Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston Shares Easter Recipes

Thursday 19th, March 2020 / 15:55 Written by
Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston Shares Easter Recipes
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Delicious Easter Lamb and Ham from Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston

Whether your tradition is to serve lamb or ham on Easter Sunday, Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston has delicious dinner inspiration for your Easter or springtime get-together!

Taken from Cookston’s cookbook, “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room,” the below award-winning recipe for smoke-grilled rack of lamb and jalapeno peach glazed ham are great Easter and springtime recipes that will impress friends and family!

“I believe the best flavors can be achieved by setting up a 2-zone grill and giving the lamb just a little bit of smoke flavor before finishing it off with a quick sear. If you have a gas grill, a 2-zone fire is as simple as turning one side to low (or off, depending upon the size of the grill) and one side to medium high or high. With a charcoal grill, it’s almost as easy. Simply use 80% of your coals on one side of the grill, placing approximately 20% on the other just to provide some heat.”

SMOKE-GRILLED RACK OF LAMB

Chef Melissa Cookston Easter recipes
Photo Credit: Chef Melissa Cookston

Rack of Lamb:

  • 2 racks of lamb, frenched
  • 2 tablespoons Memphis Barbecue Company Ultimate BBQ Rub
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup Memphis Barbecue Company Original BBQ Sauce

Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
  • 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Place racks of lamb in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal tightly, pressing out as much air as possible, and marinate for 4-6 hours, turning the bags every 2 hours.
  2. Prepare a grill for a 2-zone fire. As grill is heating, remove racks from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat racks dry, taking time to clean the frenched bones. Brush meat with mustard, then sprinkle with BBQ Rub. Cover bones with a piece of foil to ensure they don’t char, then allow racks to sit out of fridge for 30 minutes before placing on grill.
  3. Place lamb on cooler part of the grill, using 1-2 chunks of cherry or pecan wood in the grill if possible. Allow to cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour (will depend on type of grill and temperature) or until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees. Place racks on hotter part of grill and sear, brushing with BBQ Sauce. Remove racks when temperature reaches 135-140 degrees.  This will give you a rack of lamb with medium doneness. Remove from grill, allow to rest, and slice between the bones to cut into chops.  

“Ham is a very traditional meal on Easter, and I will use about any excuse for serving a ham! As big of a fan as I am of spiral hams, sometimes I like to get a regular ham (a “city ham,” not a “country ham”) and slice it myself. Since I need to heat it up and glaze it for serving, why not amp up the flavor and add some extra smoke and spice!”

JALAPENO PEACH GLAZED HAM

Chef Melissa Cookston Easter recipes
Photo Credit: Chef Melissa Cookston

For the Ham:

  • 1 8-10lb Bone-in Ham
  • 2-3 TBS BBQ Rub

Peach-Jalapeno Glaze:

  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 TBS Jalapeno diced; seeds removed
  • 1″ Fresh Ginger Root peeled and sliced
  • 1 13 oz jar Peach Preserves
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice

Directions:

  • Get Big Green Egg or your favorite smoker running at 275 degrees.
  • Score fat in a diamond pattern.
  • Season ham with your favorite BBQ Seasoning.
  • Place on smoker and cook until internal temp is around 135 degrees, about 12-15 minutes per pound.
  • While ham is smoking, prepare glaze. To a sauce pot over medium heat, add butter and jalapeño and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until golden. Add ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
Chef Melissa Cookston Easter recipes
Photo Credit: Chef Melissa Cookston
  • Add orange juice and deglaze pan. Cook until orange juice is reduced by half.
  • Whisk in Peach Preserves and bring to a slight boil, then simmer for 5-6 minutes until thickened.
  • After ham reaches 135 degrees, begin brushing with glaze and continue to cook until ham reaches 140-145. Remove from smoker, slice and serve with extra glaze on side.
Chef Melissa Cookston Easter recipes
Photo Credit: Chef Melissa Cookston

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