Although fresh mackerel can be hard to find, smoked mackerel is often sold in the refrigerated section of supermarkets; it is also available from mail-order sources. We used the peppered variety, but any type will do.
Peter Berley, former executive chef of Angelica Kitchen in New York City and author of "The Flexitarian Table," created this healthier version of a traditional family favorite."My mom liked to combine apple, celery, raisins, and walnuts with some mayo," he says. "It was one of the salady things she'd put out with the meal. My recipe is a postmodern expression of that. The apple is tart; the celery has a saline minerality; and the sunchokes provide earthiness. Treble, alto, and bass. Walnuts add the sweetness and fat, which really ties the salad together."
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's Christmas: Entertaining, Decorating, Giving, an instant classic when it first appeared in 1989. Unlike a typical ham, which is tender and juicy, a country ham is dry-cured before smoking, so it is intensely salty; it's meant to be sliced paper-thin and eaten with a biscuit. Soaking the ham in several changes of water, which removes some of the saltiness, is an essential part of the preparation. Country ham is delicious served warm, at room temperature, or cold. The honey mustard and ham can be made a week and a day ahead, respectively, and stored in the refrigerator. Any leftover ham can be very thinly sliced, sealed in freezer bags, and stored in the freezer up to three months.