older eggs the white inside has started to pull away from the shell, making them easier to peel. When peeling begin at the large end; with an older egg there will be a little air pocket there making it easier to get away from the white.

To hard boil, arrange eggs into a saucepan and cover with cool water. Over high heat bring to a boil and immediately turn the heat off and cover the eggs for 15 minutes.

Prepare an ice bath, a large bowl that will hold all the eggs, fill with ice and when eggs have finished cooking drain off the hot water and place eggs into the ice, cracking a bit of the shell as you do. Cover with cool water and let stand until completely cooled, 20 minutes or so. This step can be done a day ahead of time, after eggs have cooled refrigerate until ready to use.

Cut eggs in half lengthwise with a chef’s knife, not a serrated knife. Pop out the yolks into a mixing bowl. If you don’t have a plate for deviled eggs you can shred some radicchio or dark red lettuce onto a serving plate. If using the lettuce, slice a tiny piece from the round end of the egg so it doesn’t roll. Arrange egg whites cut side up on the lettuce.

Mash yolks with fork then stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. Mix ingredients together well. Add sea salt and pepper, to taste. If the yolks aren’t creamy enough add a little more mayonnaise. You can also adjust the mustard and vinegar to taste.

Place the mixture into a pastry bag or a plastic storage bag, snip a diagonal piece from the bottom corner of the storage bag and use as a piping bag. Pipe the yolk mixture or spoon into each egg white half, dividing evenly as possible between the eggs.

Sprinkle eggs with paprika and/or minced chives if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. If refrigerating, you’ll want to cover with plastic wrap; place toothpicks into egg whites around the outer edge of the plate and in the center to make a ‘tent’ with the plastic wrap so it doesn’t touch the egg yolks.

 

Oven Roasted Dijon Chicken

4 servings

  • 2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup panko
  • ½ cup toasted breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 ° and line a sheet pan, that will hold all the chicken pieces without touching each other, with aluminum foil.

Melt the 2 teaspoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the panko and breadcrumbs, toast for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from the heat.

Mash in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter into the mixture.

Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, then brush or slather the mustard mixture all over, then roll the entire piece of chicken into the breadcrumb mixture. Place the chicken on the baking sheet.

Roast for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken should register 165 degrees. Depending on the size of the chicken pieces it may take less or more time to cook.

 

Honey Baked Ham

  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup apricot preserves
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 8-10 pound bone-in spiral cut ham fully cooked

Remove ham from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position.

Whisk together honey, brown sugar, apricot preserves, apple dicer vinegar, mustard and spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, for about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Cut 2 pieces of foil that will wrap around the ham, Lay them in a baking pan crossing in the middle, one lengthwise and one crosswise, like a cross. Place ham on foil and brush ham all over with approximately 1/3 of the glaze, including in between slices. Tightly wrap ham and bake ham for approximately 10-13 minutes per pound.

Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 400°.

Carefully unwrap ham from foil and spoon any juices from the bottom of the pan into the saucepan with the glaze, rewarm over low to medium heat then brush ham all over and in between slices with 1/3 glaze.

Leave ham uncovered and bake until the ham reaches an internal temperature of around 130°, approximately 10-20 minutes, spooning juices over ham every 10 minutes.

Remove ham from oven and spoon juices from bottom of pan again all over ham and brush with the last of the glaze, including in between slices.

Remove ham and loosely cover with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Potato Gratin

This rich, creamy gratin gets a note of smokiness from the bacon between the layers of tender potatoes.
by Molly Stevens from Fine Cooking
Serves 8

  • 2-1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy or light cream
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. bacon
  • 3 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. grated Gruyère
  • 2 to 3 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Butter or oil a 3-quart gratin dish; set aside.

Put the potatoes, cream , 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a 12-inch skillet. Simmer, partially covered, over medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and gently with a rubber spatula until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a fork or skewer, 8 to 12 minutes.

In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until browned and fully cooked. Set aside to cool, reserving 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Heat the reserved fat over medium-high heat and sauté leeks until tender, fragrant, and lightly browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper. When the bacon is cool, crumble it into small pieces.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the potatoes to the prepared gratin dish, spreading them evenly. Layer on the leeks, bacon, Gruyère, thyme, and nutmeg. Top with the remaining potatoes spreading them evenly, and pour over any liquid remaining in the pan.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and melted butter.

Evenly scatter the topping mixture over the potatoes. Bake the gratin until it’s bubbly, the top is brown, and the potatoes are completely tender when poked with a fork or a skewer, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the gratin sit for at least 10 and up to 30 minutes before serving so the liquid is fully absorbed and the layers are cohesive.

 

French Apple Cake

With chunks of sweet apples nestled in a tender and buttery rum cake, this French apple cake is the essence of simplicity.

Jenn Segal, Once Upon a Chef
Servings: 6-8

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling over cake
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I like Honeycrisp, Fuji or Granny Smith)
  • Confectioners' sugar (optional), for decorating cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform or regular cake pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. If using a regular cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease again.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and rum. Don't worry if the batter looks grainy at this point; that's okay.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped apples.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even the top. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a rack. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake.

If using a springform pan, remove the sides. If using a regular cake pan, carefully invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, then gently flip the cake over and place right-side-up on a platter. Using a fine sieve, dust with Confectioners' sugar (if using). Cake can be served warm or room temperature, plain or with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Freezer Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, cover it tightly with aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

 

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