Spring into Easter with Reinvented Family Recipes03/15/2016 04:31AM ● By Family Features
Vegetable casseroles and carrot cake have been Easter menu mainstays for decades, but with the majority of millennials now hosting holiday family gatherings, retro dishes are getting a flavorful facelift with new ingredients and flavor twists.
Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens offers these tips to put a new spin on Easter favorites:
- Liven up the Easter ham with a spicy-sweet glaze of apricot jam, pineapple juice and chipotle chili pepper. Brush on a spiral-cut ham before roasting in the oven.
- Upgrade a traditional vegetable casserole by sprinkling a layer of cheddar cheese and topping with potato tots. Bake until the tots are crisp and golden brown and the casserole is bubbly.
- Combine two classic Easter desserts in one; swirl carrot cake batter into a smooth and creamy cheesecake base with a hint of lemon. Bake and cut into bars.
Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, divided
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix 1 cup each of flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Add oil, 2 eggs, vanilla extract and carrots; mix well. Spread 1/2 of the batter into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining batter. Set aside.
- Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, remaining 2 tablespoons flour and lemon extract; beat until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
- Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture and reserved carrot cake batter, alternately, over carrot cake batter in pan. Cut through several times with knife for marble effect.
- Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Apricot Pineapple Chipotle Glazed Ham
- 1 bone-in spiral-cut ham, about 10 pounds
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 3/4 teaspoon McCormick Chipotle Chili Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham on its side in roasting pan. Mix apricot jam, pineapple juice, chipotle chili pepper and garlic powder in small bowl until well blended. Brush 1/2 of the jam mixture over ham, gently separating slices so mixture can reach middle of ham. Cover loosely with foil.
- Bake 1 hour, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Remove foil. Brush with remaining jam mixture. Bake 45 minutes longer. Serve ham with pan drippings.
Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Tater-Topped Casserole
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen cauliflower florets, thawed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, cubed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 pound frozen fried potato tots
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut up any large broccoli or cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. Add milk; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cream cheese and Parmesan cheese; cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Add vegetables; toss gently to coat. Spoon into 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with Cheddar cheese and top with potato tots.
- Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until heated through and potato tots are golden brown and crispy.