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SMOKED BAKED HAM WITH APRICOT SALSA; EATING IN Each week we bring you a cut-out-and-keep recipe from top chef KEVIN ASHTON, who has cooked for American presidents and Hollywood movie stars.

(serves four)

"With this hot weather showing no sign of ending, it's good to have a cold meal that's light and refreshing. The baking part of this recipe can be done ahead of time if you wish. Allow 8oz of ham per person. The ham can be un-smoked if you prefer but do try to use a good quality gammon ham, not something that is re-formed with added water."

INGREDIENTS

1kg (2lb 2oz) smoked gammon ham (cooked)

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

4 tbsp demerara sugar

APRICOT SALSA

8 fresh apricots

1-2 ripe peaches

1 red chilli

2 ripe passionfruits

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lime

METHOD

1. Trim off any skin with a sharp knife, and then score a crosshatch design on the fat.

2. Rub the Dijon mustard onto the scored fat then sprinkle on the brown sugar.

3. Preheat the oven to 230iC/450 iF/gas mark

8.

4. Squeeze the lime juice into a bowl then scoop the passion fruits into the same bowl.

5. Stir the mixture for a minute then press it through a fine sieve to remove the seeds, making sure to keep as much of the juice as possible.

6. Cut the chilli in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane.*

7. Dice the chilli as fine as you can and add to the strained juice.

8. Now add the olive oil and coriander.

9. Wash and cut the apricots in half and slice each half into four slices, then add to the juice.

10. Use one large or two small ripe peaches and repeat the process, making the pieces approximately the same size. Add the peach pieces and stir the salsa.

11. Season lightly with a very small pinch of salt and a twist of the pepper mill then refrigerate the salsa.

12. Bake the ham in the hot oven on the top shelf until the sugar melts. To serve: Allow the glaze to cool a little before attempting to carve the ham. Slice the ham as thin as possible a serve with the apricot salsa.

CHEF'S TIP

"If you can't find apricots then use a combination of ripe mango and peach. *The hottest part of a chilli is not the chilli itself or even the seeds (as some people believe) it's the membrane that hold the seeds in place."

If you have any questions for Kevin, e-mail mercury_features@mrn.co.uk or write to Eating In, Sunday Mercury, Weaman Street, Birmingham B4 6AY
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jul 30, 2006
Words:418
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