With ham, sweet potatoes and strawberries all available and on sale this week, recipe researcher Sheila Kern ventured into the Shop Cheap kitchen and came up with wonderful suggestions for your holiday dinner - or anytime. Enjoy!
Put your slow cooker to work making a moist, irresistible ham. Serve some now, and if you like, freeze the rest for another day.
Makes: 12 servings
1 bone-in cooked ham (5 lb)
1/3 cup apple juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
In 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, place ham. Add apple juice. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, honey and mustard. Spread mixture over ham.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.
Remove ham from slow cooker. Cut ham into slices; place on serving platter.
Cherry & Port Glazed Ham
An exceptional sweet and savory glaze adds layers of flavor to a cooked spiral ham, resulting in a simple yet sophisticated dish.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 1/2 cups Swanson Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped shallot
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup port or other sweet red wine
1 package (5 ounces) dried cherries (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 turkey size oven bag
7 to 10-pound unglazed fully-cooked bone-in spiral-sliced ham
Stir the cornstarch and stock in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth.
Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they're tender. Add the allspice and cook for 30 seconds.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir the wine, cherries and brown sugar in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
Stir the cornstarch mixture in the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.
Place the oven bag into a 3-quart shallow baking pan. Place the ham into the oven bag. Pour the cherry glaze over the ham. Close the bag with the nylon tie. Cut 6 (1/2-inch) slits in the top of the bag.
Bake at 250°F. for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the ham is heated through. Remove the ham from the oven bag to a serving platter. Spoon some of the cherry glaze over the ham. Serve the remaining cherry glaze with the ham.
Tip: The cherry glaze can be prepared as directed above through Step 4, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat the glaze in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat until it's heated through. Serve with the ham as directed above.
Emeril's Sweet Potato-Marshmallow Casserole Recipe
Makes 8 to 10 servings
3 1/2 to 4 pounds fresh sweet potatoes, scrubbed well
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch ground mace
Pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
3 cups miniature marshmallows
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
Bake the sweet potatoes on the foil-lined baking sheet until a thin, pointy knife inserted in the center meets no resistance, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Once cooled, remove the skins and mash until smooth. (If you have a potato ricer, this works well in helping to remove any stringy fibers, as does a food mill.) In a large bowl combine the potatoes (you should have about 4 cups), sugar, evaporated milk, butter, orange juice, vanilla, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cloves and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Arrange the marshmallows in an even layer over the top and bake until the marshmallows are lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes. This can be made a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated, then returned to room temperature and baked 35 to 45 minutes before serving.
Sweet Potato Gratin
Yield 8 servings
1 tablespoon butter, plus 6 tablespoons, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and white pepper
1 (12-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use one tablespoon of butter to grease a 9 by 13-inch baking or gratin dish. Mix together orange juice, brown sugar, and spices, then add pineapple. Layer slices of sweet potatoes in the dish, then dot with butter. Top with pineapple mixture. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Repeat this process until all sweet potatoes are used up, ending with pineapple mixture.
Bake in oven for 40 to 45 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender when a pairing knife is inserted. Baste gratin with excess juices every 10 minutes. The top should be bubbly and brown. If the top gets too brown or starts to burn, cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking until sweet potatoes are done.
Classic Strawberry Shortcakes
This recipe features a traditional biscuit-style shortcake. When properly mixed, shortcake dough should be rough, even shaggy. You might be tempted to mix it more, but resist, or you will not end up with a flaky biscuit. Work the dough on a lightly floured work surface, gently pressing and patting it into a thick rectangle. Incorporating too much flour will make the dough tough. Cutting the dough into squares is preferable to rounds, which leave scraps that must be patted back together to form more cakes. The result is overworked dough and a few tough shortcakes. Squares will all turn out equally tender and delicious.
For the shortcakes:
1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
3⁄4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3⁄4 cup buttermilk
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the strawberries:
4 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
1⁄4 cup sugar
For the whipped cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream, well chilled
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the shortcakes, preheat an oven to 400°F.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt until well blended. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the pieces are no larger than peas. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and gently toss with a fork or rubber spatula until the flour is just moistened and the ingredients are blended.
Turn the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently press the dough into a thick rectangle about 6 by 4 inches. Using a large sharp knife, trim the edges even, then cut the dough into 6 equal squares.
Place the squares on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Bake until they are puffed and golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly or completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries: In a bowl, toss together the strawberries and sugar with a fork, lightly crushing some of the berries. Cover the berries and refrigerate until well chilled or until ready to serve.
To make the whipped cream, in a deep bowl, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the cream is billowy, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 2 hours.
To serve, split the warm or cooled shortcakes in half horizontally and place the bottom halves, cut side up, on serving plates. Spoon some of the strawberries, including the juices, over each half and top with a dollop of the whipped cream. Top with the remaining shortcake halves, cut side down. Serve immediately.
Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie
Makes 8 servings
This mildly spiked dessert is so easy to put together, it will quickly become one of your summer-entertaining standbys.
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4- by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 lb strawberries, halved (3 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lime zest (from 3 limes)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec, Cointreau, or other orange-flavored liqueur
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
Garnish: small strawberries
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a buttered 9-inch metal or glass pie plate (4-cup capacity).
Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pie plate on a rack, about 30 minutes.
Puree strawberries, zest, lime juice, condensed milk, tequila, and liqueur in a blender until just smooth, then transfer to a large bowl.
Beat cream in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold one third of cream into strawberry mixture gently but thoroughly to lighten, then fold in remainder in 2 batches.
Pour filling into crust, mounding it slightly, and freeze, uncovered, until firm, about 4 hours. Remove from freezer and let soften in refrigerator, about 40 minutes, before serving (pie should be semisoft).
Cooks' notes: Pie can be frozen up to 3 days, covered with plastic wrap after 4 hours and then wrapped in heavy-duty foil.
Pie can also be made in a 9-inch (24-cm) springform pan. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan.