Make Easter a special treat with the recipes below.
1-7 to 8 pound fully cooked smoked ham shank
1 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard ·whole cloves
Combine syrup, vinegar and mustard. Place ham, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Pour about 1/2 cup mixture over ham and bake, uncovered, in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours. Baste every 30 minutes with additional sauce. Remove ham from oven and score fat into diamond shapes. Insert a clove into each diamond. Bake ham an additional 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of meat registers 140 degrees. Let ham rest 15 minutes before carving.
Roasted Leg of Lamb
1 whole leg of lamb, about 6-9 pounds
20 peeled garlic cloves, larger ones sliced in half lengthwise
Fresh or dried rosemary
Fresh or dried thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Red wine (can use a dry white wine or lemon juice)
Prepare leg by removing most of the visible fat. Cut slits into top portions of roast with a small, sharp knife. Insert garlic clove into each slit and push down with finger until no longer visible. Rub the herbs, salt and pepper all over surface of meat. Do the same with the olive oil. Splash with wine or lemon juice and rub again. Cover and let lamb marinade for at least 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator about 1 hour before roasting.
Preheat oven to 450° F. Place lamb leg in shallow roasting pan. Roast for 10-15 minutes for initial searing, then reduce temperature to 350° F and continue to roast 8 minutes per pound for rare, 10 minutes per pound for medium, or 18 minutes per pound for well-done. Basting with pan juices or additional wine or water. (It is a very good idea to use an instant meat thermometer to make ensure that meat is desired doneness - rare 140°, medium 150°, well-done 160°.
Remove roast from oven when done and allow to rest 10-20 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, reduce the liquids in the pan and deglaze to get all the flavorful bits. Add wine or water if needed. Taste for seasoning. Slice meat and serve immediately, passing pan juices separately.
2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes (of fairly equal size)
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley and paprika for garnish
Wash potatoes and peel if desired. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes; lower heat and cover. Saute, adjusting heat as needed, stirring occasionally, until fork tender. Serve immediately.
Candied Sweet Potato's
This is my family's favoriterecipe. Try it.
8 medium (3 pounds) sweet potatoes
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brandy, orange juice or mixture of both
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cook potatoes in water until tender. Drain and cool. Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Place in shallow baking dish large enough to hold one layer. Melt butter and combine with remaining ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour over potatoes. Bake, turning once and basting with sauce, until hot, about 20 minutes.
Asparagus in Sour Cream Casserole
1 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus
salt and pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter
Remove the tough end of asparagus by snapping (hold each end firmly and bend...discard stem below break). STand the stalks in a deep kettle. Add boiling salted water to a depth of two inches and cook, tightly covered, until just done (about twenty minutes. Drain. Place in a greased caserole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread with 1 cup of sour cream. Sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, and then with 1 cup of soft bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup melted butter. Put in a 375 degree oven and bake until crumbs are brown (about 30 minutes).
Italian Easter Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk -- 120-130 degrees
2 Tablespoons butter -- softened
1/2 cup mixed candied fruit -- chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add milk and butter; beat 2 minutes on med. Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes on high. Stir in fruit, nuts and aniseed; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth, 6-8 min. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled; about 1 hour. If desired, dye remaining eggs (Leave the uncooked); lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Divide in half; roll each piece into a 24" rope. Loosely twist ropes together; place on a greased baking sheet and form into a ring. Pinch ends together. Gently split ropes and tuck eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.
Hot Cross Buns
2 packages active dry yeast (1/4 ounce, each)
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried currents
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons water
1 egg yolk
1 recipe Icing (below)
Have the water and milk at 110-115 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the warm milk sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Stir in the dried fruit and enough flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn over to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Punch the dough down and shape into 30 balls. Place on greased baking sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross (or X) on the top of each roll. Cover again and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Beat the water and egg yolk together and brush over the rolls. Bake at 375-degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Drizzle icing over the top of each roll following the lines of the cut cross.
ICING: Combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 4 teaspoons milk or cream, a dash of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Adjust sugar and milk to make a mixture which flows easily.
EASTER ORANGE-CHIFFON CAKE
You can serve this cake simply frosted or you can make my flight-of-fancy Easter basket. With my easy-to-follow directions and Cooking Lesson (bottom) you won't be a basket case making our basket cake.
