12 Roasts

 

Holiday Gifting & Entertaining Made Simple

 

Build A Charcuterie Board

Curate a unique spread to serve your guests.

Holiday Gift Baskets

Fill your basket with the season's best.

Ham Preparation

How to cook ham: what’s the best way?

  1. Oven-Roasted Ham: Oven-roasted ham is cooked in a roasting pan with water and covered with foil or brown paper. The meat is basted occasionally during cooking, which keeps it moist while sealing in the flavor. This method produces the best flavor with a crispy brown exterior and tender interior.
  2. Slow Cooker Ham: If you want an easy method to give you moist and flavorful ham, slow cooking is the way to go. This method is especially great for smaller gatherings. A four to five-pound ham can be cooked on low for about 3-4 hours. The process of slow cooking allows the meat to absorb all that delicious flavor from the seasonings and liquid without drying it out. This method also makes it easier for your guests to carve their own slices of ham, as there are no bones to contend with. This can be especially helpful if you have some new meat carvers at your table!
  3. Boiled Ham: Boiling your ham was once the most common way to prepare it at home because it's easy and requires little effort or attention while cooking. However, today many people prefer roasting instead because they believe that boiled hams taste less flavorful than roasted ones do — they're also easier to overcook in the oven if you're not paying close attention.

Cooking times vary, depending on the weight of your pork, your elevation, your oven and more. Always read the instructions on your ham and make sure your meat reaches an internal temperature of 145° F before serving.

How to store ham: are there any foolproof methods?

The key to keeping ham fresh is low temperatures and humidity, so it’s best to store your ham in the fridge or freezer or a cool, dark place. If your ham has been frozen, thaw it before cooking.

Can you tell me how to glaze a ham?

Glazing is what gives the ham its deep brown color and glossy sheen. Glazing helps seal in moisture, so the meat stays juicy and tender, plus it enhances flavor by caramelizing around the edges of the meat. Glazing also seals in juices from any sauce you might use.

If you're using a store-bought glaze, make sure you follow the directions on the package. It's important that you don't overdo it. Just brush the glaze onto the ham and let it soak in. If there are any spots that aren't fully covered with glaze, just brush them again.

What’s the best way to use leftover ham?

If you have leftover ham, then lucky you! Wondering what to do? Here are ten easy, delicious ideas.

  • Make sandwiches
  • Make ham and bean soup
  • Whip up ham and broccoli casserole
  • Add ham to an omelet or scrambled eggs
  • Make ham and cheese quiche
  • Add ham to scalloped potatoes
  • Make ham pot pie
  • Serve ham on a charcuterie tray
  • Add ham to macaroni and cheese
  • Make ham and pineapple pizza

How long will my ham last?

When stored in the refrigerator, a fully cooked ham may be kept for up to 7 days after being removed from its packaging. Fresh, uncooked ham should be refrigerated and used within 2 days after purchase.*


*Source: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/meat/hams-and-food-safety

Can I freeze my ham?

Yes, you can freeze your ham if you have not eaten it all or if you have leftovers after a holiday meal. It is best to wrap your ham tightly in aluminum foil and place it in a freezer bag before freezing. This will help prevent freezer burn on your ham while also protecting it from bacteria growth while in storage. If you want to store your leftover ham for longer than a few months, you should wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil before placing it into the freezer bag and storing it at 0°F.

Ham Preparation
Wine Pairings

Your Guide to Holiday Wine Pairing

Should I serve white wine or red wine for the holidays?

Choosing the right wine can help make your holiday meal feel even more festive. Whether you serve white, red or sparkling is up to you, but here’s a quick rule of thumb.

 

Red wines generally go well with red meats, including beef and lamb. They also complement hearty winter greens like kale and collard greens.

 

White wines go best with poultry, seafood and light winter vegetables like green beans or asparagus. They also work well with cream sauces.

Chardonnay Parings

  • Artichokes: Chardonnays are bright and crisp, so they're perfect with artichokes — especially artichoke dip!
  • Bacon-wrapped Scallops: This classic pairing will never go out of style.
  • Chicken Salad: Chardonnay complements chicken salads beautifully because it's not too sweet or too acidic.
  • Clams Casino: The briny flavor of clams goes great with Chardonnay's citrusy notes.
  • Crab Cakes: Crab cakes pair well with all white wines, but Chardonnays are particularly good because they have just enough acidity to cut through the richness of crab meat.
  • Grilled Pork Chops: Grilled pork chops can be tough to pair with wine because they're usually served with barbecue sauce or another bold condiment that can overpower delicate wines like Chardonnay. But since Chardonnays have enough acidity to stand up to bold flavors, they work well here! 

