World Tour: Happy Easter!

[ 0 ] April 22, 2011 |

Picture via Life123 & Helen Polaski

It’s Easter weekend and people are preparing for long weekends, family gatherings, Easter egg hunts, and most excitedly – Easter dinner.  While some people may be even boarding flights to celebrate this Christian holiday abroad, most of the people that I know prefer to save those United Airlines points and instead enjoy a hearty meal and the good company of family and friends.  Which brings me to the point of today’s post.  Even though I won’t be in the kitchen myself this year (I will be kicking back and enjoying good ol’ southern cooking prepared by my mom)  I have still been Easter dinner recipe searching and I have compiled some of the most appealing dishes.  Here goes.

What’s Easter without eggs? – Deviled eggs rather.   Here’s a twist on the traditional finger food from McCormick:

Tarragon and Caper Deviled Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon drained capers, minced
1 teaspoon tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1. Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in small bowl. Mash yolks with fork or potato masher.

2. Stir in mayonnaise, capers, tarragon and mustard until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves.

3. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.


To hard cook eggs: Gently place eggs in single layer in medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover eggs with 1 inch of water. Bring just to boil on medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand about 15 minutes for large eggs. (Adjust time up or down by 3 minutes for each size larger or smaller.) After 15 minutes, pour off the hot water and rapidly cool eggs by running them under cold water (or place in ice water) until completely cooled.

The Main Event 
I look forward to enjoying a nice ham for Easter dinner.  If you’re looking to try something new with your ham this year, you might enjoy this Spiced Ham from Michael Chiarello and Food Network.


  • 1 boneless country ham
  • 2 cups honey, for glazing ham
  • 2 tablespoons Toasted Spice Rub, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped fine
  • 6 celery stalks

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place ham on an open brown paper bag for easy clean up. With the tip of a paring knife carefully score a 1-inch grid pattern around the outside of the ham. Brush the entire surface of the meat on all sides with some of the honey.

Season the entire surface of the meat on all sides with the toasted spice rub and thyme. Add about a half cup of water to the base of the roaster. Place ham on several celery sticks in the roasting pan.

Cook for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes, baste ham with juices that collect in the base of the roaster and the honey. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving as desired.

Toasted Spice Rub:

  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup (1-ounce) pure California sweet chili powder*
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a small, heavy pan over medium heat. (Toasting freshens spices, releases their oils, and makes them more fragrant, as well as adding a new dimension of flavor.) When the fennel turns light brown, work quickly. Turn on the exhaust fan; add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Immediately turn the spice mixture out onto a plate to cool. Put in a blender with the sweet chili powder, salt, and cinnamon and blend until the spices are evenly ground.

If you have a small spice mill blender or a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Keep the spice mix in a glass jar in a cool, dry place, or freeze.

*Chef’s Tip: Taste your chili powder and, if spicy and hot, cut back the amount. California chiles are almost sweet, not hot.

Yield: 1 cup

For dinner accents, try haricot vert (in the place of plain ol green beans) and whipped cauliflower (in the place of plain ol’ mashed potatoes).  Don’t get me wrong, traditional is ALWAYS great, but these are just a couple of suggestions to give things a different flare this year.  Enjoy!

 (For a glimpse at international Easter celebrations view this interesting CNN slideshow).

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Category: World Tour

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