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Ham it up
Try 'the other white meat' for Easter dinner

By Patrice Stewart ∑ 340-2446

Easter is always a time to serve ham, which can be dressed up with all kinds of sauces and accented with carrots and other vegetables and salads on your buffet.

Ham is especially timely now, since itís the Year of the Pig in Chinese astrology.

These ideas for preparing ham will help you decide whether to buy a spiral sliced ham and add a glaze, such as pepper jelly, or to bake your ham and add Sweet íní Sour Plum Sauce, in keeping with the Asian theme, or an apricot, lemon-orange or other glaze.

The folks at the National Pork Board, while promoting it as ďthe other white meat,Ē point out a recent study by Purdue University indicates that including lean protein such as ham in the diet may help retain lean body mass, including muscle, while losing weight.

Ham goes with many vegetables and salads. You could serve yours with green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes and fruit salad, or perhaps a dilled potato salad or fresh spinach salad.

Baked Ham with Sweet íní Sour Plum Sauce

6 pound fully cooked boneless ham
1 15-ounce can purple plums packed in heavy syrup, drained, pitted and pureed
1 cup undrained crushed pineapple packed in pineapple juice
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, minced (1/2 teaspoon)
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

Score ham by making diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern. Place ham on rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 11/2 hours to 1 hour, 45 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 140 degrees F.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Brush ham with sauce every 15 minutes during last 30 minutes of baking. Remove to serving platter and tent with foil. Let stand 15 minutes. Brush with sauce. Carve and serve with remaining sauce.

If desired, garnish with green onion flowers, wedges of fresh plums and unpeeled pineapple. Serves about 24.

Grilled Ham with Lemon-Orange Glaze

6-7 pound bone-in smoked ham 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup lemon marmalade
2 tablespoons orange juice

Prepare gas or charcoal grill to medium-hot (375-425 degrees F.) for indirect cooking. Place drop pan in center, not over heat source (for gas grill, turn off center burner; for charcoal grill, bank coals on either side). Score top and sides of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern; mix all remaining ingredients except the glaze ingredients and rub into surface of ham.

Place ham, score side up, in center of grill over drop pan. Cover and grill for 1 to 11/2 hours (adding 6-8 briquettes to charcoal grill if necessary to maintain heat), until internal temperature of ham (measured with a meat thermometer) reads 140 degrees F. (about 15-18 minutes per pound.) Combine marmalade and orange juice in a small bowl; brush over ham and grill 5 minutes more. Remove ham from grill and let stand 15 minutes. Serves 8, with leftovers.

Spiral-Sliced Ham with Pepper Jelly Glaze

5-6 pound half ham, spiral-sliced 1 8-ounce jar hot pepper jelly

Place ham in shallow pan and heat in 350-degree oven, uncovered, for 11/4 hours. (about 15 to 18 minutes per pound) The last 15 minutes, pour the pepper jelly over ham, spreading evenly. Heat for 10-15 minutes more, basting occasionally. Serves 8.

Baked Ham with Honey-Apricot Glaze

10-14 pound spiral-sliced, fully-cooked smoked ham
1 cup honey
1 6-ounce orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham on rack in shallow roasting pan. Stir together remaining ingredients in medium bowl; set aside. Bake ham for 30 minutes; pour glaze over ham and continue to bake until ham is heated through, about a total of 21/2 hours (about 15 to 18 minutes per pound.) Serves 20 to 25.

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