One of the lasting pleasures of an Easter dinner is its wonderful leftovers. Here are some tasty recipes to help provide continuous enjoyment of those delicious foods.
Cheddar Ham Soup
- 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
- 2 cups water or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup sliced carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1-1/2 cups cubed leftover cooked ham
- 1 cup frozen peas
Combine the potatoes, water, carrot, and onion in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until tender for 10-15 minutes.
While these are cooking, melt the butter in another saucepan.
Stir in the flour until smooth, and then gradually add the milk, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened, for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the cheese until melted, then stir the contents of this saucepan into the undrained potato mixture.
Add the ham and peas, then heat through.
Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb
- 1 large onion (quartered and sliced)
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 cups diced leftover roast lamb
- 2 cups brown or beef gravy (homemade or prepared from a mix)
- 1/2 cup sliced or diced cooked carrots
- 1 cup frozen peas (cooked)
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 large egg yolk (beaten)
- 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté until tender.
Add the diced lamb to the skillet, along with carrots, peas, and prepared gravy. Stir to blend. Heat through, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the meat and vegetables to the greased baking dish.
If the mashed potatoes are stiff from being in the refrigerator, warm them briefly in a skillet or saucepan on the stove, or in the microwave.
Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl. Add the egg yolk, and beat until well blended.
Spoon the potatoes evenly over the meat and vegetables.
Bake the shepherd’s pie in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned and the gravy is bubbling.
Southern Beef Hash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large baking potato scrubbed and diced
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2-3 cups leftover roast beef, shredded
- 1 cup leftover drippings from roast beef
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add the olive oil to a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the diced potato and stir frequently. Cook about 5 minutes until the potato is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Add the onions and celery, and cook about 3 more minutes until tender.
Stir in the shredded roast beef and garlic. Cook until the beef is heated throughout.
While the roast beef is cooking, heat the drippings in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 8 minutes, until reduced by about half. Whisk in the cornstarch until well combined, then pour into the beef hash.
Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.
Chicken and Potato Casserole
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk (or half-and-half)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups leftover chicken, diced
- 2 cups leftover potatoes
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs (optional)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
Heat the butter in a large heavy skillet, or sauté pan, over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and onions and cook about 8 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
Stir the flour into the skillet or pan, cooking and stirring for 1-2 minutes.
Gradually add the milk or half-and-half and cook and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In the buttered baking dish combine the chicken, potatoes, and mushroom sauce mixture.
Optional step: toss the bread crumbs with melted butter until well coated. Then top the chicken, potatoes, and mushroom sauce mixture with the buttered bread crumbs.
Optional step: sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Other cooked vegetables may be used along with the potatoes, either in place of, or in addition to, the mushrooms.
Leftover Easter Candy Treat — Easter Bunny Bark
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup assorted Easter candies (crushed robin eggs, pastel M&Ms, pastel sprinkles, etc.)
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Melt the semi-sweet chocolate, using either a double-boiler or microwave. If using the microwave, stop and stir the chocolate every 20 second to avoid seizing (turning into a pasty mess). Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into a large rectangle. Place it in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes, or until no longer wet-looking.
While the semi-sweet chocolate is in the fridge, melt the white chocolate, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before pouring on top of the chilled bottom layer. The high heat of the white chocolate should prevent the two layers from sticking together. Spread the white chocolate into an even layer on top, then decorate with the candies.
Let the bark set at room temperature in a cool, dry environment (about 45 minutes). If needed, you can place it in the fridge to speed things up.
When hardened, break the bark into the sizes you want.
Chocolate: Don’t use chocolate chips or morsels. Pure chocolate is the best for easy melting, and tastes better (e.g. Baker’s, Lindt).
Make ahead and store or freeze: If you make the bark ahead of time, store it in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place, or in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. To store it longer, freeze for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge.
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