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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easter Honey Glazed Ham

Since Easter is just around the corner, we decided to feature a local ham with a delicious brushed-on glaze in last night's cooking class last in our Belleville Country Store. 

While the ham was warming in the oven, we prepared the glaze and set it aside to cool. As it cools, the glaze thickens making it the perfect consistency to brush on the ham during the last stages of baking. Tangy Dijon mustard perfectly balances sweet fruit juices and honey, making this a delicious way to add a burst of flavor to Eckert's juicy, slightly-salty ham. 
Eckert's proudly sells  high-quality, local, bone-in half and whole hams. As we baked the ham, less than a teaspoon of juices escaped into the pan. This means the juices remained in the ham resulting in a juicy and tender finished product.

Keep this recipe at the top of your collection for holiday gatherings! We are sure your guests will love it as much as our classroom guests did - they were all asking for seconds!!
Eat well this Easter, Angie
10 to 12 lb. fully cooked, bone-in ham
⅓ cup Eckert's Pure Honey
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup pineapple juice
⅓ cup orange juice
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. ground cloves
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham in roasting pan. Bake uncovered 2 hours. In a small saucepan, combine honey, brown sugar, pineapple and orange juice, mustard and cloves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside. After baking the ham brush ham with glaze and bake an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing on glaze every 10 minutes. Makes 15 servings.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Margherita Pizza with Fresh Herbs

What a fun Saturday afternoon we had in the classroom! We had a group of ladies AND a few men for our Herb Cooking Class. The group was a mixture of herb garden newbies and experienced gardeners. I think they learned a lot from each other as they shared stories at their tables.

This recipe was a hit with the group. It is a classic pizza with plenty of fresh herbs to awaken your senses! I love basil and this pizza had me craving all kinds of summer flavors. This classic Italian pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy in the late 1800’s. It is said to have been created to resemble the Italian flag. History aside, made well, this pizza is simply delicious.

To make your Margherita pizza taste queen-worthy, you must start with top-notch tomatoes. Pomi brand tomatoes have incredible flavor and a remarkably simple label. The package contains tomatoes and nothing else! Once you have your high quality tomatoes, simply follow the recipe to success.

Eat well this SPRING (finally it is starting to feel like it really is here!), Angie

P.S. If you need to satisfy your tomato growing fix, come on out to our Garden Center at our Belleville farm. We have over 15 types of tomato plants and more arriving daily. Our veggie packs are 5 for $5 during the month of April.

3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 sprig parsley, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1-1/2 cups Crushed Tomatoes (we strongly recommend Pomi or San Marzono)
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
3 ounces fresh mozzarella (in liquid), thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
Eckert’s frozen thin-crust pizza crust
In a 10-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high. Sauté onion and parsley until golden (about 8 minutes), then stir in garlic and oregano for a few seconds. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, stirring, 5 minutes or until thick.
Spread sauce over crust, sprinkle with basil, mozzarella, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Finish with generous black pepper and a little salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-14 minutes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oven Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter

Thank you Show Me St. Louis! I had a ball at the station last Thursday making Herb Butter with Host Julie. Cooking on Show-Me is always a pleasure J

I made Herb Butter in during the demo and Julie loved it on Eckert’s Bakery Bread. Luckily, I had a extra Herb Butter to take home after the demo so I decided to use it on chicken last night. The results were delicious and kid-approved!! (Really! The kids didn’t even mind the little flecks of “green stuff.””) I simply melted the herb butter in the microwave for 20 seconds and brushed it on chicken pieces from Eckert’s Butcher Shop. I hope you will give both of the recipes a try.

Thank goodness fresh herbs are finally here in our greenhouse at Eckert’s. I have started to grow a few on my windowsill and as a result I am feeling like I have a little more optimism about spring actually arriving….

