After New Year's, the last thing I feel like doing is planning another huge party. However, I want to get all of my friends together for a family style dinner, so I've decided to do a potluck. Hosting a potluck is a no-fuss way to throw a party. Start by downloading and filling in our potluck invite. Ask or assign guests to bring a side, salad, pasta, appetizer, or dessert. If one friend loves to bake, ask her to bring a dessert. Likewise, if another friend is plagued with chronic lateness, don't appoint him an appetizer.
As the hostess you should supply the main dish. A delicious citrus glazed ham will feed a crowd and is simple to make. Also, make an appetizer so when guests arrive they have something to nibble on. Little mushroom tarts are bite sized pastries that will have your guests licking their fingers. For these recipes please,
For the glaze:
3 cups orange juice
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
1 orange, zested
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
For the ham:
1 (8 to 10-pound) fresh ham, shank end, bone-in and skin-on
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Make the glaze by combining the orange juice, brown sugar, orange zest, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves and allspice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Continue to cook at a brisk simmer until the mixture has reduced in volume to just over 1 cup and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the rum, and set aside to cool.
- Remove the ham from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking. While the ham is still cold, using a sharp knife, score the skin of the ham, making a diamond-pattern through the skin and fat about 1/2-inch deep.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Using your hands, rub the salt, Essence, and pepper evenly over the entire surface of the ham.
- Place the ham in a large roasting pan and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the scores begin to open up and the ham begins to color.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to cook the ham until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 155 to 160 degrees F, 3 to 3 1/2 hours longer. The ham will continue to cook after removed from the oven.
- During the last hour of cooking, baste the ham often with the glaze and any pan juices that have accumulated. The skin should be crisp and dark. If the skin threatens to burn before the ham is cooked through, cover the ham loosely with aluminum foil.
- When the ham is ready, transfer it to a large platter or carving board and let sit for at least 20 minutes before carving.
- To serve, slice the meat thinly across the grain and arrange slices on a platter. Serve with any pan juices passed on the side.
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
8 ounces fresh common mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter, plus 6 tablespoons chilled butter cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten to blend
- Rinse shiitake and common mushrooms. Trim and discard shiitake stems; coarsely chop both kinds of mushrooms (keep separate).
- In a 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add shiitakes and stir often until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl.
- Melt another tablespoon butter with another tablespoon olive oil in pan. Add common mushrooms and stir often over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are well browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add to bowl. Cool slightly, then finely chop mushrooms.
- In same pan, over medium-high heat, melt third tablespoon butter. Add onion and stir often until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in vinegar and stir until liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and the mushrooms; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor. Whirl briefly to mix.
- Add 6 tablespoons chilled butter and whirl until coarse crumbs form. Pour in 1/4 cup cold water and whirl just until dough comes together. Squeeze a little in your hand; if it doesn't hold together, add another tablespoon or two of water and pulse to mix. Pat dough into a ball, then flatten slightly into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill until cold, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°. On a well-floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll dough into an oval 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Brush half with beaten egg.
- Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mushroom mixture into one hand, squeeze tightly, and mound an inch apart on egg-washed side of dough. Fold bare half over mounds, and press between them to seal. With a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out tarts and transfer to a baking sheet.
- Gather remaining dough, roll again, fill, and cut out more tarts.
- Bake until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Brush tarts with egg wash (discard any remaining) and continue baking until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.
- Serve warm.
Makes 12 to 16 tartlets.