Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Brunch

Happy almost Easter!  For those of you living in a cave….Easter is this Sunday.  I know that everyone’s family has their own traditions for Easter, and their own favorite dishes.  What do you do?  Easter breakfast?  Brunch?  Dinner? 

At our house, along with an egg hunt, we always have Easter Brunch.  Our families don’t live all that close to us, so over the years, we have started an Easter Brunch tradition with friends.  We all get together, not too early because I hate mornings, and hunt for eggs, drink mimosas, eat great food, and have a great time spending the better part of the day together.  The kids love it because they get tons of candy, and I love it because we always do it as a potluck.  That means this mama doesn’t have to slave away cooking.  I make a ham and one other dish, and call it a day.  Easy peasy.

This year, like usual, I am making a huge Peach Glazed Ham and my Cheesy Grits Casserole.  I love making a big ‘ol ham.  Mostly because I like having ham leftovers.  I will stick ham in anything…..ham salad, ham pasta, ham and eggs, ham sandwiches….you get the picture.  I’m like Bubba from Forrest Gump, but with ham not shrimp.  But enough about that.  Today I am going to show you the recipe for my scrumptious ham, and later I will show you how to make my grits.  I feel southern just saying the word.

For my ham, I start with a 10 pound smoked, spiral cut, bone-in ham.  You can do boneless if you want.  That part really doesn’t matter.  I get spiral cut because it is just way easier.  I always get the kind that comes with its own glaze packet.  Don’t hate on the packaged glaze….you can totally use it to jazz up your ham, along with a few other key ingredients.  My ham came with a “brown sugar” glaze.  Look for that or a honey glaze.

The first thing I do, after unwrapping the fifty two layers of wrapping, is place the ham in a large baking dish.  I cover it tightly in foil and bake it at 325 for about an hour and ten minutes.  Go about your business…..have coffee, take a shower, etc.  Just leave that ham alone.  Once the ham has about ten minutes left to cook, I get the glaze together.

In a small sauce pot, I add about a tablespoon of olive oil, a diced shallot and a minced garlic clove.  I let this cook for a couple of minutes, until the shallot is softened.  Then, I add the glaze packet, ¼ a cup of Dijon mustard, ¼ a cup of chicken broth, salt and pepper, and one jar of Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach spread.  This spread has peaches, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and a couple other yummy things in it.  It tastes like peach pie filling!  If you can’t find it, look for a spiced peach spread in your grocery store.  If you can’t find that, use peach preserves.

I let this all boil together for just a couple of minutes.  Once the ham gets pulled out of the oven, and unwrapped, I pour the glaze all over the ham.  I let the ham cook for an additional thirty minutes, which gives the glaze a chance to caramelize and give the ham fabulous flavor.  It gives the ham a crunchy, crusty sweet exterior.  It’s like ham candy on the outside.  You will love it, your family will love it, and your friends will love it. 

As for my grits….(there I go, feelin’ all southern again), I use quick cooking grits chicken broth, butter, chive cream cheese, goat cheese, Jack cheese and eggs to make the best grits casserole you will ever taste.  The grits are creamy, cheesy, savory and amazing all at the same time.  And since it is a casserole, it holds its shape…it won’t run all over the plate.  I don’t like my food touching, but I am weird like that.

I start by boiling my chicken broth and grits together for about five minutes.  Remember, I’m using quick cooking grits, so mine cook pretty fast.  Once the grits are thick and creamy, I stir in butter and all the cheeses, keeping the grits over low heat.  And now it gets a bit tricky…..you have to temper the eggs into the grits to keep from getting scrambled eggs.

I beat the eggs in a little bowl with a salt and pepper.  Then, I take some of my grits, about ½ a cup, and beat that into the grits to raise the temperature of the eggs.  Once that’s done, I stir the egg/grits mix into the pot.  Once everything is blended, it can be poured into a greased 9x13 baking pan. 

This bakes for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  When they are done, they won’t be jiggly in the middle and the top will be nice and browned.


I promise, this is the perfect side dish for an Easter brunch….or any brunch!  And the ham, oh the ham…..it is sweet/salty perfection.

I hope you try these recipes!  And make your guests bring the rest.   Happy Easter!

Peach Glazed Ham

10 pound spiral cut ham with brown sugar glaze

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

½ cup Dijon mustard

¼ cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 9 ounce jar Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place ham in a large baking dish.  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes.

For glaze:

In a small sauce pan, sauté shallot and garlic in olive oil until shallot is soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in glaze packet, mustard, broth, salt, pepper and Peach spread.  Bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.

Remove ham from oven and unwrap.  Pour glaze over ham and return to oven for 30 more minutes.  Let ham rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 16 (will give you a lot of leftovers)


Cheesy Grits Casserole

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 ½ cups quick cooking grits

1 cup Jack cheese, grated

8 ounces chive cream cheese

6 ounces goat cheese

4 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13x2 baking dish.

In a medium sized sauce pot, bring broth and water to a boil.  Stir in grits. Simmer over low heat, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until thick.  Stir in cheeses.  Cook over low heat until cheeses are melted.

In a small bowl, beat eggs with salt and pepper.  Stir ½ cup of hot grits into eggs.  Add egg mixture into grits and stir until blended.

Pour grits into greased 9x13x2 pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until middle is completely set and top is browned.

Serves 12

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