Cook’s Corner

Cook’s Corner: Behold the new colors of Easter eggs

 

Main dish

Melba-Glazed Ham

1 fully cooked smoked bone-in ham (14 pounds)

2/3 cup peach preserves

1/2 cup red raspberry jelly or jam

Prepare ham: Heat oven to 325 degrees. With a sharp knife remove skin and trim fat from ham, leaving about 1/4-inch of fat. Place ham on rack in large roasting pan. Bake 1 hour 45 minutes. Remove ham from oven.

Make glaze: In small saucepan heat peach preserves and jelly until melted and smooth. Brush glaze over ham two or three times while baking about 30 minutes longer, until thermometer inserted in thickest part of ham (not touching bone) reaches 135 degrees. Internal temperature will rise to 140 upon standing to set juices for easier slicing. Makes 20 main-dish servings.

Source: Good Housekeeping Cookbook Sunday Dinner Collector’s Edition (Hearst)

Per serving: 701 calories (23 percent from fat), 18 g fat (7 g saturated, 8 g monounsaturated), 50 mg cholesterol, 31 g protein, 91 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 1220 mg sodium.


Main dish

Atria’s Seared Scallops with Pea Risotto and Cardamom Froth

Risotto:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Coarse salt and black pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

Scallop:

12 large sea scallops

1 tablespoon olive oil

Garnishes:

Parmesan cheese

1 slice Prosciutto

1 cup milk

2 cardamom pods

Start with the risotto. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until coated. Add the wine and stir until all the liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the broth and cook until absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Add the remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until each portion is absorbed, stirring to keep from sticking, before adding the next. Continue until the rice is cooked al dente, about 35 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.

While risotto is cooking, puree 2 cups of peas with a little bit of broth in a blender or food processor. Set aside. Prepare the garnishes: Place the Prosciutto in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes to dry. Shave 4 small slices of the Parmesan onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in a heated 350-degree oven for about 5 minutes, until light gold. Simmer the cardamom pods in the milk until milk has reduced by half.

When risotto is nearly ready, rinse the scallops and pat dry. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Season the scallops and sear on both sides, cooking 2 to 3 minutes, until light gold (this will produce a medium-rare scallop. You can cook longer until scallops are cooked through if you prefer, but do not overcook or scallop will be tough).

To finish: Stir the pureed peas into the risotto until fully incorporated, then fold in remaining whole peas to warm through. Spoon the risotto onto the center of 4 plates, add 3 scallops to each, and place Parmesan and Prosciutto crisps between. Whisk the cardamom-infused milk until foamy and place on top of the scallops. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 701 calories (23 percent from fat), 18 g fat (7 g saturated, 8 g monounsaturated), 50 mg cholesterol, 31 g protein, 92 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 1220 mg sodium.


Snack

Sweet Chili and Peanut Popcorn

5 cups popped popcorn

1/2 cup peanuts, honey roasted suggested

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Place popcorn (purchased or microwaved plain popcorn is OK) in a large bowl. Scatter peanuts over top; set aside.

Stir together peanut butter, butter, honey, brown sugar, and hot sauce in a small, microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave about 30 seconds. Stir to blend.

Drizzle the peanut butter sauce over the popcorn. Coat a large spoon with vegetable oil spray to keep mixture from sticking and stir popcorn until evenly coated. Spread mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow popcorn to cool, break up any large pieces, and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Source: Adapted by Linda Cicero for Cook’s Corner from a recipe by The Popcorn Board

Per serving: 190 calories (70 percent from fat), 15 g fat (3 g saturated, 1 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 329 mg sodium.


Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year, not only is the hot spring fashion color, but it has made its way into the Easter egg parade. Forget the pastels of yesteryear; what’s trending now are vivid colors. McCormick developed these formulas for making vibrant dyes.

To use: Mix food coloring with 1/2 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon white vinegar. Submerge the eggs for at least 5 minutes:

Radiant Orchid — 7 drops blue, 3 drops neon purple

Hemlock — 3 drops blue, 12 drops green, 6 drops yellow

Cayenne —1 4 drops red, 1 drop blue, 1 drop yellow

Dazzling Blue — 20 drops neon blue, 1 drop neon purple

Violet Tulip — 2 drops red, 20 drops blue

Freesia — 1 drop red, 45 drops yellow (25 drops make up 1/4 teaspoon)

Celosia Orange — 2 drops red, 17 drops yellow

Placid Blue — 4 drops blue

Reader Question

Q: I love the fresh taste of the scallops with pea risotto at Atria. Can you get the recipe?

P.A.

A: This makes a beautiful spring entrée, and as risottos go is not that difficult to make as long as you have the time and patience to let the broth absorb slowly. The garnishes aren’t necessary but do make for a great contrast of flavors from the crisps of Parmesan and Prosciutto, with the cardamom milk adding just the right nip of spice.

Cookbook Corner

The Good Housekeeping Sunday Dinner Collector’s Edition Cookbook (Hearst, $35) is nostalgic and comfy and embraces the notion that making and sharing meals as a family ought to return to our busy lives, if only once a week. I love the concept, but even more I love the book’s all-encompassing scope, with 1,275 recipes, 52 seasonal menus and tips on every page that will help both novice and seasoned cooks. It would make a perfect wedding or graduation gift.

The recipes in this just-released edition are a wonderful blend of old and new. The Easter menu, for example, suggests eggs stuffed with smoked salmon and cucumber, radishes with pea puree, pineapple glazed ham, roasted asparagus, scalloped potatoes and both carrot cake and lemon-ricotta cheesecake. There are recipes for each dish, plus preparation and cooking time estimates, calorie counts and serving suggestions. You might think you don’t need a recipe for how to roast asparagus, but the kitchen tips also tell you where to break the stalks and how to store until cooking time (place stalks upright in a glass of water). I love the old-fashioned appeal of the pineapple glazed ham recipe, but for those who want something new there are variations like the melba-glazed ham here and a tomato-onion glaze as well.

Popcorn

Here’s a great twist on popcorn, quick to make and just in time for taking in spring training games, whether in the bleachers or sitting on the couch. Sweet chili popcorn packs some heat along with familiar peanuts and caramel. You can find more popcorn recipes at popcorn.org, a nonprofit that promotes popcorn for the industry.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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