Easter Dinner 2018

My Easter meal planning this year was inspired by two things: 1) the desire to use my Pyrex pink daisy divided dish (because pink and daisies are so Easter), and 2) the beautiful rainbow carrots and red fingerling potatoes we got in our produce box this week. The divided dish will be perfect for a berry and whipped cream dessert, and the carrots and potatoes will be roasted and tossed in a carrot top pesto.

For everything else, I’ve pulled together the most Easter-y pastels I could find in my collection: lime green, gold and sunny orange.

Rough menu:

  • Spice rubbed rotisserie chicken (recipe)
  • Roasted carrots and potatoes with carrot top pesto (recipe)
  • Brussels sprout quiche (recipe)
  • Simple salad with kumquat dressing (recipe)
  • Parker House rolls
  • Assorted berries with fresh whipped cream

 

Pictured: Pyrex Pink Daisy Divided Dish, Pyrex Lime 024 Round Casserole, Pyrex Butterfly Gold 404 Round Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Lime 232 Oblong Open Baker, Corning Ware Butterscotch Round B-2 1/2-B Saucepan, Corning Ware French White F-3-B Quiche Dish, Fire King Gravy Boat

Broccoli, Cheese & Bacon Breakfast Bake

I love breakfast casseroles, but most recipes seem to be designed for 13×9 pans — great for feeding a crowd, but too much for those times I want to make something special just for my own little family. Here’s a scaled-down version that can be done in an 8×8 pan or 2-quart casserole dish. It uses ingredients we tend to have on hand, so I was able to whip it up this past weekend without a trip to the grocery store. Bonus: If you use Corning Ware, you can saute and bake in the same dish!

Adapted from Food Network’s Mix-and-Match Brunch Casserole.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 oz bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
3 cups stale bread, torn into roughly 1-inch cubes (not too dense — I used leftover hamburger buns)
1 cup shredded cheese (any type — I used a Mexican blend)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Saute the bacon over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the edges start to brown. Then add the onion and broccoli, and saute until the broccoli starts to cook but is still crunchy. Transfer to a large bowl.

Stir in the bread and 3/4 cup of the cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt and pepper (to taste), then add to the veggie/bread mixture and toss until the bread is well coated. Let stand for a few minutes.

Pour into a greased 8×8 pan or casserole and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the center is just set and the edges start to brown, about 40-50 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, then serve.

Pictured: Corning Ware Floral Bouquet Third Edition A-2-B Casserole, Pyrex Salad Bowl 444 Cinderella Mixing Bowl, Pyrex 532 Measuring Cup  

Spring Onion, Barley and White Bean Soup

What do you do when you have spring onions from the farmers market and a big bag of arugula from your neighbor’s garden? Well, I start thinking about soup, the swirl of greens in a hearty mix of beans and barley, and bacon. It’s hard to go wrong with ingredients like that! The soup is a meal in itself but would also be good served with garlic bread or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Recipe very loosely adapted from The New York TimesBarley and Spring Onion Soup With Fava Beans.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 oz bacon, diced
1/2 lb spring onions, sliced (bulbs and stems)
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup barley
5 oz arugula (or baby spinach)
salt
pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the bacon until the fat renders and the edges start to brown. Add the spring onions and cook until they are slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme, beans and barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until barley is tender, about 1 hour.

Stir in the arugula and cook until wilted and the soup starts to simmer again, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Pictured: Corning Ware Spice O’ Life A-5-B Saucepot, Pyrex Butterfly Gold 402 Round Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl

Whole Roasted Butternut Squash

Have you ever struggled to cut open a rock-hard butternut squash? It seems like every recipe calls for splitting the thing in half (somehow avoiding chopping off a finger in the process), scooping out the seeds and then roasting the halves in the oven. But there’s a much better way!

When you roast the squash whole, the skin becomes papery, the seeds and stringy bits can be scraped out with a spoon, and the flesh slices like butter. Couldn’t be easier!

After roasting you can cube it up, toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and throw it under the broiler until nice and golden brown. Or you can puree it for soup. Or you can slice it and turn it into a pizza topping (which is where this squash is headed).

The whole-roasted method is not my invention, but I don’t understand why it’s not more common. It works for pretty much any type of squash, too.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pierce the squash with a knife several times, as you would a baked potato. Place on an oven-safe dish or baking sheet (rack is optional). Roast until the squash is tender, about 1 hour.

