The Daily Feed: Ham Obsessed

Though I celebrate Passover, plenty of my friends are gearing up for Easter, where a holiday ham is sure to play a starring role on the dining table. And while tradition certainly has its place, and great Aunt Ruthie’s ham recipe may have proven its merit year after year (after year), perhaps it’s time to consider a new twist on this old porcine favorite.

That’s where Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein come in. This dynamic duo has recently published Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010), a handsome volume with over 100 recipes for fresh hams, dry-cured hams, and wet-cured hams alike. The pig puns fly fast and furious, too, and by the time you’re done with the introductory chapter (called, appropriately, the Front End), you’ll realize that this book is as much fun to read as it is to cook from. Don’t fill your coffee cup too full or you’re likely to spill it all over yourself as you read.

I’ve met these guys before, and am a big fan of their brand of humor, but even for those who just want to expand their ham repertoires for Sunday’s big meal there’s plenty to choose from. A recipe for Roasted Fresh Ham with a Maple-Spice Glaze “feeds 6 teenage boys, 16 adults, or 26 twentysomething models.” Or go with Serrano Fritters for a crispy little hors d’oeuvres, or a Brie, Grits, Ham and Apple Casserole for an Easter Sunday breakfast.

Sorry, Great Aunt Ruthie. There are two new sheriffs in town, and they definitely, definitely know their ham.


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.

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