Brunch is my favorite meal on the planet, and the recipe I’m sharing today is hands-down everything I need brunch to be. My Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits with Country Ham and Local Honey are soft, buttery, cheesy and warm. The salty country ham is sliced thin and crisped up in my cast iron skillet. I drizzle sweet honey over the top, and everything is right with the world.
Few things bring me greater joy than entertaining family and friends around my kitchen table. Easter Sunday was such an occasion. I hosted dinner for my parents and sweet in-laws, plus my husband’s beloved Aunt Polly. From Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake to deviled eggs and brown sugar-mustard glazed ham, our celebratory feast was Some Kinda Good, and as Southern and traditional as it gets. Continue reading “Easter Entertaining: Recipes and Recollections”
In my family, Easter Sunday has always been a special time to gather around the kitchen table after celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at church. I can’t think of a better way to give praise than with a bounty of beautiful food. Whether you’re popping a spiral ham in the oven and pairing it with scalloped potatoes, or opting for a special mid-morning brunch after the Sunrise Service, I hope some of my favorite recipes will tempt your palate. I’ll share three that are menu must-haves including Vidalia Onion Quiche, Best Grape Salad and Spicy Cheddar Long Straws. Choose one, or make them all. Happy Easter, y’all!
Vidalia Onion Quiche
This recipe appears in the cookbook “Savannah Celebrations” by Martha Nesbit
- 4 Slices bacon, minced
- 1 Large Vidalia Onion, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 Eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ready-to-roll pie crust
- ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Fry the bacon in a medium skillet until it is very crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Drain off all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease. Saute the onion in the grease until it is very tender and just beginning to turn brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the flour.In a quart measuring cup, measure the half-and-half. Add the eggs and whisk together. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Place the pie crust in a deep-dish glass pie dish. Crimp the edges. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust. Layer both cheeses in the bottom of the crust. Distribute the bacon pieces and sautéed onion over the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over all.
Place the pie dish on a cookie sheet for ease in handling and put in the center of heated oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes longer or until the center of the quiche is set. You may need to cover the outer edge of the crust with foil to prevent over-browning.
Best Grape Salad
Adapted from Food.com
Who doesn’t love cream cheese and graham crackers? Beware–the cold and juicy grapes in this crowd-pleaser are addictive. Thanks to my Aunt Susan for introducing me to such a fabulous recipe!
- 2 lbs green seedless grapes
- 2 lbs red seedless grapes
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to tasteTopping Ingredients
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed, to taste
- 1 cup crushed pecans, to taste
- Graham Crackers, crumbled to taste
Wash and stem grapes. Set aside. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla by hand until blended. Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving bowl. For topping: Combine brown sugar, and crushed pecans. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely. Chill overnight.
“Our best tip for successful cheese straws is to shred your own cheese. It’s stickier and blends better than pre-shredded cheese.” – Southern Living
I can testify to that! These cheese straws have become one of my go-to snacks for entertaining any time of the year. I think they’re especially great at brunch with a Bloody Maria. Their buttery texture crumbles and melts right in your mouth.
Spicy Cheddar Long Straws
- 1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.
For more brunch inspiration, check out these photos (provided & styled by The Stylish Steed) from a brunch party I hosted at home. Some Kinda Good, good food and good company, that’s what it’s all about!
What are your favorite springtime dishes?
At my house, it wouldn’t be a dinner party without the smoke alarm sounding at least once or my Shih Tzu, Ewok howling to the top of his lungs and doing the happy dance each time a new guest arrives at the door. That was the scene on a rainy Tuesday night recently when I invited my boyfriend and two close friends over for an early Easter feast. It was an occasion special enough for fine china and the antique, linen seashell napkins my mother gave me. On the menu?
- Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Chutney
- Locally Roasted Root Vegetables: Turnips and Carrots
- Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
- Blanched Snap Peas
- Open-Faced Apple Pie
- Malbec Red Wine
I had visited the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market earlier that day for some help with side dishes, and came across these beauties from Poor Robin’s Produce grown in Screven County. Though they took more work to prepare, roasted with a good quality olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, the vegetables were tender to the taste and colorful on the platter. These vegetables keep giving and giving…with the leftover roasted vegetables from dinner, the next day I made the most hearty and comforting Roasted Turnip and Carrot Soup with homemade croutons. I’ve begun to think like a real chef, using up every ounce of the produce possible. I even garnished my soup with the green carrot tops. Turnip greens are up next.
For the Leg of Lamb:
- One 4 -Pound Leg of Lamb
- 3-4 Garlic Cloves, slivered
- Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, such as Bella D ‘Olivia
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Leave the fat on the lamb. Don’t trim it. It adds flavor and keeps the meat moist throughout roasting. Pre-heat the over to 450 degrees. With a sharp knife, make small slits throughout the meat. Insert the slivered garlic cloves into the slits. Season the lamb with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the meat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then massage the seasonings and oil all over the meat. Place the meat in roasting pan, fitted with a rack. If you don’t have one, a 9 x 13 casserole dish will work just as well. Fill the roasting pan with an inch of water. Roast the meat at 450 degrees for the first 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and check to see if the water has evaporated, if so, add more. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees. Cook the meat for 20 minutes per pound for medium well, or 15 minutes per pound for medium rare.
Reason #429 to visit your local farmers’ market: TO GET RECIPES!! When I purchased a large Zip-Lock bag of fresh mint, this little jewel was attached to it with a paper clip.
For the Mint Chutney:
- 2 1/2 Cups Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves
- 1/3 Cup Minced Onion
- 1/4 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
- 1/3 Cup White Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
In a medium bowl, mix the mint, onion, sugar, vinegar, cayenne pepper and salt. Cover the mixture and refrigerate 2 hours, or until chilled.
These side dishes and our dessert rounded out the meal perfectly.
Have you eaten lamb before? If so, how did you prepare it and what did you think?