Easter dinner recipes

As I mentioned in my earlier post about Easter, I misplaced most of my usual Easter recipes so I tried a bunch of new recipes this year. Most were tasty -- good enough to share -- but none of them made me call off my search for my favorites. I served Baked Ham with Bourbon Glaze, which I liked but my husband didn't, because he doesn't like sweet sauces or glazes with meat. Grandma's Cheesy Potatoes are ubiquitous, I think, because Wegmans often seems to run out of the frozen hash brown potatoes. The Green Beans with Caramelized Onions was the best recipe of the bunch, but frankly I think caramelized onions are something you can put on just about anything and it will taste better. Oh, and I made a truly awful mustard sauce that looked and tasted something like paper mache paste. I didn't even put it on the table. Here are the recipes.

Baked Ham with Bourbon Glaze
Adapted slightly from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

1 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (6- to 8-pound) ham half

Microwave honey and molasses in a 1-quart glass dish at HIGH 1 minute. Whisk to bend. Whisk in bourbon, orange juice and mustard.

Remove skin and fat from ham; place ham in a lightly greased 13- by 9-inch pan. Make 1/4-inch-deep cuts in ham in a diamond pattern. Pour glaze over ham.

Bake on lower oven rack at 250 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 140, basting every 15 minutes with glaze.

Remove from pan, reserving drippings. Defat the drippings and serve with the ham. Yield: 12 servings

Grandma's Cheesy Potatoes
This was a recipe Grandma used to make, but I've seen lots of variations of this recipe. I've lightened these a bit from her original recipe ... also replaced chopped onion with dried onion flakes. They need to be cooked for about 90 minutes to get the potatoes soft, which is longer than the original directions.

2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use the reduced fat kind)
1 pint sour cream (I use light)
Salt and pepper, to taste (about 1 teaspoon of each)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 2-pound bag hash brown potatoes, thawed

Combine first six ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup cheese for the top. Mix in the hash browns.

Put in greased 9" by 13" Pyrex pan. Sprinkle top with reserved cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions
Adapted slightly from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
2 pounds fresh green beans
2 large sweet onions (such as Texas Sweet, Vidalia or Walla Walla)
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Trim benas. Cook beans in boiling water to cover 5-12 minutes or until desired tenderness (remember they will cook a little longer with the onions). Drain and set aside, or cover and chill overnight, if desired.

Meanwhile cut onions in half, then cut into thin sliced.

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and add onions. Cook 8-10 minutes (stir only if onions are really scorching).

Continue cooking onions, stirring often, 15 to 20 minutes or until golden (reduce heat if they are burning). Reduce heat to medium; stir in remaining 2 Tablespoons butter and brown sugar.

Add green beans and cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add vinegar; toss to coat. Yield: 8 servings