Pinot Noir Pairings

  • Spicy Foods: The tannins in Pinot Noir can handle some heat, so this wine complements dishes with a little spice to them
  • Seafood: The delicate fruitiness of Pinot Noir makes it a great choice for seafood dishes. Try pairing this wine with salmon or swordfish for an elegant dinner party dish that won't overpower your other courses — just make sure not to choose too heavy of a fish like tuna or halibut unless you're looking for something stronger than Pinot Noir.
  • Poultry: If you're serving roast chicken or turkey at your holiday dinner this year, go ahead and pull out a bottle of Pinot Noir — it's perfect for poultry dishes!
  • Pork: The spiciness of pork pairs well with the earthy notes found in Pinot Noir wines. Try serving Pinot Noir alongside slow-roasted pork loin.
  • Game Meat: Pinot Noirs have an affinity for game meats, including venison and duck. The wine's light body and earthy flavor pair well with the gaminess of game – think morels in place of mushrooms.

 

Sparkling Wine Pairings

  • Cheese: Charcuterie, anyone? Sparkling wines go well with cheese because they both have an acidic taste that can complement each other well. A good example of this is an aged brie served with pear slices and walnuts on top of it. The saltiness of the cheese works well with the fizziness of the wine, while the sweetness from the pear balances out its acidity.
  • Fruit: Fruit is another recommended food pairing for sparkling wines because they tend to be sweet enough to balance out the carbonation in your mouth after each sip of your glass of bubbly. Try placing some raspberries or strawberries on top or even inside your glass as a garnish.
  • Desserts: Need a drink to accompany your favorite slice of pie? Grab some prosecco to wash it down.

Cabernet Sauvignon Pairings

 

Red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon are a perfect match for holiday dishes, especially if you plan to serve the main course with a little spice or kick. Here are some ideas:

 

  • Roasted lamb with rosemary and garlic
  • Filet mignon
  • Prime rib
  • New York Strip
  • Pepper-crusted Ahi Tuna
  • Ham 

 

Your Favorite Holiday Treats Are Back!

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Baking preparation for holidays

Holiday Cookie Baking Guide

How can I make the best batch of cookies?

There are plenty of ways to whip up a crave-worthy batch of holiday cookies. Here are some baking tips to keep in mind:

 

  1. Chill your cookie dough first. Colder dough thickens and results in more consistent cookies.
  2. Use room-temperature butter, Cold butter causes cookies to spread out even more than they would with room-temperature butter.
  3. Don’t overfill your oven! Baking one batch at a time will help prevent burning on the edges of your cookies. One-batch baking also keeps cookies from spreading out too much or burning on the bottom.
  4. Make sure your baking sheets are well-greased with vegetable shortening before putting any dough on them. This helps prevent your cookies from sticking and makes clean-up easier after baking.

What are the best baking tools for cookies?

 

So, you’ve gathered your sprinkles, flour, sugar and butter. Now what? It’s time to round up some baking tools! Here’s what we suggest.

  • Cookie Scoops: You can use a spoon to scoop out your cookies, but it's much simpler to use a cookie scoop. It's also easier to get uniform-sized cookies this way. You can buy silicone or metal cookie scoops, and you'll want one in two sizes: one for mini cookies and one for standard-sized cookies. It's worth investing in a good quality metal cookie scoop; they're more durable than silicone ones and tend to last longer.

  • Rolling Pin: A rolling pin is another kitchen tool that will make your life easier when you're making cookies. It's the best way to roll out your dough evenly, so your cookies will all be the same size and thickness when they come out of the oven — no more unevenly sized cookies!

  • Baking Sheets: Baking sheets are essential for baking anything that requires even heating (like cookies). They let heat circulate freely throughout the entire pan, so all your cookies will bake at the same rate and don't burn on the bottom before their tops are done baking.

  • Silicone Baking Mat: These are perfect for cookies because they don't absorb any moisture or flavor from what you're baking on top of them. Plus, they're nonstick!

