I was so excited when the BetterTV Show asked me to appear for a segment about holiday entertaining. Not only is holiday entertaining one of my favorite things to do, but I also happen to have SO many fantastic holiday recipes in my cookbook. Even today I continue to use the same recipes year after year.
I decided to show off my famous Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Ham— it’s truly a masterpiece. Shiny, golden brown, and perfectly crispy on the outside, guests always think I’ve gone to a lot of trouble. There couldn’t be a better combo than the spicy-sweet glaze paired with the bourbon-infused ham. If you’re worried about feeding a crowd, this is the ticket– our ham fed the entire BetterTV crew with plenty of leftovers!
It’s no surprise that the ham tastes as delicious as it looks; the real surprise is my Wild Rice Salad with Pomegranate and Pecans. Something about the term “wild rice” makes everyone think of bland health food. Let me tell you, this salad couldn’t be farther from bland. The molasses and soy add such depth into the nutty rice that you may never boil rice in water again! The colorful blend of mix-ins create the perfect contrast of flavors and textures. Trust me, just make this dish.
To round out the buffet on the show, I also prepared a wonderfully crisp Fennel, Grapefruit, and Watercress Salad along with a Cardamom Carrot and Pear Puree. The spread looked so colorful and bright, and each of the dishes work so well with one another. If you’re at a loss for what to make this year, look no further!
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous going into the shoot, but everyone at the Better Show put me at ease. JD and Rebecca, the lovely hosts, were a pleasure to get to know. I had the best time doing this segment and I hope to be doing more television appearances in the future! Happy Holidays and may yours be delicious and filled with family, friends and delicious moments that create memories.
Please watch the links below:
Bourbon and Mustard Glazed Country Ham
1 good quality smoked and cured ham, about 15 pounds
½ cup whole-grain mustard
½ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 ½ cups bourbon
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
If the ham has a rind, pull it off with your fingers. With a thin, sharp knife, slice away all but ¼ inch of any fat on the upper surface. Score a diamond pattern about 1/8 inch deep into the upper surface of the ham. Set the ham, scored side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold it. Add three cups water to the pan. Set the pan in the oven and bake for about 1½ hours.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the mustard, brown sugar, honey, and Tabasco.
Pour off the water from the pan. Spread the mustard mixture evenly over the upper surface of the ham, using it all. Add the bourbon to the bottom of the pan. Bake, basting every 10 minutes with the bourbon and pan juices, until the ham is richly browned, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.
Le the ham rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Wild Rice Salad with Pomegranate and Pecans
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons molasses
2 cups wild rice
½ pound pomegranate seeds (from 2 pomegranates)
1 cup pecan halves
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup sliced scallions
5 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons orange zest
Freshly ground black pepper
To a medium saucepan, add chicken stock, soy sauce, molasses, wild rice, and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 30-40 minutes, until tender. Drain if any liquid remains and set aside.
Toss rice with pomegranate seeds, pecans, raisins, scallions, orange zest, oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve warm, room temperature, or even chilled.
Cardamom Carrot and Pear Puree
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
2 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots, water, butter, sugar, cardamom, salt and pepper. Set over medium heat and bring to a brisk simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the pears and continue to cook uncovered, stirring often, until the carrots are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated (the pears will completely dissolve), about 25 minutes more.
Cool slightly, then puree in a food processor. In a saucepan over low heat, rewarm the puree stirring constantly, until steaming. Adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.
Winter Salad of Grapefruit, Fennel, and Watercress
3 medium pink grapefruits
2 bunches watercress, stems removed
1 medium fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe below)
Salt and Pepper
With a serrated knife, cut a thick slice from the top and bottom of each grapefruit. Cut downward toward the cutting board, following the curve of the fruit, to completely remove the pith and peel. Holding each grapefruit in your palm, cut between the segment dividers to remove each fruit section.
Arrange the watercress in a shallow bowl or on a platter. Mound the fennel and onion on top and arrange the grapefruit segments over the salad. Before serving, drizzle with poppy seed dressing, season, and toss.
Poppy Seed Dressing
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup corn oil
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream; the dressing will thicken. Stir in the poppy seeds.