When I was a child, the classic ham on our Christmas table always had a pineapple glaze complete with pineapple rings strategically placed on the ham and held in place by toothpicks through maraschino cherries. I seem to remember there was a lemon-lime beverage involved too, maybe 7-Up?
These days, I buy my holiday ham already cooked. This year I bought a smoked ham from a Duncanville Middle School student. (Thanks, Nic!) Unlike my previous sweeter hams, this had the wonderful smoked flavor of an outdoor summer barbecue. I know this because I had to test it. Sandwich: take two slices of New York rye bread, spread each side with coarse mustard, place ham on one slice and top with sandwich-sliced Kosher pickles and one slice of Mozzarella cheese. Love it!
To include, yet update the pineapple addition, I chose a pineapple-green onion salsa to serve on the side. I have served this before to good reviews; however, I used a Serrano pepper that I seeded and minced. The heat from the pepper gave a good balance to a sweeter ham. Substituting Tabasco sauce for the Serrano pepper seemed to be a better complement to the smoked ham. Either one works just fine so whatever you prefer.
Pineapple-Green Onion SalsaRecipe courtesy of Cook's Ham
2 cups fresh ripe pineapple, trimmed, cored & chopped into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch chunks (Note: I used canned pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice.)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, with pulp
1 green onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, cored and minced, 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely minced
3 shakes Tabasco sauce
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch of ground cloves
Mix all ingredients together well. Transfer and store. Refrigerate until needed.