Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 25, 2011: Ham and Leftovers Recipes

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Did you cook a ham for Easter dinner? Even if you didn’t, I hope you picked up a ham while they were on sale at the grocery store. A lot of stores had a fantastic price just in time for the holiday; that’s always when I stock up on big ticket meats. And according to something I heard on the radio recently, the leftovers from a ham will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months as opposed to turkey, which should only be kept for 3 – 4 days!

While I’m not sure I want to put that theory to the test, I do enjoy leftover ham.

First I want to share you with the secrets I’ve learned to making an exceptionally tender, tasty ham and then share a recipe for a simple, quick breakfast (or even dinner) idea using the leftovers.

The Perfect Ham

Place your ham, cut side down in a roasting pan (no need to put it on a rack since the juices are going to keep it nice and moist).

Pour a baking sauce into the bottom of the pan. This year I used:

Juice of one large orange
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, curry powder, and paprika

Cover the roasting pan and place in a low (225 – 250 degree) oven. Cook for several hours (about half an hour per pound), basting with the pan juices occasionally. Remove the cover during the last 15 minutes of baking to crisp up the fat.

And here’s a tasty dish to use the leftover ham (serves one person for breakfast or a light dinner):

Simple Eggs Benedict

1 bagel or round sandwich thin (these are kind of like really thin bagels made by Oroweat), halved
Dijon mustard
Sliced ham
2 large slices fresh tomato
2 slices Muenster cheese
2 eggs
Freshly ground salt and pepper

Lightly toast the bagel or sandwich round halves. Spread with Dijon mustard; top with ham, tomato slices, and cheese. Broil for a couple minutes, just until the cheese starts to melt.

In the meantime, poach the two eggs. Carefully slide the raw eggs into boiling water to which you’ve added a sprinkle of vinegar. Turn down the heat to a gentle, rolling boil and cook for about 5 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, place the poached eggs on top of the bagel halves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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