Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
1 (10-pound) shank portion reduced-sodium cured ham, room temperature
48 whole cloves
1 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large roasting pan fitted with a rack with cooking spray.
2. With the fat-side facing up, score the surface fat (not the meat) in a diamond-shaped pattern, cutting about 1/4 to 1/2 inch down to -- but not through -- the meat. Stick a clove in the center of each diamond and place ham in roasting pan.
3. Melt preserves over low heat; stir in the vinegar, mustard and thyme; cook 2 minutes and remove from heat.
4. Brush about half the glaze over the ham. To heat it all the way through, cook 1 hour; baste with half the remaining glaze, tent with foil and cook another 2 hours. Baste with the remaining glaze and cook until the internal temperature is 135 to 140 degrees, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Makes 20 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 270 calories, 15 g fat, 5g saturated fat, 18 g protein, 0 fiber, 1,412 mg sodium
MARINATED ROSEMARY-LEMON LEG OF LAMB
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6-pound) bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Combine the rosemary, shallot, lemon zest, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Rub over the entire surface of the lamb and refrigerate overnight.
2. Remove lamb from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a roasting pan and rack with cooking spray.
4. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the surface of the lamb; place on the rack.
5. Roast for 30 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook another 45 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast (not touching the bone) registers 135 degrees (for medium-rare). Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 357 calories, 21 g fat, 8g saturated fat, 39 g protein, 0 fiber, 289 mg sodium
SPICE-RUBBED HONEY-GLAZED FRESH HAM
1 (8- to 9-pound) bone-in, shank portion fresh ham, skin (rind) removed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup honey
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees; coat a roasting pan and rack with cooking spray.
2. Place the ham on work surface and use a very sharp knife to score the surface in a diamond pattern.
3. Combine the cumin, garlic powder, coriander, thyme, paprika, salt, ginger powder and pepper; rub over the entire surface of the pork, taking care to allow it to get in the scored ridges. (May be refrigerated overnight with the spice rub on and brought to room temperature before cooking.)
4. Cover the pan with foil, place in oven, reduce temperature to 325 degrees and roast until the internal temperature is 150 degrees, about 3 hours.
5. Remove foil and brush with honey and pan drippings. Continue cooking, basting occasionally, until the pork reaches 170 degrees, about another 11/4 hours. Remove from oven; let rest a few minutes before slicing. Makes 16 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 342 calories, 18 g fat, 6g saturated fat, 35 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 399mg sodium