Be inspired by Easter hams, yams and more

Happy Easter! Happy spring! Appearing in refrigerators all over the valley, spring’s fresh asparagus and strawberries plus all the makings for that holiday dinner: fresh green beans, peas, pineapple, citrus, and sweet potatoes/yams, at good prices.

And let us not forget the star: ham!

I went to http://www.porkbeinspired.com and was I inspired. A recipe using plums with ham caught my eye and taste buds.

I also checked North Carolina’s http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com and they have carried sweet potatoes to new culinary heights.

Here are a few recipes to add a new twist or two to your meals, plus a family favorite.

Baked Ham with Sweet ‘n’ Sour Plum Sauce

6-pounds fully-cooked boneless ham

1 15-ounce can purple plums packed in heavy syrup, drained, pitted and

pureed

1 cup undrained crushed pineapple packed in pineapple juice

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 large clove garlic, minced (1/2 teaspoon)

1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

Score ham with diagonal cuts in diamond pattern. Place on rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, until meat thermometer registers 140 degrees.

Meanwhile combine remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Brush ham with sauce every 15 minutes during last 30 minutes of baking. Remove to serving platter; tent with foil. Let stand 15 minutes. Brush with sauce. Carve; serve with remaining sauce.

May garnish with green onion flowers, fresh plum wedge and unpeeled pineapple.

Sweet Potato and Ginger Slaw

www.ncsweetpotatoes.com

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, julienned or coarsely grated (about 5 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts pieces

1/4 cup sliced scallions

In large bowl, whisk oil, lime juice, sugar, ginger and salt. Stir in sweet potatoes, walnuts and scallions. Chill before serving.

 

Twice Baked Yams To Go 
With Ham

www.ncsweetpotatoes.com

6 nicely shaped yams, washed and dried

1 package low fat Philadelphia cream cheese

1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar

4 teaspoons Smart Balance margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

Salt/pepper to taste

Chopped pecans (1/3 cup or more)

Bake yams until done; not mushy. Split yams, spoon most of yam out of shell, leaving a little so skins hold their shape. Beat yams, cream cheese, vanilla and margarine until creamy. Fold in nuts. Fill shells; heat in oven until heated through.

 

Hot Ham & Pepper 
Cheese Hoagies

PorkBeInspired.com

Prep: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Serves 4.

8 ounces ham, thinly sliced

4 hoagie buns, sliced lengthwise

1/4 cup spicy brown mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise, low-fat

4 1-ounce slices pepper jack cheese

1/2 cup lettuce, shredded

1 tomato, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread inside of buns with mustard and mayonnaise. Layer ham and cheese on bun bottoms, top with lettuce and tomato and then bun top. Wrap hoagies in foil. Heat in 350-degree oven until cheese melts, about 15 minutes.

Dixie note: Use whole grain buns and add sweet onion.


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