(Family Features) Amazing food is the centerpiece of most holiday gatherings. This Easter, impress guests with your culinary talent by making simple dishes simply amazing. With a little special attention, even the most basic foods can evolve into dishes worth sharing with loved ones.
Most chefs agree that spices and seasonings are essential elements of your kitchen arsenal. This Easter, give your spread a boost with spices and herbs of the highest quality, such as those from Spice Islands, which crafts and packages spices and herbs from around the world to deliver the most authentic and intense flavor possible.
With its rich hue and warm aroma, cinnamon can bring spicy sweetness to all kinds of baked goods. However, all cinnamon is not the same. There are two main varieties of cinnamon, Indonesian and Vietnamese.
Vietnamese, which is used in the Spice Islands Saigon Cinnamon featured in these recipes, tends to have a brighter, spicy taste. The forests of Vietnam are known for their premium cinnamon. High in volatile oils, the Vietnamese cinnamon trees produce a deep, reddish-brown cinnamon with an intense fragrance and sweet, red-hot-candy-like flavor.
Update your traditional ham with a spicy, honeyed glaze; give a side serving of carrots a tasty twist and end the affair on a sweet note with a rustic, utterly delicious dessert. Find more flavorful ideas to elevate your Easter menu at spiceislands.com.
Spiced Honey and Black Pepper-Glazed Ham
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- 8-10 pounds cooked shank-end ham
- water (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Spice Islands Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Spice Islands Ground Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cloves
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- With sharp knife, score ham at 1-inch intervals; place in baking dish. If ham appears dry, moisten surface with water. In small bowl, combine black pepper, mustard and garlic powder. Rub pepper mixture over surface of ham. Roast according to package directions.
- Combine honey, cinnamon and cloves. Drizzle over ham during last 30 minutes of roasting. Remove ham from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
Spiced Maple Carrots
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1 pound (4 cups) baby carrots
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Ginger
- 2 tablespoons Maple Grove Farms 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- sea salt, to taste
- In large skillet, combine carrots, water, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well. Cover and cook on high 6 minutes until almost tender.
- Add maple syrup and butter. Mix well and continue to cook, uncovered, 2-3 minutes, until carrots are well-glazed. Season, to taste, with sea salt.
Anise, Pear and Almond Crostata
Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen
- 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup ice water
Anise Almond Filling:
- 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
- 3/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Anise Seeds
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon Spice Islands Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 3 Fiorelle or small pears, sliced into thin wedges
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons Polaner Apricot Preserves, heated
- cream or ice cream (optional)
- To make crust: In food processor, combine flour, frozen butter and salt. Pulse until dough is size of large peas. Add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse several times. Pinch dough to see if it is holding together; if not, add water a couple of teaspoons at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until dough holds together. Form dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- To make filling: In food processor, blend almonds, anise seeds, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt until paste forms. Add room temperature butter and blend again. Set aside.
- Toss sliced pears with 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
- On sheet of floured parchment paper, roll out dough into 13-inch circle; transfer on parchment to rimless cookie sheet.
- Spread almond paste onto circle, leaving 2-inch border. Scatter pears on top, covering almond paste. Fold dough up and over pears, overlapping dough as needed. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle crust generously with extra sugar.
- Bake until pears are tender, 40-45 minutes. If crust starts to get too brown, lightly cover with foil. Remove tart from oven and brush pears with heated apricot preserves. Serve with cream or ice cream, if desired.
Source: Spice Islands
(Family Features) When planning this year’s holiday menu, consider building meals around a versatile main course that you can dress up or down and then integrate into easy leftover dishes. A ham is a perfect solution because it works equally well as the centerpiece of an elegant meal or as savory sliders to serve with chutney or hot mustard.
Beyond versatile ingredients, a winning holiday menu relies on proper preparation, and that’s why quality cookware is essential. An option like Anolon Gourmet Cookware is designed for superior performance that can help bring joy to cooking and features heavy-duty pan bodies and comfort-grip handles for safe and secure lifting and leverage. The aesthetically pleasing cookware’s premium-quality, nonstick surface provides lasting durability, effortless food release and easy clean up – perfect for the busy holiday season.
Ham it Up (or Down)
Ham is an ideal holiday protein because you can serve it as a centerpiece dish or as part of a more casual meal and still achieve great results either way. Make the most of this holiday favorite with these tips:
- Be sure to get a ham big enough for leftovers. It's just as good sliced up for sandwiches or fried with eggs as it is when presented in its full glory out of the oven.
- Think beyond the main table. A glazed ham is pretty on the table, but it's also delicious when served casually, for example on a sandwich bar with savory rolls, tangy mustards and other condiments.
- If your holiday plans are up in the air, go ahead and make a ham in advance to keep on hand for casual meals during the busy holiday season or for a quick meal with unexpected guests.
Explore more cookware options to serve up your holiday best at anolon.com.
Country Ham and Cheddar on Biscuits
Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- medium Anolon skillet
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup dried currants
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup apple jelly
- 1 tablespoon country Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons
- Anolon large nonstick baking sheet
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 12 ounces country ham, thinly sliced
- 6 slices (about 6 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese
- To make chutney: heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 3-4 minutes.
- Add curry powder and cinnamon; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in currants and cook until slightly softened, 2 minutes.
- Add water and vinegar and cook until currants plump slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in sugar and cook 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Stir in jelly, mustard and salt; refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make biscuits: Heat oven to 425° F.
- In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pepper, baking soda and salt. Using pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk until mixture is moistened.
- In bowl, knead dough 3-4 times to bring together. Press dough into disk and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 20-30 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Using 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter, start at outside edge of dough and cut out biscuits and set on baking sheet. Gently press dough scraps together and roll again to 1/2-inch thickness. Repeat to cut out 24 biscuits total. Brush tops of biscuits with egg yolk.
- Bake biscuits in center of oven until puffed and tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.
- Split biscuits in half and set aside. Lay ham slices on cutting board in single layer. Using 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter, punch out 24 ham circles and place each on bottom half of biscuit. Lay cheese slices on cutting board and punch out 24 circles to place each on top of ham. Spoon chutney evenly on top of each biscuit then replace top half of each biscuit.
Note: Biscuits can be assembled several hours ahead of serving and kept in refrigerator.
Cola and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware
- 11-12 pounds shank half bone-in cooked ham
- large Anolon roasting pan
- 4 cups cola, divided
- 2 cups orange juice, divided
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Trim skin and excess fat off ham. With sharp knife, score ham all over in diamond pattern. Place ham in roasting pan then pour 1 cup cola and 1 cup orange juice over it. Cover pan with aluminum foil and roast 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- While ham roasts, in medium saucepan, combine remaining cola, orange juice, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat and cook about 45-48 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup and mixture is slightly syrupy.
- After ham roasts 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove foil and baste with glaze. Continue roasting and basting ham every 15 minutes with glaze until it is glossy and instant read thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145° F, about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.
Source: Anolon Gourmet Cookware