1 cup egg whites (from 7 large eggs), at room temperature
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Yolks from 4 large eggs
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising) or 2 cups all-purpose
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
FROSTING (see Note)
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine (not spread),
at room temperature
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
4 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops red food coloring
Easter Basket (directions follow)
1. Heat oven to 325 F. Have a 9- to 10-inch tube pan ready. If pan has a removable bottom, do nothing to it. If not, lightly grease and line bottom with waxed paper. Lightlygrease paper (don't grease pan sides).
2. Cake: Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase mixer speed to high, gradually adding the 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until whites greatly increase in volume, are thick and glossy, and stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted.
3. In another large bowl, with electric mixer on medium (no need to wash beaters), beat remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, the orange peel and juice, oil, egg yolks and orange extract until well blended. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour, then baking powder and salt until batter is smooth.
4. Stir about 1/3 the whites into batter. Pour batter over remaining whites and gently stir (fold) with a rubber spatula until no white streaks remain.
5. Scrape into tube pan and smooth top. Bake 1 hour or until a pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Invert tube pan on a wire rack or hang on the neck of a glass bottle. Let cool completely.
6. Run a knife around edges and tube and remove pan. Loosen and remove bottom, or peel off paper. (Cake can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days or wrapped airtight and frozen up to 1 month.) Place cake right-side up on serving plate.
7. Frosting: Beat confectioners' sugar, butter, water and extract in a medium-size bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute until fluffy. Beat in food color, 1 drop at a time. Spread evenly over cake including inside of tube hole.
NOTE To save time, you can use 2 cans (16 ounces each) ready-to-spread vanilla frosting. Scrape frosting into a medium-size bowl. Stir in 1 1/4 teaspoons orange extract and food coloring (see directional) until smooth and evenly tinted a pale orange. Proceed asdirected.
1 Easter Orange-Chiffon Cake, frosted just before decorating
24 anisette sponge cookies (not anisette toast)
18 red licorice (strawberry) twists (each at least 5 inches long)
Wire clothing hanger, straightened and cut to 25 inches long
One 32-inch length and two 15-inch lengths of ribbon about 3/4-inch wide
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 drop green food coloring
Pastel-colored jelly beans
1 sugar-coated chocolate egg
1. Cut flat bottom off each sponge cookie (see Cooking Lesson, below). Turn cut-side down, rounded side up and cut in half from top to bottom. Trim each half, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick curved crust. Cut 1/2 inch from both ends (you'll have 48 two 3-inch-wide arches, a few more than needed).
2. Trim 15 licorice twists until 1/2 inch higher than cake. To make basket, press 1 licorice twist (post) against frosting. Starting at base of cake, place 3 sponge-cookie-arches evenly spaced over the post, gently pressing ends of cookies into frosting. Add second post as shown. Repeat with 2 cookie-arches creating a woven effect. Repeat around cake,trimming last cookie-arches if necessary to fit.
3. To make handle, bend wire hanger in a curve until ends are 8 inches apart. Cut both ends off remaining 3 licorice twists. Thread twists onto hanger leaving 3 1/2-inches hanger exposed on both ends. Stick ends into cake.
4. Weave the long ribbon through tops of licorice posts. Tie shorter pieces in bows around ends of handle.
5. Put coconut into a plastic food bag. Add green food coloring and shake until coconut is evenly tinted. Sprinkle a border around top of cake. Fill center hole of cake and coconut border with jelly beans. Set sugar-coated egg in middle.
COOKING LESSON: Basket Weave with Cookies
1. Cut each sponge cookie lengthwise in half. Cut the curved crust from each slice,making crust about 3/8 inch thick. You will use the curved crust for the basketwork.
Trim 1/2 inch from each end of curve (you'll have 48 curves).
2. To make basket weave, press 1 licorice twist (post) against frosting. Starting at base of cake, place 3 curved crusts evenly spaced over the post, gently pressing ends of crusts into frosting. Add second post. Repeat with 2 more pieces of curved crusts, creating a woven effect. Repeat around cake, trimming last pieces to fit.