Easter Dinner – Honey-Baked Ham

Last night, I wanted to do something special for MM for Easter dinner. Although Easter is an important holiday in both of our families, we have to choose our holidays wisely because we need to use our vacation to get to Italy and Pittsburgh throughout the year. Which means that Easter tends to fly under the holiday radar, so we need to create our own special traditions.

MM’s typical Catholic-Italian Easter is slightly different and more mature than my American version. We both agree that my colorful version with died eggs, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, Peeps and dressing up for church is pretty exciting, so MM let me entertain us this year. Although, we did go to a Catholic church, which was my way of reaching out to his family’s Easter traditions.

For our dinner, I decided that a honey-baked ham, roasted red potatoes, roasted vegetables, and squash would be perfect for both of our tastebuds! MM doesn’t like squash, so I was happy to make that for my own enjoyment. We added candles to add to the special occasion, and dessert consisted of jelly beans and delicious bread pudding from Whole Foods…it was great! I think next year we’ll have a hard time topping this year’s dinner, but we will certainly try!

Honey-Baked Ham

Ingredients
1 boneless country ham
2 cups honey, for glazing ham
2 tablespoons Spice Rub, recipe follows
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped fine
6 celery stalks
Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place ham on an open brown paper bag for easy clean up. With the tip of a paring knife carefully score a 1-inch grid pattern around the outside of the ham. Brush the entire surface of the meat on all sides with some of the honey.
Season the entire surface of the meat on all sides with the toasted spice rub and thyme. Add about a half cup of water to the base of the roaster. Place ham on several celery sticks in the roasting pan.
Cook for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes, baste ham with juices that collect in the base of the roaster and the honey. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving as desired.

SPICE RUB:
1/4 cup fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/4 cup (1-ounce) pure California sweet chili powder*
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
If you have a small spice mill blender or a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, grind fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.

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