Go Ham on Christmas

Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Sophia Eleni Pappas.

Good morning. We’re in the chute now, hurtling toward the end of the year. It’s all checklists and traditions for me: the tourtière I’ll heat through on Christmas Eve; the ham I ordered for the day itself; the boozy eggnog for grown-ups; the cookies for the little ones.

Will I greet 2024 with a prime rib roast? That’s worked these last few years, so I believe I will. I’ve got my plans and you’ve got yours.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ham, though. Generally, I glaze it with a mixture of mustard and brown sugar, cut through with sherry. This year, though, I’m thinking I’ll follow Yotam Ottolenghi’s lead (above), and steam some seeded halved clementines alongside the meat, then use that as the sweetening agent for the glaze. Yotam deploys some mayonnaise on the meat at the end for an extra bit of glossy excellence on the skin. It is maybe the most American technique I’ve ever seen him use — I can’t wait to try it.

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Glazed Christmas Ham

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That’s all in the future, though, all still in my imagination. This weekend, I’d like salmon roasted in butter, alongside some sautéed broccoli rabe. You don’t need to blanch the greens: Just toss them with a little olive oil and get them in a pan with a healthy splash of water or stock. Cover and steam until tender. So good.

I’d like to make waffles, too, bringing back my sourdough starter in the process so that I can make English muffins over the holiday. And maybe some Italian subs, too, see how they shape up against the boys of Hoagie Gurus?

Then, for Sunday dinner, I’m thinking oxtails and butter beans, to serve with coconut rice and some cabbage sautéed in butter until the leaves hit that perfect mark between soft and crisp. With a tarte Tatin for dessert, if only to send a message to the Sunday scaries: Not today, Satan.

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Now, it’s a far cry from anything to do with parsnips or the pleasures of tonic water, but I’ve been enjoying the return of “Shetland” on Amazon Prime. Douglas Henshall has left the series, but Alison O’Donnell, as Tosh, has stepped up and the island’s as beautiful as ever.

PJ Vogt looked into the question of fish fraud on his “Search Engine” podcast this week. That’s worth a listen.

In The New York Times, Dwight Garner took on David Mamet’s new memoir. If I’m probably not going to read the book, I’m going to treasure Dwight’s takedown of it for quite some time: “I was willing to put up with his loose elbows, his belching, his dandruff and the way he repeats himself because he’s interesting and funny, at least a portion of the time.”

Finally, here’s some new music to space out to, while you’re considering what to cook: Nicki Minaj, featuring Drake, “Needle.” I’ll see you on Sunday.

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