Friday, November 16, 2012

A Baked Ham 'Must Have'

"I Could Have Had A....."

Don't be banging the side of your head this year and say that phrase to yourself when you are preparing a spread for the Holidays. This recipe is a must and has always graced our table since time long forgotten. As you have noticed, I have used quatre épices in this recipe. Don't fret however if you can't find these in the store, I am going to show you how to make your own. This is a spice blend that is used mainly in France and Middle Eastern kitchens for savory dishes, soups and sausages. As I have been working with W.A. Bean and Sons sausages as of late for promotional purposes, I opted to add this aromatic mixture to a great side dish for your Holidays. The name literally means "four spices" and usually contains a mix of your choice of ground pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. I wanted to leave out pepper of any sort here and opt for allspice, but by all means, add the same amount of black or white pepper in lieu of allspice. You may replace the ginger with cinnamon if preferred as well, just measure these spices in equal amounts for the recipe.

Instead of grabbing that can of pineapple to lay on your ham this season, try this great alternative for your Holiday center[piece. I think you will find it a fantastic alternative and more friends and family willing to try it. Another great addition is drizzling maple syrup over your pineapple before roasting.

Roasted and Glazed Pineapple

1 ripe pineapple, about 4 lbs.
1/4 c. peanut or vegetable oil
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. quatre épices*

Put 4 c. water into a pan and add all the ingredients. Slowly bring to a boil over gentle heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer over medium heat to reduce by three-quarters, to make a thick syrup. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Using a serrated knife, cut a 1 1/4-inch slice from the top, removing the leafy fronds, and a 3/4-inch slice from the base of the pineapple to enable it to stand upright.
Now working from top to bottom and following the curve of the fruit, remove the peel. To remove the little black “eyes,” simply use the tip of a knife3 and extract.
Heat the oil in a large skillet(or one that will take the whole fruit) until very hot, then add the pineapple and lightly color all over. Transfer the pineapple to a roasting dish, standing it upright. Baste the pineapple with the reduced syrup and roast in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit, basting it every 5 minutes or so with the syrup, and keeping it upright. Let the roasted pineapple stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, basting from time to time with the syrup. To serve, lie the pineapple on its side and cut into slices and arrange in a serving dish and serve warm.

*An equal measure of allspice,a mixture of ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger(or cinnamon)

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