Crab Cakes with Lemon Herb Aioli

Easter Sunday Special Dinner

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This dinner is one of our favorite family meals that is great for Easter or any other holiday or family gathering.  The Spiced Pecans are a great way to start the meal with the a little Georgia flare (pecans) with a kick (cayenne).  The ham with the rum cola sauce is so succulent that you will wants this recipe every time you think of ham, family gatherings or holidays….it makes fantastic sandwiches the next day too! The side dish is one of my adopted favorites; this squash casserole recipe has been in Dianne’s family for many years and is a part of every family gathering. 

Prep Time: 1 Hour; Cook Time: Most of the morning, but well worth it!


Appetizer: Spiced Pecans (Wine: J2W Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 cups Georgia Pecans
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • ½ tsp. Dry Mustard
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Main Course: Glazed Ham w/Rum Cola Sauce (Wine: J2W Pinot Noir)
  • For The Ham:
  • 6-8 lbs. Bone-In Butt Ham
  • 3 Cans Coke (Cover the bottom of the pan but do not let it touch the ham)

    For The Glaze:
  • 2-12oz cans Coke
  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Prepared Yellow Mustard
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Dark Rum
  • 1 Tbsp. Dry Mustard
Side Dish: Squash Casserole
  • 2 lbs Yellow Squash (Crookneck)
  • 1 small Sweet Onion (diced)
  • 2 Eggs beaten
  • 1/3 Cup Butter
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • ¾ Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ¾ Cup Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Sugar


Spiced Pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat parchment paper lined cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients in bowl except pecans.
  4. Rinse nuts under cold water in colander and toss into spice mixture; add 1 tbsp. cold water to mixture and continue to toss until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Spread nuts on sheet pan and bake for 30 min stirring every 10 minutes so they brown evenly and do not burn.
  6. Next transfer nuts to a sheet pan lined with tin foil again sprayed with nonstick spray.
  7. Cool 10-15 minutes and enjoy (keep leftovers in an airtight container).
  8. Size the recipe for the number of expected guests.
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Bake ham with Coke tented with aluminum foil for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile prepare glaze.
  4. Reduce 2 cans of Coke to ½ cup over medium-low heat for approximately 40 minutes.
  5. Watch carefully so it does not over reduce.
  6. Whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer to dissolve.
  7. After baking ham 1 hour, uncover and begin glazing, brushing every 15 minutes during the last hour of baking. Keep an eye on the Coke in the pan to make sure there is liquid in the pan (don’t let it go dry; add liquid as necessary).
  8. After 2nd hour of baking make sure internal temperature of ham is 110 degrees (make sure you do not touch the bone during this temperature reading).
  9. Rest for 15 minutes, carve and serve.
Squash Casserole
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Bring 1–2 inches of salted water to boil in a medium sauce pan, add squash and cook until tender (approx. 20 minutes over medium heat).
  3. While squash is cooking, melt butter in a small sauté pan, and then add onion; sauté onion over low heat until translucent (approx. 15-20 minutes). Drain squash completely and pour back in sauce pan.
  4. Add onion, milk, sugar, eggs, half of each cheese to the cooked squash and mix well.
  5. Using a casserole dish sprayed with cooking oil, pour mixture into the dish; then bake in oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and bake another 15 minutes.

I am a huge fan of squash and not all casseroles are created equal! I have had many squash casseroles in restaurants and none seem to compare to this one. I don’t scrimp on the cheese, this is actually more than the original recipe calls for, but I think this makes all the difference; plus I use the 2 kinds of cheeses which is a good balance. This one was handed down through the family, and is always a huge hit at the holiday dinner table. If you want to add a twist to this for extra crunch you can crush up Ritz crackers and put on the top with or without the cheese or for and even different approach you can crush up potato chips on the top. Hope you enjoy it and that it is a huge hit at your next family get together.

Don’t forget the J2 Winery compliment of wines to go with your holiday meal. Your family will appreciate the comfort food in this meal and will imprint memories of the event for years to come. From our family to yours, please enjoy!