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Easter Recipes from Ana Quincoces

A Bullyseye View : April 10, 2015

easter-brunch

Growing up in a Cuban household, Easter has always been a special time for my family. It’s a chance to reflect on our blessings and bask in the warmth that only a meal shared with the people you love can provide. And because Lent is over, it is also the perfect day to feast on delicious dishes!

When I was younger, immediately after Easter service, we would return home where my mom had lovingly prepared all our favorite recipes. Afterwards, we’d linger over her guava and cream cheese pound cake while the adults sipped on frothy “cortaditos” (Cuban espressos).Now, as a mom myself, I recreate these Easter traditions and recipes for my own family. The star of our table was (and still is) a delectable baked ham with mango chutney and orange juice for a tasty tang — a Latin twist to a traditional Easter staple.

Our ham is accompanied with a mouthwatering macaroni and Manchego cheese dish studded with Spanish chorizo and finished with a crunchy panko bread topping. We serve fresh sautéed baby carrots with slivered almonds and dill along side it, and top it all off with my mother’s recipe for pound cake drizzled with a rum glaze. Just writing about it makes my mouth water!

No matter where you are or who you share this special day with, venture into your kitchen and whip up something scrumptious this Easter Sunday and relish in the abundance of food, family and friends.

Happy Easter & Buen Provecho!
Ana

Mango/Orange Brown Sugar Baked Ham
Serves 6 to 8 (with leftovers for sandwiches)

What You’ll Need:
1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham on the bone
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup prepared mango chutney
1/2 tsp. Market Pantry ground cloves
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

What You’ll Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Score the skin of the ham with a knife in a diamond pattern (optional). Arrange the ham in a large roasting pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the chutney, mustard, brown sugar, cloves, garlic, shallots and orange juice until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham.

4. Bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully cooked through and the glaze is golden browned and caramelized. Ham may be served hot or at room temperature. 

Crunchy Manchego Mac and Cheese with Chorizo
Serves 6 to 8

What You’ll Need:
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 pound macaroni, penne or cavatelli pasta
6 tbsp. butter, softened
12 ounces Spanish chorizo, casings removed and diced
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Market Pantry cayenne pepper
5 cups whole milk
8 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
8 ounces shredded Manchego cheese (about 2 cups)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Salt and white pepper to taste

What You’ll Do:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of very salted water to a boil over high heat.

2. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the chopped parsley and 1 tbsp. of the softened butter. Season with 1/2 tsp. of salt (or more) and 1/4 tsp. of white pepper. Mix well and set aside.

3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.

4. Add 1 tbsp of the butter to the pot where the pasta was cooked, and place over medium-high heat until melted. Add the chorizo and cook until the edges start to brown a bit around 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chorizo and set aside.

5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour, a tsp. of salt, mustard and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring continuously for 3 minutes or until flour has darkened a bit.

6. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, but do not boil. Slowly add the hot milk to the flour mixture whisking continuously until smooth. Continue cooking for 7 to 8 minutes until mixture is thickened.

7. Add the cheeses and stir until completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the pasta and chorizo and mix until heated through. Taste and season with salt as needed.

8. Transfer the mixture to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the panko mixture and bake until bubbling around the edges, about 18 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Guava and Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Spiced Rum Glaze
Serves 6 to 8

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup guava marmalade (not jelly)
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

For Glaze:
3/4 cup spiced rum
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar

What You’ll Do:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a medium saucepan combine rum, granulated sugar, and butter and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved and alcohol has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

2. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Gradually add sugar and beat for 3 to 5 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and beat for a minute more.

3. Add vanilla and guava marmalade and mix until combined and the batter has a pinkish hue. Sift flour and salt together and add gradually to the mixer, beating until well blended.

4. Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan or two loaf pans. Bake cake at 325°F for an hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Place a wire rack on top of a large piece of foil or parchment to collect any glaze drippings. Place cake on wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.

6. Add the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to the rum glaze and whisk until smooth. Pour evenly over cake. Allow to sit for at least 45 minutes before transferring to a cake plate.

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