It is hard to imagine now, with global reach making fresh produce available year-round, just how cathartic it was biting into the first tastes of spring. When those first spears of asparagus started showing up in the supermarket, the anticipation, after months of nothing but canned green beans and weary root vegetables, was heady.
Seasonal changes might not mean as much today, but the spring state of mind makes me want to lighten up my cooking. Out with the stews and in with lighter, fresher fare. I’m quite fond of this new salad just added to the menu in celebration of spring at Fogo de Chão, the Brazilian steakhouse with a location at 836 First St., Miami Beach. The salad is light and vibrant and a true change of pace.
Easter Ham Glaze
Q. Some time ago I had a recipe from you for a delicious and easy glaze for ham, but I can’t seem to find it. The main thing that made it say “Miami” to me was it had dark rum. Can you print it in time for Easter?
A. This glaze is classic, like so many recipes credited to Bacardi (makes me want to make a rum cake right now). You can use any fruit — I’ve tried fresh oranges and I’ve tried mangoes — but I think the traditional pineapple rings and maraschino cherries is fun for a déjà vu Easter.
Brunch in a pan
I love the idea of pancakes for Easter or other brunches, but have never figured a way not to be eating cold pancakes by the time I’ve made them for everyone else. So I went browsing for a solution and found this all-in-one casserole that combines pancake flavor with everything else you want in a big breakfast on the krusteaz.com website.
It’s a great time to go through your cabinets and discard spices and baking ingredients that have lost their punch. I love this tip from Taste of Home magazine:
“Don’t toss baking soda that’s gone beyond its expiration date. Buy a new one for baking and use the old one as your magic ingredient for removing burned food from the bottom of a pan. Do this by sprinkling it in the pan, adding enough water to cover the blackened portion and simmer for a few minutes. You can also clean your sink with it and use as a drain freshener by using a tablespoon or two of baking soda in the drain along with 1/4 cup or so of vinegar.”
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172.
1 (5- to 6-pound) fully cooked bone-in ham
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup dark rum
1 (15.5-ounce) can pineapple rings, well drained
Place ham on rack in roasting pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and score fat by using a sharp knife to make diagonal slashes first in one direction, then in the other. Combine the pineapple juice and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar, mustard and ginger. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, then stir in rum. Continue to cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth.
Brush the glaze over the ham and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange pineapple rings and cherries on ham. Insert cloves at intersecting cuts. Brush with more glaze and bake until browned as desired, up to 20 minutes, brushing occasionally. Makes about 16 servings, depending upon size of ham.
Per serving: 385 calories (48 percent from fat), 20.3 g fat (6.9 g saturated, 8.7 g monounsaturated), 122 mg cholesterol, 35 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 371 mg sodium.
Source: Cook’s Corner archives.
Fogo de Chão Sugar Snap and Cabbage Salad
1 cup sugar snap peas
3 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup red cabbage, finely cut into 1-inch julienne strips
1 cup red grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
1 1/8 teaspoons ground dried thyme
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons finely sliced green onion
Rinse sugar snap peas and remove stems. Drop into a pot of boiling salted water and cook 2 minutes. Drain and place in an ice bath to cool completely. Add to salad bowl along with green peas, onion, cabbage and tomatoes.
Prepare the dressing: Place the onion, thyme, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper into a blender jar and blend well, then slowly add the oil with the machine running to emulsify. Add the sliced green onions and toss with the salad. Makes about 1 cup.
To assemble: Toss salad with 1/2 cup, or to taste, of the dressing and serve (refrigerate the remainder of the dressing for another use). Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 250 calories (73 percent from fat), 20 g fat (2.8 g saturated, 14.8 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 3.6 g protein, 13.4 g carbohydrate, 3.2 g fiber, 495 mg sodium.
Source: Adapted for home use by Linda Cicero from the Fogo de Chão recipe.
3 cups buttermilk pancake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
8 ounces breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 package (about 13-15 slices) pre-cooked bacon, cooked and chopped (reserve a small amount for topping)
1 medium Macintosh apple, cored, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 11-by-7-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together pancake mix, water and maple syrup. Add sausage and bacon; mix in. Pour half of the batter mixture into prepared baking pan. Layer the apple slices over the batter mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the top of apples. Bake 40-45 minutes until firm and golden brown. During the last 10 minutes of baking, scramble two eggs and set aside. Remove baking pan from oven. Sprinkle with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and leftover chopped bacon. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into squares, and serve with warm maple syrup drizzled over the top. Makes 16 servings.
Per serving: 223 calories (31 percent from fat), 7.6 g fat (2.9 g saturated, 0.6 g monounsaturated), 50 mg cholesterol, 9.5 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 576 mg sodium.
Source: Created by Liz Mays, who blogs at Lizventures, for krusteaz.com.