Get stuffing in the scene with your Easter ham

The Associated PressApril 16, 2014 

At Thanksgiving, we stuff turkeys. At Easter we stuff...? Hams!

It’s not a crazy as it sounds. And it’s much easier than you think. We created a delicious and beautiful baked ham that is stuffed with layer upon layer of sweet potato slices. The trick is to use a spiral-cut ham. All those slices are the perfect place to insert a bit of flavor and color to your ham. Simply start at one slice, use your fingers to gently peel apart the layers, then insert thin slices of sweet potato.

And if sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, the same approach would work with butternut squash or Yukon Gold potatoes. Just be certain to slice the vegetables as thinly as possible. A mandoline is your best bet.

Stuffing ham not your thing? Here’s another idea — fiddle with the glaze this year.

We decided to ditch the orange marmalade, brown sugar, pineapple-cherry, and various clove-spiked glazing options. Instead, we took our inspiration from an Asian pantry staple — hoisin sauce. It comes ready-made by the jar, usually in the Asian food section of most any grocery store.

From there, we stirred in a few extras to jazz it up, then used it as a simple glaze. In keeping with the theme, we served the ham with a light slaw made from Napa cabbage and snow peas dressed with a light vinaigrette. While our ham was on the large size, if you don’t need one quite so big, you can always use any extra glaze as a sauce alongside the ham.

Hoisin-glazed Ham with Napa Cabbage-Snow Pea Slaw For the ham:

• 10- to 12-pound bone-in ham

• 9.4-ounce jar hoisin sauce

• 11/2 teaspoons five-spice powder

• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

For the slaw:

• 1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

• 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced

• 6 ounces snow peas (about 1 heaping cup)

• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

• 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola

• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• Pinch of salt

• Ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Fit a large roasting pan with a roasting rack. Set the ham on the rack, then slice a hash pattern over the entire surface, cutting about 1/2 inch deep. Roast the ham for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the hoisin, five-spice powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and ginger. Once the ham has roasted for 1 hour, brush half of the glaze over the surface of the ham, being sure to get some of the glaze down into the checked slice marks. Roast for another hour, then brush the ham with the remaining glaze.

Continue roasting, monitoring the temperature and color. Cook the ham until it reaches 160 F at the center, about another 2 hours. If the outside of the ham begins to get too dark, tent it with foil. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

While the ham bakes, prepare the slaw. In a large bowl, combine the Napa cabbage, scallions and snow peas. Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready, in a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, ginger, sugar and salt and pepper. Toss the slaw with the dressing just before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 330 calories; 180 calories from fat (55 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 26 g protein; 1720 mg sodium.

Glazed Sweet Potato-stuffed Ham

• 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled

• 7- to 9-pound spiral-cut ham

• 10-ounce jar apricot preserves

• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mandoline, slice the sweet potatoes very thinly. Place the ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan.

Carefully separating the layers of the ham, insert slices of sweet potato into each layer. Repeat this until every layer of the ham has been filled.

In a small bowl, stir together the apricot preserves and the black pepper, then spread the mixture all over the surface of the ham. Bake for 2 to 3 hours, or until the ham is heated to 160 F at the center and the potatoes are tender. Allow the ham to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories; 200 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 23 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 110 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 31 g protein; 1860 mg sodium.

Start to finish: 5 hours (30 minutes active) Yield: 24 servings Start to finish: 3 hours (20 minutes active) Yield: 16 servings

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