Easter ham, downsized
The holiday's traditional dish can be enjoyed in small households
Holiday ham options: A ham steak is one solution to the Easter dinner problem. A compact boneless ham is another. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)
Cook: 1 hour
Servings: 3 to 4
Note: Judith Jones includes this family recipe in "The Pleasures of Cooking for One." The preparation "gets rid of the usual watery, oversalted taste that most of our commercial hams have today and gives the meat a wonderful flavor,'' she writes. Jones likes to serve the ham with a puree of root vegetables, like parsnips, and potatoes.
1 slice ham, about 1 pound
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Milk, up to 1 cup
3 to 4 fresh sage leaves or three dried, or a sprinkling of dried rosemary
2 to 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put the ham in a shallow baking dish that will just accommodate the slice; smear the mustard on top. Pour milk all around, enough to almost cover the surface. Lay the sage leaves on top; sprinkle the sugar over it. Bake, occasionally opening the oven and spooning some of the curdling milk over the top, 1 hour.
Per serving: 184 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 12 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein, 1,136 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
Even the teeniest canned ham can pack big flavor if you glaze it with assertive and, often, sweet flavors. Experiment with these recipes. The plum glaze is adapted from a recipe in "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen" (Clarkson Potter, $35) by Matt and Ted Lee. Their original glaze made enough to coat a 15- to 17-pound bone-in ham; proportions are reduced here by three-quarters. The mustard and sugar glaze recipe comes from "The Mustard Book" by Rosamond Man and Robin Weir. If you end up with extra glaze from either recipe, refrigerate to brush on chicken breasts, chicken wings, pork tenderloins or spare ribs later.
Plum glaze: Melt 1 teaspoon unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until frothy. Add 1/2 shallot, chopped; 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until shallot is soft and fragrant, but not brown, 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and 2 ounces pitted, quartered prunes. Heat to a boil. Turn off heat; cover. Let stand 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor; add 2 teaspoons each Dijon mustard and vinegar. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Brush glaze on ham as it bakes.
Mustard brown sugar glaze: Mix 1/4 cup cream with 2 tablespoons each Dijon mustard and brown sugar. Smear over ham; bake.