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Two new twists on Easter dinner

  • Associated Press
  • Published Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 10:04 a.m.

HOISIN-GLAZED HAM WITH NAPA CABBAGE-SNOW PEA SLAW

We know: 24 servings is a lot. But Easter ham is like Thanksgiving turkey; you want ample leftovers. So we went big to ensure you’ll have plenty to send home with guests, and still have more for sandwiches and soups the next few days.

Start to finish: 5 hours (30 minutes active)

Servings: 24

FOR THE HAM:

10- to 12-pound bone-in ham

9.4-ounce jar hoisin sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

FOR THE SLAW:

1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced

6 ounces snow peas (about 1 heaping cup)

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of salt

Ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Fit a large roasting pan with a roasting rack.

Set the ham on the rack, then slice a hash pattern over the entire surface, cutting about 1/2 inch deep. Roast the ham for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the hoisin, five-spice powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and ginger. Once the ham has roasted for 1 hour, brush half of the glaze over the surface of the ham, being sure to get some of the glaze down into the checked slice marks. Roast for another hour, then brush the ham with the remaining glaze.

Continue roasting, monitoring the temperature and color. Cook the ham until it reaches 160 degrees at the center, about another 2 hours. If the outside of the ham begins to get too dark, tent it with foil. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

While the ham bakes, prepare the slaw. In a large bowl, combine the Napa cabbage, scallions and snow peas. Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready, in a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, ginger, sugar and salt and pepper. Toss the slaw with the dressing just before serving.

Per serving: 330 calories; 180 calories from fat (55 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 26 g protein; 1720 mg sodium.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — March 27, 2013

ORANGE AND MINT-STUFFED LAMB WITH SWEET-AND-SOUR CABBAGE

Start to finish: 4 1/2 hours (1 hour active)

Servings: 8

1 small head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup red wine

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

1 bunch fresh mint, leaves only

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup grated manchego cheese

1/2 cup toasted cashews

Ground black pepper

3 1/2-pound boneless leg of lamb

3 slices stale or crusty bread

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, onion, red wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to fit the leg of lamb. Set aside.

To make the pesto, in a processor, combine the orange zest and juice, the mint, olive oil, cheese, cashews, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Process until completely blended, then reserve 1/2 cup.

Place the leg of lamb on a cutting board. Starting on a long side, cut the meat in half horizontally, but do not cut all the way through. Leave about 1 inch of meat uncut at the other side. Open the meat like a book, then place a piece of plastic wrap over it. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the meat to an even thickness of about 2 inches.

Season the meat all over with salt and pepper. Spread the pesto over the cut side of the meat. Starting at one of the long sides, roll the lamb into a log with the pesto in the center. Use kitchen twine to tie the lamb in several spots to prevent it from unrolling. Place the lamb over the cabbage mixture in the roasting pan. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the bread until it is reduced to soft crumbs. Stir in the mustard, then pat the mixture over the outside of the lamb. Roast for 3 1/2 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. Allow the lamb to rest for 15 minutes, then slice it across the roll. Serve alongside the braised cabbage from the bottom of the pan and the reserved mint pesto.

Per serving: 630 calories; 320 calories from fat (51 percent of total calories); 35 g fat (15 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 140 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 44 g protein; 500 mg sodium.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — March 27, 2013

Who says the traditional Easter meal has to be traditional?

We understand that there is good reason for many traditions, particularly when it comes to food. After all, many food traditions earned their place because they are simply delicious. The glazed ham is a fine example. And that’s why we decided not to mess with that part of this spring staple.

We did, however, play around with what our ham is glazed with. We decided to ditch the orange marmalade, brown sugar, pineapple-cherry, and various clove-spiked glazing options. Instead, we took our inspiration from an Asian pantry staple – hoisin sauce. It comes ready-made by the jar, usually in the Asian food section of the grocer.

From there, we stirred in a few extras to jazz it up, then used it as a simple glaze. In keeping with the theme, we served the ham with a light slaw made from Napa cabbage and snow peas dressed with a light vinaigrette. While our ham was on the large size, if you don’t need one quite so big, you can always use any extra glaze as a sauce alongside the ham.

A minty Easter lamb

The classic Easter or spring lamb often is served with mint jelly. And that’s fine, assuming you want to play it safe.

We decided to flip things around. Actually, we didn’t so much as flip the dish as turn it inside out. Rather than relegate the mint to a condiment added at the table, we used it to create a vibrant pesto, which we then stuffed in a leg of lamb so it could infuse the meat with flavor during roasting.

And to stand in for the sweet and sour flavors of the mint sauce, we braised red cabbage right under the lamb. The result is an intensely meaty, flavorful accompaniment. If you still want a minty sauce, the reserved pesto can be thinned with olive oil, then drizzled over each serving.

The whole roast can be prepped ahead of time, then refrigerated overnight. The day of the dinner, just pop the whole roasting pan in the oven and you’re good to go. If your cabbage or lamb begins to overbrown during roasting, just tent the pan with foil.

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