Ham Salad

People just don’t make ham salad like they used to. At one time, you’d see it on just about any occasional buffet table, be it wedding, anniversary, or funeral, but nowadays it’s all pimento cheese and hummus. Maybe it’s because of that same room-temperature mayonnaise phobia that keeps tuna or chicken salad at bay, or simply a drift away from meats in general.

Still and all, ham salad is a beautiful option for holiday left-overs, and it’s a good nosh (sorry) whenever. Three ingredients are essential: a binding agent—it doesn’t have to be mayo; cream cheese or yogurt will do, too—finely diced or pureed lean ham—and a pickle or relish, or both. Me, I like a fine consistency with horseradish, mustard and a little grated onion, but, as Rombauer and Co. say, ham salad, “should be a matter of inspiration”.

Here’s an easy one. For a pound of finely-chopped ham, add about a quarter  cup mayo, two tablespoons each of sweet relish and minced onions. Mix well with a tablespoon each of black pepper and dry mustard. Chill for at least an hour.

Mustard Glaze

This is good on ham, pork, and game. To a stick of melted butter, add two tablespoons of dry mustard and a 12 oz. jar of pineapple preserves. Whisk over medium heat until thoroughly mixed. Brush over meats while roasting and cooling for the table.