(Family Features) Holidays are a time filled with family, friends and — perhaps most importantly — feasts. Traditional holiday menu items have the power to evoke warm memories of holidays past while continuing to bring people together year after year. For many, the center of that coveted holiday table would not be complete without a sweet and savory spiral-sliced ham.
But what kind of holiday spread would it be without a plethora of delicious side dishes to accompany and complement the meal? Whether you prefer ham with notes of honey, nuts or fruit, make sure your dinner table boasts a variety of options that enhance its delectable flavor. Look for recipes that incorporate both traditional and unexpected ingredients for a holiday menu makeover. Doing so will keep guests pleased with familiar favorites, yet pleasantly surprised with the new variations.
Savory side selections
If you’re looking for a savory side that spotlights the distinct flavors of the season, butternut squash is an excellent choice. White Beans with Bacon and Butternut Squash is a perfect blend of savory, sweet and salty. Serve it alongside your favorite Smithfield ham — Honey, Caramel Apple or Pecan Praline glazed — for a true taste of tradition. For more great recipes, visit www.smithfield.com.
A potato dish is also a must for many holiday spreads. Break away from mundane mashed potatoes and gravy with this recipe for Smashed Bacon Ranch Potatoes. Family and friends will line up for seconds when they get a taste of the ranch dressing and smoky bacon combination. Or, try this recipe for Green Bean Corn Casserole for another new twist on a classic holiday favorite.
3 ways to make ham leftovers delectable
For many, the best part of the holiday meal awaits them in the fridge the next day. If you find yourself with a kitchen still stocked for a holiday feast, here are some easy ways to turn delicious ham into a flavorful meal with just a few extra ingredients:
Pizza: Nothing pleases a child — or a parent for that matter — more than pizza. Simply place marinara sauce, cheese and cubed ham atop broiled French bread or English muffins for a crunchy post-holiday lunch.
Pasta salad: Whip up a cool classic you can nibble on all week long. Prepare your favorite whole-wheat noodles, then mix in cubed ham, your favorite cheeses, diced tomatoes, spinach and a generous pour of creamy Italian dressing. It’s an easy meal in just minutes.
Sandwiches: Take standard ham and cheese sandwiches to new levels with uneaten goodies from your cheese platter. Fill leftover artisan rolls from your holiday fare with sliced ham. Experiment with your favorite cheeses — Gouda, Gruyere or Roquefort — and place on the grill for a gooey, crunchy bite.
Recipe: Smashed Bacon Ranch Potatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 to 6 slices Smithfield Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon
- 1/4 cup bottled ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk or whole milk
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; return to saucepan and mash coarsely. Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until browned; drain and crumble. Pour off drippings from skillet, leaving clinging particles in skillet. Add potatoes, salad dressing, buttermilk and vinegar to skillet; stir until well blended. Cook, stirring constantly, until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Yield 4 servings
Recipe: White Beans with Bacon and Butternut Squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices Smithfield bacon, chopped
- 1 pound diced butternut squash
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to skillet and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until crumbly; remove from skillet, drain on paper towels and reserve 2 tablespoons of drippings in skillet. Add butternut squash, onion, salt, pepper, nutmeg and curry powder to the skillet; saute for 5 minutes; add chicken broth to the skillet, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5 additional minutes or until butternut squash is tender. Add beans and spinach to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes or until all vegetables are heated through. Sprinkle with reserved bacon.
Yield 4 servings
Recipe: Green Bean Corn Casserole
- 1 bag frozen French-style green beans
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (or more)
- 1 sleeve butter crackers, finely crushed
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In large mixing bowl, combine first 7 ingredients and place in prepared 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish. Combine crushed butter crackers and melted butter and spread over top of casserole. Bake for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Yield 8 servings
Recipe: Holiday Spiral Sliced Ham with Honey Glaze
- 1 Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham with Honey Glaze
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Remove packaging; reserve liquid. Place ham cut-side down on large sheet of foil in roasting pan, pour reserved liquid over ham and wrap completely with foil. Warm ham in oven for 10 to 12 minutes per pound. Do not overheat. After removing from oven, let sit for 5 minutes before glazing. Heat glaze packet for 15 seconds in microwave. Glaze is hot, so be careful when opening packet. Holding packet with towel or oven mitt, cut corner off packet and pour glaze into bowl. Stir well and spoon over ham. Let glazed ham sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow glaze to melt over ham.
Yield 14 servings