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Chutney, salsa dress up ham

Preparing ham for Easter is quick and easy.

Robin Kline, a registered dietitian and director of the Pork Information Bureau, says most hams on the market today are smoked and fully cooked.

"There are four basic types of ham," she says. "Picking the right ham for the right occasion is easy once you know how to read the label." All are available boneless or bone-in and can be served hot or cold.

Ham: No water is added to this ham since it is dry cured, old-fashioned, country-style or Southern-style ham. This ham is a Southern specialty and extremely salty and is served usually in small portions very thinly sliced.

Ham with natural juices: This ham has little water added in the curing process and is often the favorite choice for dinner.

Ham-added water: These hams retain more water during the curing process than ham with natural juices. They have extensive menu versatility and are ideal for steaks, thin slicing and shaving.

Ham and water product: This ham product has the most water added, diluting its protein and fat content as well as its price. A good choice for sandwiches, it is found commonly in the deli and is excellent for slicing or shaving. When cooking, follow the label.

Fully cooked hams can be served without heating. To serve hot, unwrap the ham, heat in a moderate (325- to 350-degree oven) to an internal temperature of 140 degrees and serve.

A ham labeled "cook before eating" should be roasted to an internal temperature of 160 de rees. Plan on cooking for 30 minutes a pound and use a meat thermometer to judge doneness. As with any perishable product, refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving.

This year, the National Pork Producers Council suggests serving your Easter ham with a selection of fruit chutneys, salsas and marmalade. Complete the menu with fresh vegetables, biscuits or corn muffins from the bakery and your favorite potato salad.

For a free recipe booklet, send a self-addressed, business-size envelope to Hambook, National Pork Producers Council, P.O. Box 10383, Des Moines, IA 50306.

These recipes are from the National Pork Producers Council.

Cranberry-Jalapeno Chutney

12-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce

2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion

1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped (when handling hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to protect skin)

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 teaspoons sugar

\ teaspoon salt

[ teaspoon black pepper

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients well. Refrigerate, covered, up to three weeks. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 1{ cups.

Pineapple Salsa

8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeno chili

2 teaspoons lime juice

\ teaspoon salt

Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until well-blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold or at room temperature. Makes about 1 cup.

Orange-Mint Salsa

2 oranges, peeled, seeded and chopped

3 kiwifruit, peeled and finely chopped

\ cup snipped fresh mint

\ cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Salt, to taste

Stir together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes about 1{ cups.

Sweet-n-Hot Apple Chutney

2 cups rice-wine vinegar

} cup brown sugar

{ red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 poblano chili, seeded and diced

2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

3 green apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

In large saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Stir in brown sugar to dissolve. Add all other ingredients except apples and lemon juice; boil 8 minutes. Add apples and simmer until they are tender but retain their shape. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups.

Mango Salsa

2-3 ripe mangoes, chopped

1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced

\ cup minced red onion

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Salt to taste

Stir together all ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold or at room temperature. Makes about 1{ cups.

Cherry-Onion Marmalade

{ cup orange juice

\ cup water

2 tablespoons dry sherry

{ cup dried tart cherries

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 cup red currant jelly

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

{ cup minced onion

1 teaspoon black pepper

Salt to taste

In medium saucepan, combine the first five ingredients; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and refrigerate until serving. Makes about 2 cups.

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