There are few things more luscious, easy or crowd-pleasing than a glazed, baked ham, yet in most households it only makes an appearance during the holidays. With the right menu planning, you can easily move beyond Easter and serve this versatile basic anytime you please. Glazed, baked ham can feed a crowd on a budget, or serve a small family with easy leftovers for sandwiches, soups and casseroles, a time-saving bonus.
Perfect Ham Every Time
For easy preparation, few foods can beat a ham. Buy a butt portion for more meat, and make your own glaze with jam, mustard and spicy dressing or dip mix, or opt for a spiral-sliced ham that has been pre-cooked, glazed and sliced. You need only heat it or serve it cold if you prefer. If you cook your own ham, make sure you glaze before and after cooking and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
The Buffet Menu
With a glazed ham as your centerpiece, you can build a fantastic buffet to serve a big family gathering or party. Try this make-ahead menu: chutney-glazed ham, spring pea soup, carrots with pistachios, and pepper-cheese biscuits. Put out lemon beehive meringues for dessert, and sit back and collect the compliments.
This menu works perfectly for a Saturday or Sunday dinner with a spicy twist and will leave you with leftovers for the week ahead. Prepare a Tex-Mex inspired menu with chipotle-pineapple glazed ham, lemon-glazed asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes and green chile cornbread. Serve a refreshing green salad with creamy ranch dressing. If you're yearning for a sweet ending, finish this meal with coconut cake and lime sorbet.
Leftovers? No Problem
When your ham dinner is over, you'll likely have leftovers. Simply slice some of the ham very thin for sandwiches -- delicious with chutney and cheddar, or use creamy dressing or dip as a sandwich spread. Cube the leftover ham and save for a ham, sour cream and noodle casserole or creamy ham and sweet corn soup, and try a package of dry dressing and seasoning mix to add a flavor kick to either dish. The ham bone can be bagged, frozen and saved to make a hearty ham stock, a great base for homemade baked beans.