Ham steak in a sweet and sticky, bourbon-punched glaze makes a quick alternative to baking a whole ham. Plus, they still "taste like Easter" (just ask my kids).
Growing up, we always piled into the car on holidays and headed to my grandparents' house. As the grandchildren got older started having children of their own, there were more card tables and folding chairs pulled up from the basement to accommodate everybody. As the family got bigger, so did the bird or the ham that was roasting in the oven.
As the house filled up, the noise level grew right along with the inviting scents wafting out of the kitchen. If you happened to be one of the last ones to arrive, a blanket of warmth and comfort enveloped you the moment you opened the door.
Grandma and Grandpa are getting older now, and though they usually still invite everybody over on the holidays, sometimes we just aren't able to make it. Between my kids getting older and having activities that (yes) overlap with the holidays, unpredictable work schedules, scary road conditions, and the overwhelming desire to hunker down in the house for as long as we possibly can, we often wind up celebrating and making meals for a smaller crowd. A much smaller crowd. Usually just the 5 of us.
Since I have always looked forward to holiday gatherings, especially the food, this means that I find myself in the kitchen for a few days leading up to the holiday. Because if it's just us, that means that I am in charge of making the whole meal. That's good because I get to make anything and everything I want; and it's bad because I have to make anything and everything I want (a Catch 22 if ever there was one).
I have a pretty small kitchen. Okay, it's very small. But there's been many a time that I roasted a whole bird or ham as well, and crowded side dishes in my oven (with 1 rack) before and after. What can I say, I like leftovers. But once the meal was served, I'd find myself feeling absolutely exhausted. The thought of heading back in and doing all of the dishes almost made me cry.
So, I got smart. I pared-down. Instead of a whole turkey, I roasted breasts or tenderloins. In place of a whole ham, I started choosing ham steaks. At first it seemed like cheating. Even the kids would eye their plates suspiciously. But one bite, and any negative thoughts disappeared.
And although you can enjoy ham steaks at absolutely any time of the year (or turkey breasts or tenderloins), there's just something about a ham steak that's been glazed that screams the holidays. Case-in-point? One bite of this Peach Maple Bourbon-glazed Ham Steak and my daughter said "it tastes like Easter!". Which was followed by nods all around. Mission accomplished.