Eat well this winter-like spring, Angie

Eckert’s Garlic Herb Butter - As Featured on Show Me St. Louis
1 head garlic
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. fresh thyme
3 Tbs. fresh rosemary
3 Tbs. fresh sage
3 Tbs. fresh parsley
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

With a knife, trim the papery tip off the head of the garlic to expose the white tips of the cloves. Leave cloves connected to the root end. Place bulb of cloves on aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil and wrap with foil. Bake 30-45 minutes or until cloves are soft when pressed. Remove foil and allow garlic to cool.

Extract the soft garlic from the skins and discard skins.

In a small bowl, combine garlic, butter and herbs until well-combined. If desired, shape butter into a log and wrap with wax paper. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Oven Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter
3 Tbs Melted Herb Butter
3 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (2 split breasts cut crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs)

Rinse chicken pieces and pat chicken dry with paper towels. Lightly season with salt and pepper. In a oven-proof baking pan, place chicken pieces, skin side up; arranging breast pieces in center and leg and thigh pieces around the outside of the baking pan.

Brush chicken with herb butter. (If butter is cold, warm a few seconds in microwave). Roast until breasts register 160-degrees and legs and thighs register 175-degrees about 35 to 40 minutes. Rotate the baking pan half-way through the roasting.

Transfer chicken to a warm serving platter. Tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

We still have a few spots available in our upcoming herb classes. We are offering a herb class this Saturday, March 29th and another herb class on April 12th. Click here for a full listing of our upcoming classes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Easy as Pie, Pecan Pie

My husband, Chris, is VERY fond of Eckert’s Bakery’s Pecan Pie but I was lacking the perfect recipe for baking from my home. Certainly we can grab one from Eckert’s bakery and it is very hard to upstage but I was determined to make one that could compare.  A few winters ago, I collected as many pecan recipes as I could find and baked a new one every weekend. (Yes really I did!!)

The pie recipes ranged in amounts of butter and types of sweeteners including brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses etc. Chris provided feedback with each test recipe about the sweetness and the textures but Eckert’s Bakery Pecan Pie still upstaged my baking!

 It wasn’t until I made the most basic recipe- found on the Karo Syrup bottle of all things- that I received the official nod of approval! Since the “winter of pecan pie baking,” as it is called in my family, I have stopped looking for a better recipe. I am convinced the best pecan pie is made with dark Karo syrup and a blend of regular and vanilla sugars. The vanilla sugar is my own twist to this classic recipe and it too is very simple to make. I bake this pie so often that I keep pre-portioned bags of Illinois pecans and frozen pie shells in a special drawer in my freezer! In celebration of National Pi Day this Friday, I will be making it a couple times this week. Give it a try and you will understand why!!!
Ella helping in the kitchen!
Eat well this winter, Angie

1 cup Dark Karo® Corn Syrup
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
½ cup granulated vanilla sugar (*see recipe below or substitute regular granulated sugar)
2 Tbs. butter, melted
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
6 oz. pecans (about a cup and a half)
1      (9-inch) unbaked or frozen Eckert’s pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pecans in the pie crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together corn syrup, eggs, sugars, butter and vanilla. Pour filling into pie crust. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake on center rack for 50 to 60 minutes.

Baking Note: Pie is done if you can lightly tap the surface of the pie and it springs back. The pie will slice cleaner if you allow it cool for 2 hours after baking. However, this doesn’t always happen in my house!

Vanilla Granulated Sugar
I make my own vanilla sugar and keep it on hand in the cabinet for special desserts, coffee flavoring etc. To make vanilla sugar, cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and place it in a jar or reseal-able glass container. Pour in 2 cups of granulated sugar. Allow vanilla flavors to blend into the sugar for at least 1 week. Use as you would regular sugar to add a hint of vanilla!

No time to bake this week? Stop by our bakery in Belleville!  On Friday you can take advantage of a great deal on National Pi Day. Our most popular pie, Dutch Apple Pie will be buy 1 get 1 FREE Friday, 3-14 only!