Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner


This year I cantored Easter Morning mass in my old home town in the Bay Area.  When mass was over I hopped in my car and drove 400 miles back to my current home town.  I walked in the door at 5:00 p.m., ham in insulated bag and a couple of sweet potatoes in my trunk, and the rest of the ingredients already in the fridge and pantry.  I had Easter dinner on the table by 6:00.  Just a few short cuts help to make it that fast.

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes (I used garnet yams)
  • 1 spiral sliced ham
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb frozen green beans
  • 4 oz prewashed field greens
  • 4 large fresh strawberries, washed
  • 1 small apple, washed
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup boysenberry jam
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if you have a toaster oven it will heat up very quickly, other a conventional oven is fine but will use more energy).  Cut off the tough stem ends of the sweet potatoes and peel them.   Cut them into 1 ½” chunks and put them in a microwave proof bowl.  Microwave them on high for 6-8 minutes, stirring them halfway through the cooking process until soft. 

Cut off 1 pound of ham slices off the ham and wrap and refrigerate the rest for later.  Wrap the ham slices in foil and put them in the oven.  Take frozen green beans out and put them in a pot with just enough water to cover.

Grate the rind of the orange and set it aside.  Cut the blossom and stem end off the orange and cut away the bitter white pith.  Cut the orange into small bite-sized sections.  Stem and slice the strawberries,  core and dice the apple (leave skin on).

Remove sweet potatoes from the microwave.  Blend orange juice, brandy and butter in a microwaveable mug and microwave on high for 1 minute or until butter melts and orange juice is warm.  Add the grated orange rind and orange juice mixture to the sweet potatoes and mash them well.  Cover them, and set them aside in a warm place (like on top of the stove).

Portion salad greens into individual salad bowls. Top with orange, apple and strawberries.  Blend vinegar and olive oil together and drizzle over salad. Sprinkle walnuts on top.

Bring pot of green beans to boil covered.  Cook them for just a minute or two or until bright green.  They should still be crisp.  Drain them well and toss with butter.

In the same mug you just used, blend jam and Dijon mustard together.  Microwave for one minute and turn mixture out into a sauce serving dish. 

Remove ham from the oven. 

Portion ham, sweet potatoes and green beans onto individual plates.  Sprinkle green beans with parmesan cheese.  Serve boysenberry sauce on the side.

Voila!  Under 60 minutes.  Serves 4

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