Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Dinner for Two - Grand Marnier Spicy Ham, Cheesy Potato "Souffles", Tropical French Island Carrots, and Pear Salad

Hello Everyone!
Happy Easter!
As I promised, just yesterday, if my ideas for Easter recipes turned out, I would post them on the blog.  So here they are!  I know they are too late for Easter, but they would be good as a Sunday dinner as well, and the side dishes could be good for a week-night meal, so I decided to go ahead and post the meal anyway.
Before I start the post, I just want to give you a quick update about my post from a week or so ago when I said that I was going to start my great grandmother's beauty regime, I am still working on the series and will have part two of the series up shortly.  I know that most of you prefer posts about the recipes and crafts, but I enjoy the vintage fashion/beauty posts, so I am going to keep making them but I, of course, will keep doing the recipes and frugal tips.  I mean, its what this site was created for in the first place.

Starting from the bottom left, there is the salad, carrots, and potato "souffle", and the ham is in the background there.
Also, before I start with the recipes has anyone ever heard of decorating Paskris Trees for Easter?  It is a tradition that has been around for a very long time and today was the first day that I heard of it.  Thank you Instagram.

How cute and precious is that?!?!?!  

This is a tradition that I need to begin doing at my house.  I love the idea of decorating a tree with eggs and feathers.  This is something that I will definitely be trying next year.

Want to know a little more?  Then just click on the link below.
This link gives a quick history of the tradition and shows some trees, with instructions that you can make for yourself.

Of course, I worry that, if I use real feathers my cats, and possibly my dogs, may loose their minds and kill the tree, so I really love the idea of doing a tree a little more like this:

The feathers are made out of paper!!!  I am going to have to ponder and see what I would like to do for next year and make an Easter tree craft project for a post next season.  If you would like to see how to make this tree, just click the link below.

But now, on with the recipes.

Cheesy Potato "Souffles"

1 large Idaho potato, peeled and cut into one inch cubes  (I used one that was slightly smaller than two of my combined fists.)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. black garlic powder (can use regular garlic powder)
1/8 tsp. Zatarain's Creole seasoning (Can put more if you like potatoes a little saltier)
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper (Can do more if you like things spicy)
1/2 tsp. dried dill
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Sour Cream (garnish)
(This list of ingredients is just what I did to go with a ham dinner.  So I kept it kind of simple.  But other items can be added.  For example, if you are serving steak it would be delicious if you added two or three slices of finely chopped, cooked bacon, and fresh chives to the other ingredients in this recipe.  Or if you are serving chicken, you could add about 1/4 cup of chopped ham and garnish with a bearnaise sauce instead of sour cream and have it be sort of like a play on Croque Monsieure with a potato dish. Or, with a roast chicken, add some rosemary.... You get the drift.)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
1.  In a medium sized sauce pan, put enough water to cover potato cubes and add salt.   Bring water to a boil.  Boil potatoes for twenty minutes.
2.  Strain potatoes and put them in a medium sized bowl.
3.  Add the two eggs to the potatoes and mash the potato and eggs until potatoes are a creamy consistency.
4.  Add the cheddar cheese, Gruyere cheese, black garlic powder, Zatarain's Creole season, Cayenne pepper, dry dill, and freshly ground pepper and mix with a fork to combine the mixture. (The cheese will melt, but if it does not, that is not an issue.
5.  Spray two ramekins or cocottes generously with non-stick cooking spray. (I like butter flavored, but you do you.
6.  Divide the potato mixture evenly between the two ramekins/cocottes.
7.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
8.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

If your ramekins are pretty, you can keep the potatoes in the ramekin.  But you can also let the souffle cool slightly and then remove from the ramekin before serving.  (Usually they just pop out, but you can gently run a knife along the rim to loosen the souffle from the ramekin if they don't come out on the first try.)

Tropical French Island Carrots

The idea behind these carrots was inspired by what I wanted to do with my ham, or, more precisely, what I didn't want to do with my ham.  I did not want the typical sweet ham with the pineapple rings and the cherries in the center.  (I like the recipe, and it is vintage, which we all know I love, but I wanted something different.)  So I wanted to do a sweet vegetable dish since I wasn't going to have a sweet ham, and came up with this carrot and pineapple dish.  I named it Tropical French Island Carrots because of the Herb de Provence combined with the pineapple.  I just thought if seemed like a dish a french person would come up with if they moved to a tropical island.

4-5 ounces baby carrots  (about one cup)
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained and juices reserved
Zest of half of one large orange (about one heaping teaspoon)
1 tsp. lemon juice (Do yourself a favor, buy a lemon and freshly squeeze this OR use lemon flavored balsamic vinegar.)
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. or 1/2 tsp. Herb de Provence

1.  Steam carrots 8-10 minutes until tender.  (If you don't have a steamer, then boil the carrots for 8 minutes.)
2.  In a small bowl or ramekin, mix the following ingredients:  orange zest, lemon juice, and honey.  Set aside.
3.  Put drained carrots in a sauce pan.  Add the pineapple chunks and the lemon juice mixture.  Simmer over a low heat stirring frequently until pineapple is heated.
4.  While carrots and pineapples are simmering, combine cornstarch with pineapple juice in a small bowl or ramekin.  Stir into carrots and pineapples.
5.  Add the Herb de Provence, stirring until thoroughly distributed.
6.  Simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and all carrots and pineapples are covered in the glaze.

