Ham for the Holidays

A Christmas dinner centerpiece that morphs into the most amazing leftovers. You really should go ham for the holidays.

Honey-Glazed Ham with Fresh Pineapple Chutney

Honey-Glazed Ham with Fresh Pineapple Chutney opens in a new tab

Ham was always the meat of choice for my family’s Christmas dinner. I remember fondly all of the delicious leftovers – favorite sandwiches such as ham and cheese, ham salad, pineapple and ham on Challah, as well as ham and eggs in the morning (I drove my poor mother crazy begging her for green eggs and ham!).

If ham is on your holiday menu, try one of these stunning recipes:

For a perfectly cooked centerpiece ham, follow these tips:

  • Plan 1/2 to 3/4 pound per serving for a bone-in ham.

  • Plan 1/4 to 1/2 pound per serving for a boneless ham.

  • Let the ham sit at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.

  • To score the skin of the ham, cut 1/4 inch deep crosswise into 1 to 2-inch squares to create classic diamond shapes. 

  • Remember, to avoid burning, don’t coat the ham with glaze until the last hour of cooking.

  • Don’t baste the ham with pan drippings as these can be very salty. Try basting with pineapple juice instead.

  • If you use cloves to spice your ham, be sure to remove the cloves before slicing and serving.

  • Once cooked, ham can be served warm or at room temperature, but it’s not as flavorful when cold straight from the fridge.

  • One advantage to buying a bone-in ham is to be able to use the hambone for flavoring soups and bean dishes.

Ham and Roasted Pear Crostini

Ham and Roasted Pear Crostini opens in a new tab

Ahhhhh…the leftovers. Here are just a few delectable ways to serve up leftover ham:

Grilled Ham and Le Gruyere
Old-Fashioned Ham Loaf

Old Fashioned Ham Loaf opens in a new tab

Remember when you choose a ham from Whole Foods Market, you can rest assured that it comes from pigs raised to meet our high standards. The pigs are raised without narrow gestation or farrowing crates. They are never administered antibiotics or growth hormones (federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork), and their feed never contains animal byproducts. Once processed, our hams contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives. No water is added, so they are very flavorful, and of course, they are always free of nitrates and nitrites.   
Are you serving a ham this holiday? What recipe will you use? I’d love to know.

From carving with confidence to pouring with pride, our online Holiday Cheat Sheet opens in a new tab means more of your best for less stress. Order holiday meals online opens in a new tab too; we'll do the work, you'll take the credit.

Blog Updated on 2/20/2015.


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