For holiday meals in the past, I've purchased a small ham for just Bryan and me, thinking a bigger one would just be excessive for anything less than a large family. But we've since discovered how much we love having leftover ham for myriad dishes, including quiche and mac-n-cheese, so this time I went ahead and purchased a 12-pound ham for just the two of us.
This also meant I had to give the side dishes some thought, since normally I'd just serve savory mac-n-cheese or quiche with a honeyed-up ham. But since those dishes will definitely be appearing on our table later this week, starring said leftover ham, it was time to hit my ridiculous stack of cooking magazines for some inspiration.
Baked Spinach and Gruyere was a first choice, but besides the fact it was too similar to quiche, I had just purchased a bottle of white truffle oil that was calling out for potatoes and mushrooms. The solution?: Potato Gratin with Mushrooms and Gruyere from Bon Appetit's November 2010 issue.
For the mushrooms, I used a combination of fresh king oyster and shitake mushrooms purchased during my first outing to Seafood City (which, as a lover of Asian fruits and vegetables, I'm afraid to say did not impress me as much as other area Asian stores). And although I didn't actually cook with the truffle oil in order to preserve its flavor, Bryan and I both enjoyed drizzling just a bit over the potatoes.
Served with Brussels sprouts that I parboiled for 5 minutes, then sliced in half and roasted for another 5 minutes, it was a Christmas Eve dinner I'll never forget (it's quite possible the 2007 Pedestal Merlot - the most expensive bottle of wine Bryan and I have ever purchased - might have played a role!).
Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!