When there are so many things that need to get in the oven for your holiday dinner, why not do most of the main dish on the stovetop?
That's what we do with this ham -- which, of course, frees up the oven for equally important things, such as pies. It also produces a more flavorful ham.
Simmering the ham in a flavorful broth allows the aromatics to steep deeper into the meat. Once it is cooked, it is briefly finished in the oven for the delicious crust you get with a roasted ham. The result is a beautiful, golden ham with a moist, flavorful interior.
Delicious often doesn't cut it during the holidays.
Many of us seem to spend the entire month of December on the move, going from one work or family gathering to another. Which means the food you make for these events needs to feed a crowd and be portable, in addition to tasting great.
Cue the holiday casserole!
This dish takes the flavors of a creamy crab dip (that near ubiquitous offering at holiday gatherings) and turns it into a hearty dinner.
With all the ripping of wrapping paper and worry over Christmas dinner, having a delicious breakfast stashed in the freezer can make the big morning go much more smoothly.
Our go-to choice is this recipe for ham and cheese scones, which are easily prepared days ahead of time. Just mix the dough and form it into wedges as instructed, then freeze them until ready to bake.
When you are ready to bake the scones, just take them directly from the freezer and pop them into the oven on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
We've opted for a savory ham and cheese scone, but for a sweet variety increase the sugar to 1/3 cup, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir in 1-1/2 cups of your choice of chopped dried fruit and nuts. A handful of chocolate chips wouldn't be bad, either.
Stovetop Ham with Dijon Apple Glaze
Start to finish: 2-1/2 to 3 hours (20 minutes active). Serves 12.
For the ham:
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup white wine
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
7- to 8-pound bone-in ham
For the glaze:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup apple jelly
Using a mortar and pestle or a zip-close plastic bag and a meat mallet, combine and lightly crush the cloves, fennel, cumin and coriander.
In a large stock pot (big enough to hold the ham) over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the crushed seeds, onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown. Add the wine, orange juice, lemon juice, oregano and Worcestershire sauce. Place the ham in the pot and fill with water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 450 F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place a roasting rack over the foil. Remove the ham from the pot and place on the rack.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and apple jelly, then brush the mixture all over the surface of the ham. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the surface of the ham is golden and the glaze is bubbly. Allow the ham to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 290 calories; 110 calories from fat (39 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 100 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 32 g protein; 0 g fiber; 2,140 mg sodium.
Creamy Crab and Rice Casserole
Start to finish: 45 minutes (25 minutes active). Serves 16.
For the first layer:
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium red onion, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 cups cooked long grain white rice
For the second layer:
1 pound Neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 pounds lump crab meat
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or scallions
For the third layer:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor, pulse together the red pepper, celery and red onion until finely chopped.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and rice, then spoon into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk and Old Bay Seasoning. Gently stir in the crab and chives. Spoon over the rice mixture.
For the third layer, return the skillet to the burner over medium heat. Add the butter and melt, then remove the skillet from the heat. Add the panko, paprika and salt, then stir until well mixed. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the crab mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 320 calories; 180 calories from fat (56 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 17 g protein; 1 g fiber; 580 mg sodium.
Ham and Cheese Scones
Start to finish: 1 hour (plus freezing time). Serves 8.
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
10-ounce package deli ham, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Drizzle in the melted butter, then stir well. Stir in 1 cups of the cheddar, the ham and chives.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and sour cream, then add to the dough and stir just until everything is moistened and the dough sticks together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, form the dough into a round that is 1 inch thick and 10 inches in diameter. Cut the round into 8 wedges, then transfer each to the prepared baking sheet. Freeze until ready to bake (at least 10 minutes).
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 F. Ensure that the scones are evenly spaced on the baking sheet, leaving several inches between them. Sprinkle the scones with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and slightly firm. Cool slightly on the pan. Serve warm.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 560 calories; 340 calories from fat (59 percent of total calories); 38 g fat (23 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 125 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 19 g protein; 1 g fiber; 840 mg sodium.