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No ham, but pork remains star of Easter meal

Take asparagus new flavor level by grilling it. All spring favorite needs is wrapping prosciutwow! Whtreat. | Matthew Mead~AP

Take asparagus to a new flavor level by grilling it. All the spring favorite needs is a wrapping of prosciutto and wow! What a treat. | Matthew Mead~AP

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Side suggestions

Lemony peas: Saute 2 cups of English peas and 1 diced red bell pepper with a little butter until just tender. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the zest of 1 lemon.

Quinoa pilaf: Cook 2 cups of quinoa according to package directions. Saute 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 2 sliced shallots and 1 diced red onion in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Stir in the quinoa along with 1/3 cup diced dried apricot and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme.

Warm radicchio slaw: Cook 4 strips of bacon until crisp. Thinly slice 2 heads of radicchio and saute in the bacon fat with 1 thinly sliced red onion. Season with salt and black pepper, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cider vinegar. Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese and the crumbled bacon.

Updated: May 5, 2012 8:02AM

Instead of cooking ham or lamb this Easter, why not go for something a little bit different?

Pork loin roast has an amazing flavor — and is outrageously tender — when brined. That’s because the brining process adds a bit of salt, the flavor of the brine and a whole lot of moisture to the meat. The procedure is relatively simple, though it does require a bit of planning. You’ll want to brine the pork for about 24 hours.

Pork not your thing? This same procedure can be used on whole chickens. The main difference is that you’ll want to brine a chicken for just 4 hours, not 24. Of course, the cooking time will depend on how large your chicken is; just cook until the internal temperature of the meat is 160 degrees.

We’ve also included some side dish suggestions to help you plan your Easter dinner.


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