DES MOINES, Iowa, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- This spring, get creative and put your personal stamp on the Easter meal with help from seasonal ingredients and flavors from your family's favorite dishes. Taking your ham from traditional to inspirational will impress everyone at the table... especially you. To help you celebrate the best of the season and bring new ideas into the kitchen, get inspired with new meal ideas and tips from the National Pork Board.
"Ham's versatility makes it easy to put a personal touch on classic Easter dishes, since it pairs well with nearly any flavor," said Pamela Johnson, Director of Consumer Communications for the National Pork Board. "Go beyond basic cooking and experiment in the kitchen with new flavors, recipes and even types of ham – whether it's bone-in, boneless, fully cooked or uncooked – there are plenty of possibilities and it doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen."
For example, Roasted Ham Saltimbocca takes flavor inspiration from a classic Saltimbocca dish, using butter, sage and wine. Adding these ingredients to a juicy roasted ham is not only savory, but aromatic, putting an unexpected twist on a traditional dish. Let ham also guide your side dish selection. Ripe, roasted vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes, carrots and leeks are not only more affordable when in season, they go well with ham and provide a vibrant punch of color to your plate.
Hassle-Free Leftovers: Cook Once, Eat Twice!
Equally as delicious and looked forward to as the Easter feast are the ham leftovers. This year, expand beyond tried and true ham sandwiches, and experiment in the kitchen with new leftover ideas for stand-out weekday meals. Try topping ready-made pizza dough with your leftover ham and seasonal vegetables to make Cured Ham and Asparagus Pizza. Or try shaking up your leftover repertoire with Asparagus Pesto with Gnocchi and Ham for a hearty one-dish dinner. Leftover ham for use in a variety of soups or casseroles can be cut up into slices or cubed and stored in the freezer for two to three months.
For more inspiration, follow America's pork producers on Twitter (@AllAboutPork) or enter at PorkBeInspired.com for a chance to win a ham for this year's celebration. Enter between April 1 and April 20 by sharing with us how you will be enjoying your ham this Easter.
For more information on the Ham-A-Day Giveaway, Easter recipes, FREE brochures, and how-to carving videos, visit PorkBeInspired.com and be sure to "like" us at Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired.com.
About The National Pork Board
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management.
SOURCE National Pork Board