Holiday meals highlight family gatherings

Posted: April 11, 2014 at 6 a.m.

Honey Baked Ham

10-12 lb. uncooked shank ham

3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 cup brown sugar

cup honey

1 tsp. cinnamon

Trim fat and score in a diamond pattern. This looks nice but also allows the fat to render while cooking. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound until internal temperature is 160 degrees.

Mix mustard, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon together. During the last 45 minutes of cooking, spread glaze over ham.

Slice into thin slices.

-- Pam Martin-Allen

Mango Cobbler

cup margarine

1 cup white sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

tsp. salt

cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cans mangoes or peaches

1 cup juice of the canned fruit

Cream together softened margarine and sugar.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt.

Add alternately to the margarine mixture dry ingredients and milk and vanilla extract. Beat well until smooth.

Pour batter into 9x9 inch cake pan. Place the mangoes over batter. Pour juice.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Note: For fresh mangoes: Peel skin off four mangoes, cut in half and simmer for a few minutes with 1 cup water and cup sugar. Use the liquid for juice. Fresh mangoes that were simmered are juicier than the canned ones. Canned peaches are also great for this recipe.

-- Lucy Apostol

Italian Easter Bread

1 pkg. instant dry yeast (2 tsp.)

1 cup warm milk

pinch salt

cup butter, room temp

2 eggs, slightly beaten

cup sugar

3 cups flour

1 egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water)

candy sprinkles

6 raw eggs, dyed

Mix together yeast, milk, salt, butter, two eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add two cups of flour and beat until smooth, with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, continue to slowly add the rest of the flour just until a dough forms.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour as needed so that it is tacky, not sticky. Alternatively, the dough can be kneaded on a floured surface, by hand.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, turning once to coat both sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces (about 3.5 ounces each). Roll each piece into a 14-inch rope. Twist two ropes to form a braid, then join the ends, pinch the tips together and loop into a circle. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough ropes.

Cover with a clean towel and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 1 more hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush the tops of the dough "nests" with the egg wash. Decorate with candy sprinkles.

Brush uncooked, dyed eggs lightly with oil and place one egg in the center of each nest, pressing down lightly to secure.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

-- Nancy Gregory

Scalloped Potatoes

4 cups thinly sliced potatoes

3 tbsp. butter

1 cups milk

1 tsp. salt

a dash of cayenne pepper

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

paprika

3 tbsp. flour

In a small sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour. Let sit for a minute. Add cold milk, stirring with a whisk. Season with salt and cayenne. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.

Reduce heat and stir in one cup of cheese. Place a half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased, one-quart casserole dish.

Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes. Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Top with some paprika for color. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes at 350.

Note: add sauteed onions to cheese sauce, if desired.

-- Ericka Willard

Asparagus

Gruyere Tart

1 pkg. frozen phyllo dough

1 cup flour for work surface

2 cups shredded cheese, Gruyere or mozzarella

1 lb. fresh asparagus

1 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Flour surface and roll puff pastry out into a 12x7-inch rectangle.

Bake until very lightly golden about 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese.

Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit across the shell in a single layer. If using thick asparagus, pre-heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Cover and cook asparagus for 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Lay asparagus on pastry in a single layer and brush with one tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake until tender 20-25 minutes.

-- Jan Mullikin

NAN Dining Guide Kitchen Talk on 04/11/2014

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