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Citrusy tang perks up plain ham

Thursday, September 19, 2002

By Nancy Anderson, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Today's recipe is a main-course-meat change of pace from Kurt "King of Countdown" Karafinski of Glenshaw.

"I like ham at the holidays and so does my wife, Debby," he said. "But it seems that the holidays are the only time that we get a chance to have it."


Maybe that's because we bake a seven-pound ham, eat leftovers for a week and don't want to see it for a while.

But it's been a long time since Easter, and Kurt's recipe for Citrus Glazed Ham Steak sounded like a welcome change from chicken, chicken, chicken.

The seven-time Countdown winner describes it as "a nice, simple and very quick way to satisfy those in-between holiday cravings." How right he was.

The caramelized pineapple and the tangy citrus/mustard sauce were delicious on the browned ham.

"The sauce can be adjusted to taste, depending on how much mustard you like," he said, but we found his measurements to be an agreeable combination of sweet and tart.

"And you can make extra and freeze it for leftover holiday ham."

He serves the dish with rice to soak up the sauce and so did we, along with fresh greens, for a meal as pleasing to the eye as the palate.

A senior systems analyst for Eckerd Health Services in O'Hara, Kurt enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and does the bulk of the cooking for his family, which includes his wife, who also works at Eckerd, and son, Christopher, almost 5.

We're grateful that he does.

Citrus Glazed Ham Steak

  • 1 ham steak, about 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, juices reserved
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Cut ham steak into serving pieces (ours had juices in the package so we dried the steak with paper towels). Heat a skillet large enough to hold all the ham over a moderately high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons butter. Saute the ham pieces in the butter for about 3 or 4 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Remove from the skillet and add remaining butter to the pan.

Drain pineapple, reserving the juice. Add to the skillet and saute until the chunks start to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pineapple.

Add the reserved pineapple juice and orange juice and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half.

Add the mustard and whisk well. Return ham and pineapple to the skillet and heat through.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

Nancy Anderson can be reached at nanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3549.

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