Pork: cooking ham and all those leftovers

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient

COOKING HAM

Ham that is not marked "fully cooked" should be heated to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Almost all hams these days are sold "ready-to-serve" but their flavor will be improved if you heat them before serving.

Since most ham is already fully cooked, it is one of the most foolproof pieces of meat that you can prepare. You can simply put it in a roasting pan and cook it at 325 degrees F for the time specified on the package or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. People sometimes cut crisscrosses on the outside of a large ham to keep the fat from curling as it shrinks, but this is not really necessary with today's leaner trim hams.

If you are going to use a glaze, don't add it until the last 30 minutes or so of cooking. A sweet glaze can easily burn to a disgusting black mess in the time it takes to fully heat a large ham.

If you buy a spiral sliced ham, follow the directions on the package and take extra care when you heat it to make sure that the meat does not dry out.

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS Use the bones, trimmings, and aromatic vegetables to make ham stock, just like you would make chicken stock.

Refrigerate it and skim the fat before use. It's a great base for bean soups.

Use leftover ham for pizza, omelettes, quiche, baked potato toppings, fried rice, pasta, poultry stuffing, crepes, vegetable stir fry, chef salads, beans and soups. Keep a bag of lean ham bits in your freezer so you can use them as a garnish or flavoring agent.

Make a ham spread to eat with crackers, vegetables or as a sandwich filling. A good one would be to combine ham chunks, carrots, pickles, mustard, and mayonnaise into a food processor and grind everything up.

If you want to make a pot of beans but bought a boneless ham, you can sometimes buy ham bones at the supermarket. Honey baked Ham shops sell leftover bones for a reasonable price. Or you can just dice up the amount of boneless ham you want and add it to the pot while cooking the beans.

Source: Excerpted from the Oregonian FOODday Typed by Dorothy Flatman, 1995 Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 06-21-95

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