Easter dinner can be a real production. Whether you’re making ham or lamb, mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin, you’re looking at a decidedly unchill Easter Sunday.
Hear me out: Jesus didn’t die so you could spend Easter slaving over a hot stove. So we took the components of a proper(ish) Easter dinner and created a charcuterie board that will wow (or at least pleasantly confuse) your guests. Slap on your straw bonnet and your best white patent leather Mary Janes, and get ready for some ham.
Ham Three Ways
The centerpiece of this Easter charcuterie board is ham—times three. For this board, we’ve combined rolls of Hillshire Farms Thin Sliced Smoked Ham, great for picking up and eating or slapping on a Triscuit; slices of raw Spam, “a choice,” according to Mythical Kitchen’s Josh Scherer; and, the pièce de résistance, a can of Underwood Premium Deviled Ham Spread, a middle-American delicacy that’s good for so much more than collecting dust on a convenience store shelf. Out of its paper wrapping, the can of pulverized ham and seasonings (mustard powder and turmeric, to be exact) looks downright chic. “It looks like caviar,” Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo astutely pointed out. Yes, it smells a touch like dog food, but it’s oily, luscious, and salty, and tastes great on a cracker with cheese and a slice of boiled egg. I’m genuinely considering trademarking the Ham Three Ways concept, but feel free to use it for free in the meantime.
If you have children, chances are you have shoddily-dyed hard-boiled eggs coming out of your eye and ear holes during Easter season. Peel a few (if you’ve dyed them in food-safe dye or natural dye), slice them up, and pair them with the hams on your board. If you, like me, forgot to have kids, you can also just hard-boil some fresh eggs or even pop down to your local gas station and pick up a few packaged hard-boiled eggs from the refrigerated section. (Danny loves them.) The internet isn’t backing me up on this, but I swear Pret a Manger used to serve a ham and hard-boiled egg sandwich that was really, really good. (Incidentally, Saveur has a ham and hard-boiled egg sandwich recipe on its site, so at least I know it’s a thing that exists in the world.)The rich, mild flavor of the yolk is a great compliment to the salty ham products on the board. And eggs are packed with protein so you have more energy for hunting for plastic eggs filled with candy and loose change.
You can’t have a charcuterie board without cheese. Honestly, you can’t really have a decent day without cheese. Grocery store coolers are spilling with excellent cheeses for slicing, but for simplicity’s sake, we went with pre-sliced deli cheese here. Why slice when the dairy industrial complex will do it for you?? Sargento White Cheddar has a little bite but the flavor marries nicely with our salty ham-food products, and white cheese is more aesthetically pleasing than yellow cheese. We’re really aiming for beauty here, if you couldn’t tell.
Trader Joe’s Scalloped Potato Chips
I’ve never made scalloped potatoes that didn’t come from a box, but I’m certain it’s a pain. Yeah, sure, I could slice up a couple dozen Russets with a mandolin, but I also truly enjoy having fingertips. These cheese-dust-covered chips from Trader Joe’s are a lovely, crunchy shortcut. Put these in a bowl and, voila, they’re the side dish to your ham feast.
Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies
You’re obviously going to want a cheese-and-crackers sort of cracker to go with your spread (I bought lightly salted Triscuits, and they were a great fit), but Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies are too goddamned cute not to go on this board. Who doesn’t love biting their little heads off? Scatter them on your board like a garnish and you’re good to go.
You can’t have a proper Easter dinner without dessert. Likewise, you can’t have an unhinged Easter charcuterie board without a little something sweet to help your tastebuds bounce back from all that Spam. We went with Starburst Jelly Beans, the best jelly bean we tried when we tried a lot of Easter candy during a recent taste test. The bright colors really pop.