Honey Glazed Ham Plus Applesauce and Brussel Sprouts

We found big, bone in butt portion hams on sale after Thanksgiving. So, we bought a 10 pounder and put it in the slow cooker for the day while we went about our business (Michelle spent the morning visiting with her 96 year old Grandpa, who isn’t feeling well and I did laundry, vacuuming and took a nap).

Sliced ham, Brussel sprouts and applesauce

Honey Glazed Ham

10 lb ham
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup apple juice (can use water)

Cut diamond patterns on the ham. Mix together the honey, brown sugar and cinnamon and spread over the ham. Pour the 1 cup apple juice into the bottom of the slow cooker and slide in the glazed ham.

Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook about 45 minutes per pound, basting occasionally with the juices in the cooker. Internal temperature of the cooked ham should be 140-145 degrees F.

Slice thin to serve.

We served the ham with homemade apple sauce and some Brussel sprouts.

Homemade Applesauce

4 Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt

Peel, core and dice the apples. Place in a mixing bowl with water and a splash of lemon juice until ready to cook.

Heat water and butter in a large skillet, I prefer cast iron. Once the water comes to a boil and butter is melted, add the apples.

Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly until the apples start to break down. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and salt. Continue to stir, pressing down to further break down apples. Taste and adjust sugar and seasonings once the applesauce is of your desired consistency.

I hated Brussel sprouts as a kid. They smelled bad and tasted horrible. There wasn’t enough butter in the world to make them palatable.

I then discovered a great way to make them. They are almost but, not entirely, unlike French fries with this method. Instead of olive oil in the pan, consider using bacon fat for added richness.

Skillet Fried Brussel Sprouts

about 10 Brussel sprouts per person
a couple glugs of olive oil
generous pinch of kosher salt

Peel off the loose external leaves and slice off the root end before cutting Brussel sprouts in half. Toss in olive oil to coat. Heat skillet over high heat. Toss Brussel sprouts with salt.

Pour a little oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once it begins to shimmer, place Brussel sprouts cut side down in skillet and let cook until that side is brown. Turn over and continue to cook for 2 -4 minutes more.

Serve immediately.

Advertisements

Chicken Broth Potatoes

These potatoes are golden brown on the outside and creamy on the inside and just melt in your mouth. They have a wonderful, deep flavor from the chicken broth that just adds to their richness. Of course, you can make these vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead but, however you make them, your guests will clamor for more.

Chicken Broth Potatoes

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Combine melted butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Cut potatoes into 1-inch thick rounds. Toss sliced potato in butter mixture and then arrange in a single layer in a 9 X 13-inch metal baking pan (use a metal pan as glass baking dish can shatter in such a hot oven) and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip potatoes over. Place back in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Stir garlic into chicken broth and then pour over the potatoes. Flip potatoes one final time. Place the pan back in oven and cook until potatoes are tender, about another 15 minutes.

Baste potatoes with sauce and serve.

Decadent Mashed Potatoes

I like Yukon Gold potatoes for making mashed potatoes, since they are much harder to over-mash (due to their lower starch content) and because of how fluffy they naturally are. Typically, using them means I don’t need to add as much butter. The operative word in that sentence is need.

If you find yourself at looking to indulge your taste buds and give the finger to your cholesterol level, look no further than this recipe for mashed potatoes. I make these with whole milk and lots and lots of butter. The result is a smooth, mashed potato that is very rich and decadent. The only thing missing might be a little cheese. However, because we were serving these at Thanksgiving and wanted to cover them in gravy, we skipped that step.

Decadent Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse peeled and cut potatoes until water runs clear. Let drain.

Heat butter, milk and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Once butter has melted, add in the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Stir regularly.

Drain potatoes over a large bowl, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid back to saucepan and turn heat to low.