  7.  Remove from heat and place in small serving bowl.

Pear Salad

This is the easy part of the meal.  I did not make the dressing for the salad, but it is a delicious combination, so I thought I would tell you about it.  It is very easy to make this salad look fancy merely by spending a little extra moment on the presentation.

Raw Spinach
Red or Green Pear,  thinly sliced (for two people, I only needed to use half of the pear)
Feta Cheese
Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Candied pecans

1.  In a shallow bowl, put a handful of spinach.  (This will be a serving for one person, so if you are making dinner for two, grab another bowl and put a handful of spinach in that bowl.  The rest of the instructions are for one bowl only, so just copy and do for both bowls if you are making two salads.)
2.  Slice pear along the center making certain to avoid the core.  Thinly slice the pear.  (This amount of pear will be enough for two bowls.)
3.  Place the pear slices on the spinach in a star pattern.
4.  Sprinkle the pears and spinach with 1-2 tbsp. feta cheese.
5.  Dribble two teaspoons of vinaigrette over salad in a spiral pattern.
6.  Sprinkle with candied pecans.

See!  Very pretty, and can be made right before the meal is to be served.

Grand Marnier Spicy Ham

Okay, I'm not going to lie.  This recipe was created out of sheer desperation.  I had a ham recipe that I had found online that I wanted to try and, if I liked it, I was going to link the recipe for y'all and then write down the adjustments that you needed to do to make it a ham for two people......But I didn't pay attention to the recipe and missed a crucial step - and that step would be that, after covering the ham with the paste in the recipe, the next step was to cover the pan the ham is placed in tightly with foil and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.  Crap!  I was making dinner to eat in about 45 minutes when I read that.  I did not have one hour let alone 12 to 24 hours.  Time to come up with my own recipe for a glaze, based on things I had in the kitchen that I was using for the other dishes.  Thus this glaze, and ham recipe was born.

1 small ham (Mine was a half ham that I got at Costco for around $8.00 and I think it was about 2 lbs.)
Juice hand squeezed from a half of a lemon
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. Grand Marnier  
(I know that Grand Marnier is expensive, here is my frugal tip.  Since I only use it for cooking, I always keep an eye out for Grand Marnier in mini bar sized bottles.  When I find them, I purchase one or two.  They usually run about $5.00 a bottle and it is far less expensive than getting whole bottle, gives me plenty for my recipes, and is small enough to keep in my spice cabinet.)
1 1/2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. Herb de Provence
1/2 tsp.- 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 tsp. - 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
1/4 tsp. - 1/2 tsp. black garlic powder  (Can substitute regular garlic powder but you will lose the smokey flavor.)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2.  In a large ramekin, combine all of the ingredients except for the ham and set aside.
3.  Place the ham, fat side down, in a medium large baking/roasting dish.
4.  Score the ham with cuts one inch apart and about 1/4 inch deep.  You want to do this in a grid pattern going in two directions. First going diagonally one way and then going the opposite way so that you create "squares" over the entire surface of the ham.  See the picture above if this description does not make sense.
5.  Brush half of the Grand Marnier glaze onto the surface of the ham.
6.  Place ham in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.  Brush ham with half of remaining glaze mixture. rotate the pan in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.  Brush ham with the remainder of the glaze mixture, rotate the pan, and cook for another 10 minutes.
7.  You will know the ham is done when the exterior is dark and the ham is heated all the way through and a meat thermometer reads 140 degrees.
8.  Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and slice thinly to serve.

This glaze was so good, my husband wants me to come up with other meats to use this on.  So I am currently brainstorming ideas for how else I can use this glaze.

So here are some pictures of the final products.

You can see the ham sliced in the background behind the carrots.

These are my sized portion, so it doesn't look like a full plate.  I usually serve my portions on a salad plate.  Its my secret to being skinny.  I eat what I (mostly) want, but I eat small portions and I eat about every four hours.

Well, that is it for the recipes.  I hope you try them and enjoy them.
To end, here are some pictures of my Easter - which I spent cleaning and cooking. :-)

Me in my bunny slippers, apron, and fancy rubber gloves cleaning the kitchen before I started preparing Easter dinner.

These gloves only have a "ring" on the left hand.  I guess single ladies don't get bling on their cleaning gloves.

A close up of my bunny slippers.  I have another pair where the bunnies are grey with turquoise bottoms and the eyes have eyelashes.  Because, you know, I am an adult.

I cleaned and put away my Great Grandma Vucic's kitchen storage containers in my vintage, metal, pantry.  As large as the set currently is, I know that it is missing some pieces and it has now become my goal in life to try to complete the set.

As you can see, the lids are missing from two of these containers.  I put these and the spice containers on the kitchen counter.

These  spice containers are, obviously, not airtight.  But I love them, so the red you see is the top of the spice, still in the screw top container, placed inside the pretty container.  Problem solved.

I hope to bring y'all another post soon.  Bye!

No comments:

Post a Comment