The anchor for our sumptuous spread is a glazed bone-in ham. It's basted with a spicy-sweet blend of honey, fresh horseradish, and allspice, which helps burnish and crisp the skin. Horseradish cream amplifies the flavors in the glaze.
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.
It's called pie, but let's face it, it's a cake -- with an oozy, luscious pastry cream filling between moist layers and chocolate ganache dripping down the sides. It so gripped the taste buds of nineteenth-century Bostonians at the Parker House Hotel that it became a classic dessert -- in fact, in 1996 it was named the state dessert of Massachusetts. A good way to tackle this cake is to make the cake layers and the pastry cream in advance. When ready to assemble, make the ganache topping.Excerpted from "Mad Hungry Cravings" by Lucinda Scala Quinn, Artisan Books, March 19, 2013.
Watermelon-rind chutney is actually an old-fashioned sweet pickle. It's made modern with ginger and Thai chiles, which enliven the crisp rind's naturally cool qualities. It pairs beautifully with succulent Asian-style spareribs.