Ham It Up for Easter

Not until we decided to make Easter weekend all about brunch did I really get excited for the holiday. Growing up, Easter ham and scalloped potatoes were about as anti-climactic as finding that Easter egg with no jelly beans inside.

This year, I highly recommend incorporating your Easter ham in a clever, tongue in cheek brunch item that invites guests to pick up their own portion and pile it on a plate full of sweets. After all, ham is always going to play second fiddle to a couple of Cadbury eggs, no matter how early you start your munching!
Read my notes built into the recipe below, as you'll see I've made quite a few adjustments to the preparation of this recipe. It's as flexible and creative as you want it to be, as long as you start with a muffin pan.

Green Eggs and Ham

Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs butter

2 large shallots, finely chopped

1 10-oz box frozen spinach, cooked and drained

1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream (eyeball)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch grated nutmeg to taste

6 large sliced of deli ham (or prosciutto di Parma)

8 eggs
(optional- pesto; freshly grated parmesan cheese)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
This recipe should fill an entire muffin pan. Heat a skillet on medium and add the oil, butter and sweat the shallots. Add the spinach and heavy cream to the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Add nutmeg to taste and stir until the cream is thickened.
Truly, if you can pick only one ingredient that makes this dish, it's the nutmeg. It makes the spinach taste authentically creamed and plays beautifully as a brunch flavor with eggs. Don't leave it out!
I chose to heat the ham in a skillet with a little olive oil, making it more flexible and easier to fold the halves around the muffin tin. One cup is made from two halves of a slice. Spoon the spinach into the bottom of the cup for each.
When I made it earlier this year, I wanted the ease and popularity of scrambled eggs, which took the place of cooking the eggs in the oven. Traditionally, a cracked egg goes on top of the spinach and bakes until set, about 15 minutes.
For added 'green' flavor, I added a heaping tablespoon of pre-packaged pesto into the eggs and stirred gently. Make sure the eggs stay fluffy and moist. Add a spoonful on top of the spinach until the eggs are evenly distributed. Add fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top of each before baking for about 10 minutes.
The great part about this dish, especially with scrambled eggs, is that it can be reheated if you guests arrive gradually on Sunday morning.
Either way, it's a clever, handheld way to enjoy your Easter Eggs...and ham!

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