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: If you want to bake like a pro, having a set of measuring cups and spoons is essential. You can buy them in all sorts of sizes, but it's best to have at least 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons), 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons), 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons), 1 cup (16 tablespoons) and 2 cup measures.

  • Mixing Bowls: Make sure you have several mixing bowls in different sizes — from large to small — to create some of your favorite recipes. You'll need at least three: one small bowl for whipping air into egg whites for meringues, one medium bowl for creaming butter and sugar together, and one large bowl for making cookie dough. 

What's the best way to decorate holiday cookies?

There are so many fun and delicious ways to decorate holiday cookies, but here are a few tips and techniques to try.

  • Ice Your Cookies: You can use a variety of icing and decorating techniques, including flooding, piping or outlining with icing and flooding with buttercream, then piping details.

  • Spread Frosting on Iced Cookies: This technique is often used on gingerbread men or other cookie shapes with flat surfaces.

  • Color Your Frosting with Food Coloring: If you use liquid food coloring, make sure it’s gel-based so it won’t dilute the icing too much.

  • Dip Your Cookie in Melted Chocolate: This works best for larger cookies like gingerbread men or snowflakes.

  • Glaze Your Cookies: Glazing involves brushing melted butter over the top of your baked cookies before they've cooled completely so that they have a shiny finish with some shine from the butter.

When in doubt, always add sprinkles!

How should I store cookies?

If you can resist eating them all at once, follow these tips to keep your cookies fresh for longer.

  • Keep cookies in an airtight container. Cookies are especially prone to humidity, so store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If your cookies contain eggs and/or dairy, they'll last longer in the fridge than on the countertop.

  • Store cookies in a single layer to maintain crispness. If you stack cookies on top of each other, condensation will form between them and cause sogginess.

  • Need to layer? Use waxed paper or parchment paper in between. This will help prevent condensation from forming between layers of cookies and prevent their bottoms from getting soggy. It also makes it easier for you to separate them later without breaking them apart. Quick tip: Make sure cookies reach room temperature before using wax paper, as wax paper has a lower melting point. 

Can I freeze cookies?

Yes. In fact, we encourage making an extra batch to freeze, so you have some cookies to enjoy now and some for later! Baked cookies last up to two months in the freezer. Allow them to cool to room temperature, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap and drop them in a resealable plastic bag. Don't forget to label and date them!

How can I package and mail cookies for the holidays?

If you're shipping cookies, brownies and other baked goods for the holidays, here are some tips to keep them in tip-top shape.

  1. Pack them in an airtight container or bag.
  2. Wrap the container or bag in bubble wrap and place it inside a larger box.
  3. Add packing peanuts or crumpled newspaper around the items inside of the box, and seal with tape.
  4. Place a label on top of the box that says, "This Side Up" and "Fragile."

 

Feeding Joy with Holiday Favorites

 

Holidays are a great time to reconnect with friends and family over a delicious meal. And what better way to show your loved ones how much you care than by cooking up one of their favorite holiday foods with delicious ingredients from Vons?

Whether you're looking for an easy meal to make for a large group or wanting to try something new this holiday season, here are some recipes that are sure to please everyone at the table.

For those who love traditional holiday fare, nothing beats a good old-fashioned roast. Whether you prefer beef, pork, or turkey, roasting is a great way to cook up a juicy and flavorful main dish. And if you're short on time, your local Vons offers pre-seasoned and pre-roasted meats that just need to be heated up before serving. For side dishes, roasted potatoes and carrots are always a hit, and green beans or brussels sprouts make for a nice change of pace. And of course, no holiday feast would be complete without a delectable dessert like pumpkin pie or apple crisp.

If you're looking for something a little different, why not try a festive ham? Glazed hams are typically baked with sweet and sticky syrup, which gives them a lovely, caramelized flavor. They can be served as is or sliced and served with mashed potatoes or rice. Another fun option is to spiral-cut the ham and serve it as an elegant appetizer with a variety of dipping sauces. For dessert, why not try making your own gingerbread houses? This classic winter treat is always a hit with kids and adults alike. Plus, it's a great way to get everyone in the kitchen working together towards a common goal - creating the most impressive gingerbread house on the block!

Whatever foods you choose to celebrate with this holiday season, the most important thing is to enjoy spending time with your loved ones. From all of us here at Vons, we wish you happy holidays!

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