Calling all cooks. Easter dinner?

Eric Mitchell

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Feb 28, 2003
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Hi food lovers, I'd love if you could give me some help.

I love to cook, and cook for my friends all the time. I've offered to cook for my family this easter but I'm having a hard time deciding what. Most of my favorite dishes are italian or mexican or fair I don't exactly consider "Holidayish". I know I could cook one of those, but I'm really looking for something new. Any menu ideas/tips?

Right now I'm thinking of cooking a country ham. (Its a dry cured ham) Does anyone have experience with this?

I'm also considering sweet potatoes w/ garlic and herbs, and green beans w/ almonds.

Thanks!
 

Michelle Schmid

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We have ham every year at Easter. Yummy! My daughter really looks forward to this day because she gets to eat a "holiday ham!" Score it and add cloves and the whole house smells good! I add a nice mustard glaze and maybe some pineapple rings during the last 30 minutes. I like my sweet potatoes with marshmallows, though.
We also usually have asparagus with hollandaise (although green beans w/almonds sound really good, too), fruit salad, homemade dinner rolls (my gramma's were the best--too bad she can't make them anymore!), and deviled eggs (you just gotta do something will all those eggs!). For dessert, lemon meringue pie. Mmmmm, now I'm hungry!
 

Lew Crippen

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Lamb is a very fine choice at Easter. Depending on the number of guests you might serve a rack of lamb (or two) or a leg of lamb.

Green vegetables are a classic accompaniment. I think that garlic mashed potatoes would go well.

Make a sauce for the lamb, by pouring off some of the fat, adding red wine ( a cup or two) to the roasting pan, raise the heat to high and reduce by at least half, scraping up all of the bits of meat on the bottom of the pan into the sauce. You may need to use something like cornstarch to thicken.

I think that cabernet goes very well with lamb.
 

Jeff Gatie

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WARNING!! Do not cook a country ham like a "city" ham - i.e. do not score, glaze and bake. A country ham is a whole 'nother animal. First you must soak it for 2 days, changing the water 2-3 times a day. This gets rid of the salt. A country ham is cured, not partially cooked like a city ham, so it is rather dry and has a consistency sort of like proscuitto (italian country ham). Cook using alot of liquid in the pan to overcome the dryness. Look on the foodtv.com website at the show "Good Eats" with Alton Brown (a Southener from Georgia - he knows country ham). He has a recipe for country ham that uses Dr. Pepper as a liquid, looked rather good. He also explained how to de-hock the ham and how to carve. I've had country ham cooked like a city ham and it is a foul experience, salty, dry and not good at all. Properly cooked country ham is smooth as butter and very complex in taste, like westphalian or proscuitto, but more american.
 

Dave Morton

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Just buy a spiral cut ham, butt part not the shank. Cook it covered at 225 for 1.5 hours and you're done. You can put a glaze on it if you like.

Very easy and very tasty
 

Eric Mitchell

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Feb 28, 2003
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Thanks! All great ideas.

As for the country ham warning, thanks, but I actually got the idea for a country ham from that episode of "Good Eats"
Great show, I like how it always gets into the chemistry of cooking.

Unfortunatelly now I'm torn between the lamb and ham. I like them both, and each would be an experience.

Thanks again.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Eric,

How good a cook are you? I ask because lamb can be tricky if you've never cooked it before, especially a rack or leg, doubly so if you are frenching, crowning or boning it yourself. The ham, while requiring alot of prep work, would be an easier dish to tackle. You can ruin a rack or leg of lamb easily, there's no way you can over or under cook a ham if you follow the directions.
 

Lew Crippen

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Jeff makes a point on ease of cooking, but I think that if you know how to roast meat you will be fine. Just be sure not to overcook.

Have the butcher do the prep work (such as frenching a rack or turning it into a crown roast).

I only mentioned the lamb, as it is a classic Spring dish.
 

Eric Mitchell

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Feb 28, 2003
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Damn you all
I think I'll just go for it and cook a turducken.

But seriously, I'm up for a challenge and all of these are sounding too good. I'm told I'm a good cook. The lamb doesn't really worry me, but I'm not sure I'm interested in it this time around. Just a "gut" feeling I have.
 

Ryan Wright

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Laugh all you want, but we have rabbit for Easter every year. It's a family tradition my father and I started when I was in high school. Tried bunny, loved it, and thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be hilarious if we had this for Easter?"

The rest is history. I'm looking forward to a couple of delicious rabbit legs this Sunday.
 

teapot2001

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I had rabbit for the first time last week. It's not that bad except for the bones.

~T
 

Eric Mitchell

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Feb 28, 2003
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I'm not laughing, I'd be interested in trying rabbit but my littlest sister would hate me for life for cooking a bunny. Plus, if I accidentally tried to cook bun-bun he'd field dress me. (sluggy anyone?)

Anyway, back on topic. I think I'm pretty set on cooking the country ham, thanks for the other ideas. I'm really looking forward to it now. I'll make a bunch of rolls plus the sweet potatoes and green beans, some appetizers and a desert. Thanks again.

On another topic, I think there needs to be some sort of meat cooking thread. I'm liking some of these ideas and would happily welcome more.
 

Eric Mitchell

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Feb 28, 2003
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Bad news, I can't seem to find a country ham up here in WI. so I think I'll just do a regular ham. Lamb isn't tempting me right now. Thanks again.
 

Angelo.M

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My wife and I will divide cooking duties for our (mostly) Italian Easter dinner on Sunday. My main contribution is a variation of chicken saltimboca, which is easy to make and delicious.

You need boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin as you can get them (I pound my own, between two sheets of parchment or wax paper). Lay a slice of prosciutto, a sun-dried tomato and a bit of rosemary on each breast, roll, and secure with toothpicks. (The classic version uses no sun-dried tomato and sage instead of rosemary; I hate sage). I make one breast per guest and a few extra.

In a large saucepan, heat some good olive oil. Add garlic and just a few bits of dried red pepper. Next add onions or shallots and cook for a few minutes. When the onions are translucent, add the breasts, cooking on each side until golden. Then, add about a pound of sliced mushrooms and a mix of chicken stock and white wine. Cook until the liquid is reduced, and add some butter in the final stages to thicken the sauce.

Your guests will thank you afterward. The recipe can easily be made with veal. Some people add cheese inside; I prefer to offer it on top if wanted. We serve this with an insalata of mozzarella and plum tomatoes with basil and my wife's special pasta: ziti, white beans, spinach and garlic.

Now I'm hungry.
 

Philip_G

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being on the atkins

for easter I'm having a deep fried turkey. and probably not much else. a salad probly
 

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