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The gang's all here -- and hungry Open house: Try these dishes to feed a crowd.


If you love to cook, one of the nicest, most heartfelt gifts you can give friends this holiday season is a tasty treat from your kitchen. But instead of boiling up dozens of jars of mango butter this year, consider an open house.

It's the perfect opportunity to raise a glass and fork to the joyful spirit of the season. For a main dish, try the glazed ham below; more recipes appear inside.

Ham With Pineapple-Mustard Glaze

Makes 30 (3-ounce) servings

1/2 cup pineapple-juice concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 (6- to 8-pound) precooked semi-boneless smoked ham

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine pineapple juice, mustard and vinegar. Set aside. Place ham, trimmed of fat, in a baking dish. Add water up to 1/2 inch. Bake 1 1/2 hours.

Baste ham with glaze. Continue baking, basting ham every 10 minutes, for 45 minutes more, or until browned and heated through. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 145 calories; 21 grams protein; 5 grams fat (1.6 grams saturated fat); 2 grams carbohydrates; 1,140 milli-grams sodium; 47 milligrams cholesterol; 0 grams fiber

Pumpkin-Cornmeal Rolls

Makes 3 dozen rolls

3 tablespoons active dry yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm water

1 1/2 cups unseasoned canned pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk, plus more for brushing tops

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

7 1/2 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal, plus more for dusting

4 teaspoons salt

In a large bowl, stir together yeast and water. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.

In a large saucepan, combine pumpkin, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and oil.

Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lukewarm, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to yeast mixture. Gradually add 7 cups flour, 1 cup cornmeal and salt, stirring to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out on a floured work surface and knead, adding additional flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Lightly oil two baking sheets or coat them with nonstick spray. Punch dough down and turn out onto a work surface. Divide into 36 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a round ball. Set rolls on prepared baking sheets; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush tops of rolls with milk and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. (They will keep, well wrapped, in the freezer for up to one month.)

Per roll: 150 calories; 4 grams protein; 2 grams fat (0.3 gram saturated fat); 30 grams carbohydrates; 245 milligrams sodium; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 2 grams fiber

Wild Rice Salad With Apricots

Makes about 16 cups, for 30 servings

1 1/2 cups wild rice

1 1/2 cups brown rice

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup minced shallots

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 stalks celery, finely diced

1 1/3 cups dried apricots, diced

2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 bunch watercress, trimmed

In a large pot, bring 12 cups salted water to boil. Add wild and brown rice and cook, uncovered, until tender, 35 to 45 minutes.

Drain and spread on a large baking sheet to cool.

In a skillet, stir nuts over medium-low heat until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk shallots, vinegar, oil and orange juice until blended. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine rice, toasted nuts, celery and apricots. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. (The salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Just before serving, add parsley. Adjust seasoning and toss well.

Spoon onto a platter; garnish with watercress.

Per serving: 135 calories; 3 grams protein; 5 grams fat (0.6 gram saturated fat); 20 grams carbohydrates; 10 milligrams sodium; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 2 grams fiber

Pub Date: 12/02/98

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