Let rest until the squash is cool enough to handle. Cut off the stem and base, peel off the skin, scoop out the seeds and prep as desired.

Pictured: Corning Ware Blue Cornflower P-10-B Square Skillet

7 Layer Chicken Chili and Cornbread Dip

A few years ago I came across a Food Network recipe for an eight-layer chicken chili dip and whipped it up for a Super Bowl party. It was fantastic, but so much work! It required a ton of chopping and prepping, and that got me thinking of ways to cut corners without sacrificing taste. For example, instead of dicing tomatoes, why not use pico de gallo salsa?

So for this year’s Super Bowl I’ve made the dip again, but with my own tweaks. I’ve swapped out ingredients for things that are easier to chop or don’t require chopping at all. And I’ve scaled up the recipe a bit to fit in a basic salad/mixing bowl. I’m pretty happy with the result! It’s still a little time consuming, but definitely easier than the original, and pretty tasty.

The dip is best served with a big spoon, so that you can scoop all the way through the layers, transfer to a plate and eat with tortilla chips.

Serves 16

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (roughly 1 whole chicken)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1 1/2 cups)
zest of 2 limes plus about 1/4 cup juice
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 bunch green onion, chopped
2 heaping cups crumbled cornbread (about half a batch of cornbread from the Jiffy boxed mix)
1 16 oz container pico de gallo salsa, drained
1 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the onions in the vegetable oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, salt and cayenne, then add the chicken broth and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the shredded chicken and stir until well mixed. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, cilantro, and lime zest and juice. In a separate bowl, stir together the corn and green onions.

In a straight-sided salad or mixing bowl, layer the dip in the following order: cornbread (tamped down gently), pico de gallo (use a slotted spoon so that you leave behind as much liquid as possible), black beans, cheese, cilantro-lime sour cream, chicken chili, corn and green onion mixture.

Chill, covered, for at least 1 hour or overnight. Serve with tortilla chips.

Pictured: Fire King Sunbeam Mixing Bowl, Corning Ware Spice O’ Life P-322 Square Cake Dish, Pyrex Spring Blossom 442 Cinderella Mixing Bowl, Pyrex 532 Measuring Cup, Assorted Pyrex Round and Cinderella Mixing Bowls

Potato and Chard Gratin

Last week we got some beautiful rainbow chard in our Imperfect Produce box — bright, colorful stems and luscious dark green leaves. It was almost a shame to bury it in potatoes and cream, but oh so delicious!

A mandoline slicer is particularly handy for this recipe, but you can slice the potatoes by hand too — the thinner the better. Cook time can vary depending on the thickness of your potato slices, so be prepared to leave the gratin in the oven a little longer if needed.

Adapted from Food Network’s Potatoes Gratin.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard (5-7 leaves), stems sliced thin and leaves cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced thin (about 1/8 inch)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chard and saute until thoroughly wilted and most of the liquid has cooked out.

In a large bowl, toss the chard mixture with potatoes, cream and 1 cup of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Layer the potatoes and chard mixture in a medium casserole dish, and pour over any remaining cream from the bowl. Top with the remaining Parmesan.

Bake until the potatoes are tender and the gratin is bubbly and golden brown, about 1 hour.

Pictured: Corning Ware French White F-2-B Oval Casserole, Pyrex Autumn Harvest 404 Round Mixing Bowl

Sunny-Side-Up Egg in the Microwave

I recently added another Corning Ware microwave browning skillet to my collection — a 6-inch MW-83-B scored at Savers — so I decided it was time to try it out. The MW-83-B is similar to the P-83-B in Corning Ware’s Menuette line, making it the perfect size for a fried egg.

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With this little footed skillet, it’s possible to cook a pretty good sunny-side-up egg — lightly browned edges, runny yolk — in about a minute.

Ingredients

cooking spray
1 egg, cracked into a bowl
salt
pepper

Place the empty skillet in the microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds to preheat. Spray the skillet liberally with oil, then pour in the egg and microwave for another 40 seconds. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Note: Cooking times are for a 1100-watt microwave. You may need to experiment a bit to achieve your desired level of doneness. The Corning Ware 411 blog has some more detailed information on cooking with microwave browning skillets, including a vintage chart of cooking times for various foods.

Pictured: Corning Ware Amana MW-83-B Microwave Browning Skillet