Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easter Dinner: Baked Ham

My family congregated in Hamilton for Easter dinner. My sister suggested making a baked ham. I had no experience with baking a ham but I do enjoying eating it. We then created a menu around ham. I think all the food came out well. Unfortunately, the pictures came out poorly. Not sure if it's because I was feeling rushed, the poor lighting in my house or because I need work on my photography skills in general. You'll just have to imagine the pictures in focus!

The Menu
* Pan-Fried Onion Dip
* Parker's Split Pea Soup
* Baked Ham with Orange-Mustard Glaze
* Potato Gratin
* Buttered Green Beans
* Apple Pie

Pan-Fried Onion Dip
My sister wanted to try making this onion dip from my Barefoot Contessa cookbook. The recipe is on foodtv. She bought kettle chips (no, we did not make our own chips like the book suggests...). The only con is that she made half a recipe which was definitely NOT enough. If you make this recipe, make the ENTIRE recipe!! Otherwise, it was delicious!!

Fried onions make this appetizer!

Parker's Split Pea Soup
I thought making split pea soup would go well with our menu and we turned again to Barefoot Contessa. In the recipe, Ina Garten writes that Steven Spielberg told her that it tastes just like his mother's. I guess this recipe tasted just like Steven Spielberg's mother's, with the addition of bacon! We were going to cut a piece from the ham and add it but forgot. The recipe does suggest first cooking half the split peas first, then adding the second half later. This gives a great texture, unlike mushy peas. Everyone really enjoyed this soup. Two for two for Barefoot Contessa!

Baked Ham with Orange-Mustard Glaze
I love ham. I would pick ham over a turkey or roast beef any day. At my previous employer, the cafeteria made ham once a month. We referred to it as "ham day". I was always first in line, asking for the brown bits (the best part - the glazed exterior! ). They would make three whole hams and sell out very quickly.

I have never bought or made ham so I went and bought a (8 lbs.) half fully cooked bone-in ham at the Farmer's Market for $3/lb just to find hams at the supermarket for $0.99/lb. That was upsetting. That said, our ham was delicious. My sister and I roughly followed Martha Stewart's Glazed Ham 101. Our glaze was made up of Dijon mustard, marmalade and garlic. We baked the ham with some improvising since I did not have a roasting pan!

The ham first has to be rinsed and baked for half an hour to melt some of the fat. Let's just say, my oven was pretty dirty afterward!

After the initial baking, you have to cut off the fat and apply the glaze.

Bake again - we actually broiled it a bit to get colour but forgot it, oops - and voilà (horrible picture!).

Potato Gratin
Again, we referred to Barefoot Contessa's potato-fennel gratin but made it without fennel. It was good but we did not cook it long enough (the potatoes were raw). This happened when we had too many things in the oven I think. Oopsy...

Potato Gratin.

Buttered Green Beans
For a vegetable dish, we had green beans, with simple butter, salt and pepper. I usually eat my green beans with eggs. I enjoyed this so much I had it a few times the following week, until... I got sick of it!

Apple Pie
My sister's boyfriend D volunteered for dessert and made an apple pie. He is an expert at making pies while I am... not! Which meant that when he asked for a pie dish, I could not produce one for him. I don't think I've ever baked a pie although I do like eating them! So I borrowed my friend T's deep cake pan and he made us a delicious apple pie. I do like most desserts with apple in them!

Making the pie dough.

The final product.

The pie had a very generous amount of apples which is the way I like it.

All in all, a great Easter weekend with great food. Thank you to my family for driving all the way here for the weekend!

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