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The last day of January the USDA came out with their updated Dietary Guidelines. Nothing too surprising, but this page sums up the report with three areas of concern: Balancing Calories, Foods to Increase, and Foods to Reduce. One of the areas says to "enjoy your food, but eat less" another says "make half your plate fruits and vegetables" and in the Foods to Reduce section they say "drink water instead of sugary drinks". Now we may not agree with everything the guidelines state, but what a difference these three simple statements can make if followed. Of course, let's not forget that it was some time ago that Michael Pollan succinctly stated, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants."
So while I served up a honey glazed ham, it took up a small portion of our plate and there was plenty of left-overs to make scalloped potatoes, scrambled eggs with ham, and I put some in the freezer for later use. Over the years I have tried several glazes for ham and this latest one is the one I think I will continue to use, it is simple, has a light sweetness, has just enough flavor to complement the ham, and provides a beautiful shine.
Thyme-Honey Glazed Ham
~Gourmet April 2009~
Serves 12 to 16
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 (12- to 14-pound) boneless or semi-boneless fully cooked ham at room temperature 1 hour
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup mild honey
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Melt butter with thyme and let stand until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. with rack in lower third.
Peel off and discard any rind or skin from ham, leaving 1/4 inch of fat on ham. Score fat on top of ham in a crosshatch pattern without cutting into meat. Put ham on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover ham with parchment paper, then cover roasting pan with foil. Bake 1 3/4 hours.
Meanwhile, boil vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Remove from heat and whisk in honey, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme butter. Let honey glaze stand until ham has baked 1 3/4 hours.
Discard foil and parchment from ham. If there is no liquid in roasting pan, add 1 cup water (liquid will prevent glaze from burning in pan). Brush ham with half of honey glaze, then bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Brush with remaining glaze and bake until glaze is deep golden-brown and ham is heated through, about 30 minutes more.
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