Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday ham

Please don’t let the dark edges on this ham fool you; it’s not really burned. And the family and friends gathered around my table on Thanksgiving night didn’t mind the appearance of the ham one bit. In fact, they competed for the dark edges of caramelized glaze.

I didn’t cook a turkey last week. Instead, I had a simple meal of glazed ham, layered salad, double baked potatoes, green bean casserole and yeast rolls. No one complained. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I got so many compliments on a meal — the ham, in particular.

I’ve cooked spiral hams many times, but I’ve never added a glaze. My son really wanted me to try a glazed ham, so I read a few recipes and adapted them to come up with a very simple, yet delicious, glaze that includes honey, butter, sugar and a dash of ground cloves.

The preparation is simple and involves lining a pan with aluminum foil for quick clean up and taking the ham out of the packaging. Once you’ve mixed and heated your glaze and brushed some all over the ham, it’s time to put it in the oven. I followed the minimum cooking time for my fully cooked ham (which weighed in at 9.7 pounds) and glazed it every 15 to 20 minutes. I used two timers to keep up with the overall cooking time as well as the glazing.

To apply the glaze, I used a silicon basting brush and added it in small applications to the surface of the ham. I also brushed some in between the slices as they started to fall apart during baking. I had only a little bit of the glaze left at the end of the baking time. Once the juices started accumulating in the bottom of the pan, I used them to baste the ham as well.

The result for me was a delicious mix of honey smoked ham with a sweet honey glaze. The dark edges intensified the sweetness.

I’m also including a longtime favorite recipe for the layered salad I’ve made for many years. My husband and I love this salad and enjoyed the leftovers the next few days, along with a slice of ham!

This pretty salad, along with the honey-glazed ham, will make nice additions to your holiday table this season.

Ham Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • A dash or two of ground cloves (if desired)
Mix all ingredients in saucepan and let come to boil. Remove from heat.

Cook ham according to package directions, basting with glaze every 15 to 20 minutes.

*Note: This was plenty glaze for my 9.7-pound ham.

Layered Salad
  • 1 head lettuce cut and torn into bite-size pieces (can also add other greens)
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup radishes (if desired; I don’t use anymore)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, cooked 1 minute and drained
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 pieces cooked bacon, cut into small pieces, or bacon bits
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Place lettuce in bottom of trifle bowl or large glass salad bowl. Next, layer celery, green pepper, red pepper, green peas, radishes and 1 cup cheddar cheese. (Layer so red is between the green vegetables and looks pretty when viewed from the side).

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and sugar. Spread over top of salad, being sure to seal the edge of the bowl. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

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