Who says the traditional Easter ham has to be traditional?

We understand that there is good reason for many traditions, particularly when it comes to food. After all, many food traditions earned their place because they are simply delicious. The glazed ham is a fine example. And that's why we decided not to mess with that part of this spring staple.

We did, however, play around with what our ham is glazed with. We decided to ditch the orange marmalade, brown sugar, pineapple-cherry, and various clove-spiked glazing options. Instead, we took our inspiration from an Asian pantry staple — hoisin sauce. It comes ready-made by the jar, usually in the Asian food section of the grocer.

From there, we stirred in a few extras to jazz it up, then used it as a simple glaze. In keeping with the theme, we served the ham with a light slaw made from Napa cabbage and snow peas dressed with a light vinaigrette. While our ham was on the large size, if you don't need one quite so big, you can always use any extra glaze as a sauce alongside the ham.



We know... Twenty-four servings is a lot. But Easter ham is like Thanksgiving turkey; you want ample leftovers. So we went big to ensure you'll have plenty to send home with guests, and still have more for sandwiches and soups the next few days.

Start to finish: 5 hours (30 minutes active)

Servings: 24

For the ham:

10- to 12-pound bone-in ham

9.4-ounce jar hoisin sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

For the slaw:

1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced

6 ounces snow peas (about 1 heaping cup)

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of salt

Ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 300 F. Fit a large roasting pan with a roasting rack.

Set the ham on the rack, then slice a hash pattern over the entire surface, cutting about 1/2 inch deep. Roast the ham for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the hoisin, five-spice powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and ginger. Once the ham has roasted for 1 hour, brush half of the glaze over the surface of the ham, being sure to get some of the glaze down into the checked slice marks. Roast for another hour, then brush the ham with the remaining glaze.

Continue roasting, monitoring the temperature and colour. Cook the ham until it reaches 160 F at the centre, about another 2 hours. If the outside of the ham begins to get too dark, tent it with foil. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

While the ham bakes, prepare the slaw. In a large bowl, combine the Napa cabbage, scallions and snow peas. Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready, in a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, ginger, sugar and salt and pepper. Toss the slaw with the dressing just before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 330 calories; 180 calories from fat (55 per cent of total calories); 20 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 26 g protein; 1720 mg sodium.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Alison Ladman is a recipe developer for the AP. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CrustAndCrumbCo

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