21 November 2007

Balsamic Glazed Ham with Curried Pears

The holiday season is upon us. I love turkey, but sometimes it nice to have an alternative with all those dinners you are preparing and attending as well. I love this ham presentation...no photo of the little guy. Instead another trip down memory lane with the family. Don't ask me how we got up there to put the head on the snowman..My memory fails me...quite often these days. My dad probably had something to with that. He would always be right in there with us making snowmen or the most amazing sandcastles on the beach in the summer time. Family vacations at the beach or on the ski hills are burned into our memories forever.
When I first went skiing as a child there were rope tows to get you to the top of the hill at our local ski park. As a young child it was very hard to hold on and keep your skis in the grooves. Inevitably the tow would have to be stopped and you would have to get back on or walk up the hill with skis over your shoulder. No small feat when when you're 4 years old. My dad took us to a local golf course to learn to walk up hills on our skiis using the side step or in the "V'pattern.
My own daughter learned to cross-country ski first. You could then learn how to get back up when you fell and learn to snow-plow going down hills at an easy pace. Cross-country skiing or Nordic skiing as it is called in some countries is like hiking in the mountains. We would pack warm soup and sandwiches in a knapsack and hit the trails for the better half of a day. Sometimes we would pop baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil in our coat pockets. Not only did they taste delicious once you came to rest with a little bit of salt and pepper, but, they also kept your hands warm as well.

Skiing these days is very different with quad chairs and ski chalets. Hundreds of people make it to the top of the runs in "nano seconds" and there is always a warm fire, shopping and world class restaurants to be had in the village.

**Balsamic Glazed Ham with Curried Pears**

15 lb. fully cooked bone-in smoked ham
2 tablespoon liquid honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Remove skin and all but ¼-inch fat from ham. Score diagonally through fat but not into meat to form diamond pattern. Place scored-side up, on rack in roasting pan: roast in 325F oven for 2 hours.

Stir together honey, mustard and vinegar; brush about one-third over ham. Roast, brushing twice with remaining honey mixture, for 1 hour or until meat thermometer registers 140F. (Make ahead; Let cool, wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days; slice: serve cold.)

Transfer to cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before slicing.

Serves 16 to 20

**Curried Pears**

1 tablespoons butter
1 shallot or small onion chopped
2 teaspoon mild curry paste
½ cup pear nectar
¼ cup brown sugar
6 small pears, about 3 lbs. (small Forelle pears are just the right size)

In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook chopped shallot, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add pear nectar and sugar; bring to boil, stirring until blended. Set aside.

Peel pears, without removing stems if possible; cut in half, using melon baler or spoon, scoop out core. Place in single layer, cut-side up, in shallow baking dish; pour sauce over top. Cover and bake in 325F oven for 30 minutes.

Turn pears over; bake , basting occasionally, for 30 minutes or until glazed and tender but not mushy. Let cool. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate up to 5 days)

Makes 12 pieces

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Thank you for a walk down memory lane this morning. It would be my dad's 96th birthday today and that photo reminded me of one that I have where we got a big snow one winter and he made me an actual iglou! I remember him carrying pots of hot water outside to use in construction. Wow, what a day and I was in 7th heaven in my own little ice world! I love your photos as they look like ours:)

  2. Nice ham recipe and simple. Val, I'm intrigued by pears & curry...actually sounds tasty!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Valli!Have a great weekend!:))

    We don't have snow yet but beautiful Fall colors have just popped up everywhere!Check my post for photos. Dish sounds yum!


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