Although most people serve turkey for Thanksgiving, a succulent ham is a refreshing departure from this age-old tradition; and the perfect side dishes to accentuate the unique flavor of pork is a creamy whipped-potato casserole and tangy jellied cranberry salad.
Recipe for Thanksgiving Orange-Glazed Spiral Ham
Out of all the ham recipes, many cooks agree that this is number one.
- 1 fully cooked spiral-cut ham (approximately 8 pounds)
- 1 cup dark-brown sugar (tightly packed)
- 1/4 cup orange juice (light can be used instead of regular)
- 1 cup orange marmalade (12-ounce jar)
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Orange slices for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the ham cut-side down on a rack in a large roasting pan.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pan.
- Cover ham with aluminum foil and heat for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes or until thoroughly (internal temperature should be 140 degrees).
- Combine brown sugar, orange juice, marmalade, and mustard.
- Once ham is thoroughly heated, brush it with 3/4 cup of the glaze, and heat another 30 minutes or until nicely colored.
- Remove ham from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
- Slice by cutting around the center bone, freeing as many slices as desired; then cut along seams of the ham to remove slices from the bone).
- Serve slices with remaining glaze on the side and garnished with orange slices.
Recipe for Thanksgiving Whipped-Potato Casserole
- 5 pounds potatoes (peeled and quartered)
- 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) softened unsalted butter or margarine
- 1 and 1/4 cups half-and-half (low-fat if desired)
- 1 tub whipped cream cheese with chives (8 ounces) or 1 tub plain whipped cream cheese with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Fresh chives for garnish if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cover potatoes with water in a large pot, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until fork-tender (Lightly salt while cooking if desired).
- Coat a 13x9x2-inch pan with nonstick spray.
- Put potatoes in large bowl and mash, using hand-held mixer.
- Add butter, half-and-half, cream cheese, garlic salt, and nutmeg.
- Beat on medium speed until potatoes are smooth.
- Spoon potatoes into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes (uncovered).
- Sprinkle sliced almonds over casserole.
- Bake an additional 15 minutes or until almonds and top of casserole are lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow casserole to cool for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with chives and serve.
Recipe for Thanksgiving Jellied Cranberry Salad
- 1 pound fresh cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 box (3-ounce size) cherry or strawberry gelatin
- 1 head leafy lettuce
- 1 cup walnuts or almonds, whichever is preferred
- 1 small tub sour cream
- Sliced fresh oranges or orange peel for garnish
- Thoroughly rinse cranberries and drain.
- Combine berries, orange juice, and sugar in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil then continue boiling for 10 minutes or until berries are tender.
- Remove from heat.
- Add dry gelatin to mixture and stir until dissolved.
- Pour into a 4-cup mold and refrigerate until firm.
- Arrange lettuce leaves on individual salad plates.
- Remove jellied cranberry from mold (invert onto a plate), slice, and place desired number of slices on bed of lettuce.
- Sprinkle with nuts.
- Top with desired amount of sour cream.
- Garnish with fresh orange slices or orange peel.
Granted, a golden-brown turkey can be quite tasty; however, pork—the other white meat—is a delicious alternative for cooks who want to try something different for Thanksgiving, especially when the ham is served with the perfect complimentary side dishes.