Easter Dinner 2011

This, being the first Easter without my entire family, was going to be a chinese food and a movie day.  But with my brother and his girlfriend coming over for dinner today, I started feeling guilty about copping out and getting take out.  So, with very little advance planning (not like me at all, when I know I’m having people over), I through together this mini feast for the four of us.

I know it’s not much more fancy than a glorified Sunday dinner, but I did try to incorporate our big dinner favourites into it, on a much smaller scale.  Maple & brown sugar glazed ham, scalloped potatoes, corn and dessert courtesy of the dickie dee lady (because my ice cream sandwich cookies were a complete fail – note to everyone, never buy the “best for blending” style flour, it sucks up all of the moisture in your cookies and the dough becomes crumbly and disgusting).  I’ve included the recipes for my scalloped potatoes and ham below.

Happy Easter!

Oh, I also made devilled eggs to munch on while we were waiting for dinner.  Nothing special about those – just the classic mayo/dijon/paprika combo.

Scalloped Potatoes

3 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 1/4 cups milk

salt & pepper to taste

Butter a large baking dish (mines a 10x6in oval).  Layer half the potatoes in the dish, working in circles from th  e edges into the middle.  Try not to leave any gaps in the potatoes, or they may fall apart when you try to take them out of the dish.

Spread the garlic on top of the potatoes, put small (1/2 tsp) dabs of butter all around the dish.  Sprinkle on the flour, 1/2 cup of cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Layer the remaining potatoes on the dish in the same manner.  Season again with a bit of salt and pepper.  Pour the milk into the potatoes, I like to pour half in one side of the dish and the rest in the other.  Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese and cover with foil.

These can rest in the fridge for an hour while the ham is cooking.

Bake them at 350° with the ham for 1 1/2 hours – when you take the ham out of the oven to rest, turn the broiler on low to brown up the cheese (about 2-3 minutes, just watch it carefully).  If you’re just making the potatoes, cook them at 400° for an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half, until the cheese is nicely browned.

Maple & Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

1 5lb piece of black forest style ham

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup brown sugar

3 pineapple rings

1/2 cup water

1 small onion, halved

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Put the onion, cut side down, into the bottom of a large cast enamel pot or roasting pan.   Add the water to the pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, brown sugar, salt & pepper until it becomes a thick kind of paste.  Rub this all over the ham and then place it in the roasting pan on top of the onions.  Using 3 or 4 small tooth picks, secure the pineapple rings to the  ham.  Cover the ham with the lid, or foil if the lid won’t fit on without touching the tooth picks.

Bake for 2 1/2 hours.  Take the ham out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes or so before slicing.  Drain the juices from the pan into a small cup or gravy boat and serve it on top of the ham.

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