Dinner of the Week: Easter Ham, Rosemary Twice-Baked Potatoes, and Orange Glazed String Beans

We had a quiet Easter this year, with just the two of us.  Due to that, we decided to be a little adventurous with dinner by winging it.  We had a small ham, russet potatoes, and string beans on hand, so we made up the recipes for the main course and the side dishes as we went along.  It turned out fantastic, and we had a lot of fun, too!

Easter Ham, Rosemary Twice-Baked Potatoes, and Orange Glazed String Beans
Courtesy of Kirsten and Evan
Ingredients for Easter Ham:
– 1 small ham, pre-cooked
– 2 cups orange juice
– 1/2 cup apricot preserves
– 1/2 cup applesauce
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup dijon mustard
– 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
– 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
– 2 tsp. chili powder
– 2 tsp. cinnamon
– 2 tsp. nutmeg
– 1 tsp. smoked paprika
– 1 tsp. cumin

Ingredients for Twice-Baked Potatoes:

– 4 medium-sized russet potatoes
– 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
– 1/2 stick butter or margarine
– 3 tbs. crushed rosemary
– 2 tbs. garlic powder
– Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
– Olive oil

Ingredients for Orange Glazed String Beans:
– 1/2 lbs. string beans
– 1 ripe orange
– 1/3 cup orange juice
– 1/3 cup Italian dressing
– Freshly ground pepper

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Take the ham out of the refrigerator, remove the wrapping, and use a knife to make crisscrossing slits into it.  Let the ham rest on the counter to bring it to room temperature.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the apricot preserves, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cinnamon, smoked paprika, nutmeg, and cumin. Blend until smooth.
Instead of pouring water at the bottom of the casserole dish or roasting pan, trying using fresh orange juice instead!
Then baste the ham and pop it into the oven, uncovered.
Meanwhile, wash and scrub the potatoes.  Pierce them all over with a fork.
Spritz olive oil over each potato, then douse them with freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt.  Add more olive oil if the salt doesn’t stick.
Set the potatoes on a microwaveable plate and cook them on high for 15 minutes.  Once done, let them cool for a few minutes before handling.

Place the potatoes on a large cutting board and slice them in half lengthwise.
Then, carefully remove the potato from the skins, and place it in a bowl.  It’s all right if you tear the skins a bit, but try not to ruin them entirely.
In a large mixing bowl, add the sour cream, mozzarella cheese, butter, rosemary, and garlic powder.  

Blend well with either a Kitchenaid or a hand mixer.  Add more sour cream or skim milk if the mashed potatoes are a bit chunky.  You may also add salt and pepper to taste.  The mashed potatoes are done when they’re light and fluffy.
Carefully scoop the mashed potatoes back into the skins.  The potatoes will help hold any of the skins that were torn from before.  
Dab each potato with a blot of butter, and place all of them into a greased casserole dish.  Bake them in the oven along with the ham for approximately 15-20 minutes.
While you’re at it, baste the ham again and cover it with aluminum foil so the crust won’t burn.  Put it back into the oven.
Wash and pat dry the string beans.  Clean them up by either snapping or slicing off the ends.
Also, peel the orange and take it apart by individual slices.
Heat a large skillet on the stove over medium heat.  Add the string beans, orange slices, Italian dressing, orange juice, and ground pepper.

Once the orange juice and Italian dressing begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cover.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10-15 minutes.

By the time the string beans are ready, the ham should be finished, too.  Remove it from the oven and baste it one more time.  Let it rest on a large cutting board for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, open the oven door and set it on broil so that the tops of the twice-baked potatoes can become crispy.
Carve the ham into slices.

Once done, remove the twice-baked potatoes from the oven, and you’re ready to eat!

Enjoy!

This ham was perfectly juicy and had a great flavor to it.  You can definitely taste the sugary-sweetness of the brown sugar, apricot preserves, and orange juice, while getting a bit of a kick from the smoked paprika and chili powder.

These string beans, too, were amazing.  The combination of the Italian dressing and orange juice created a nice glaze over them.  The fresh orange slices dissolved well into the string beans, creating an interesting flavor and texture.

I don’t have to rave about these twice-baked potatoes.  Let’s just say that they disappeared fast.

Even though this meal was prepared for Easter, I can definitely see it as a nice weekend dinner, as well!  It took about an hour to cook and was well worth the preparation and cleanup.  We’ll definitely be making this again!

Hope you’ll give it a try, too!
You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

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