Mash potatoes by hand or use a potato ricer or food mill. Add cooking liquid to potatoes until a little looser than desired consistency. If not serving immediately, add even a little extra to keep things from thickening up too much. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Steakhouse Sweet Potato Fries

Michelle had a good harvest of sweet potatoes from her garden this year and she’s been resting some in her cool room for two weeks. I was grilling burgers and we needed a side dish, so I grabbed a couple and tossed them with some seasonings before baking them. Yum!

I had seen Guy Fieri do something similar with sweet potatoes a while ago on one of his shows and knew it was missing cinnamon. With experimentation, I learned that also using real salt and a little chili powder could make them even better.

Steakhouse Sweet Potato Fries

4 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place sweet potatoes in a bowl and stir to coat with butter. Combine all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and then sprinkle some over the sweet potatoes. Toss and then add more seasonings as necessary. Save remaining seasoning mix in an airtight container.

Spread the wedges on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap. 
Bake for 20 minutes, then flip potatoes. Return to oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until done. Serve immediately.

Garlic Whipped Feta and Corn Galette

I had such fun with the last recipe from Miryam Levy that I was very happy when her daughter, Victoria, let me play with another. This was pretty basic when it came to me with a simple ingredient list – a pound of corn, a container cream cheese, some feta cheese, eggs, flour, baking soda and salt and pepper. The directions were spare, too: mix the ingredients in dough and bake over medium heat. Hmmmm.

As I had pizza on my mind, my mind went immediately to making a galette or crostata. These are flat rustic pies from France or Italy which may be made sweet or savory. Whipping the cream cheese and feta together (with a little garlic) would make a deliciously cheesy filling. All that would be left to do is sprinkle on some sweet corn kernels, fold over the ends and give it an egg wash before baking. It turned out to be very easy and quite tasty – so much so that my niece and her best friend gobbled up three slices a piece!

This is something that I could see being served as an appetizer, as a cheese dish with cocktails or even for the last course of the meal, as the sweetness from the corn is quite satisfying. If you want to increase the richness (not that it needs it!), consider sautéing the corn in a little butter to coat before sprinkling them on the pie.

Garlic Whipped Feta and Corn Galette

1 batch of pie dough (store bought is fine)
4 ounces feta cheese
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 egg

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place feta, cream cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.

Roll pie dough out to a circle about 1/8″ thick (or just unroll the dough if using store-bought) and lay on a large baking sheet that has been coated with olive oil.

Spread the whipped feta across the surface of the pie dough, leaving about 1/2″ of space around the edges.

Sprinkle corn kernels in an even layer on top of the whipped cheeses and garlic.

Fold the edges of the pie dough up over the edge of the filling and pinch it together to help it keep its shape. Don’t worry about how pretty it is – galettes are supposed to be “rustic!”

In a small dish, whisk egg together with 1 tablespoon of water to form an egg wash.

Use a pastry brush to brush egg wash over the edges of the galette.

Bake at 425 for 20 – 25 minutes or until the dough is lightly browned. Slice and serve immediately.

Miryam Levy’s Savory Potato Pie

A writer friend of mine is translating her mother’s handwritten recipes from Hebrew. For 40 years, Miryam Levy has created and collected recipes from a variety of world cuisines – Jewish, Arab, Israeli, Russian, Romanian, etc.

Not a big cook herself, Victoria Avilan has been having folks fix different dishes and photograph the end result so she can create a family recipe book. I love the idea of collecting and preserving family food memories, a task that can become more difficult as family members age and become medically fragile. I was happy to do my part to help bring the cookbook to life.

Here is the original recipe:

Miryam Levy's Savory Potato Pie

Crust (You can use store bought pie crust.)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 block margarine
3 tbs water
Prepare dough. Lightly grease 9-inch pie plate and make pie crust. Preheat oven to 450˚F and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Filling

2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
2 eggs
parsley
Cumin, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper (Or the seasoning of your choice)

Mix filling together.

Preheat oven to 400˚F and bake for 15-20 min.

Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

You can sprinkle on top with diced chives and sour cream before serving.

I took her recipe and began by expanding the measurements and instructions. I also decided to take her option of topping with sour cream and instead made a batch of sour cream mashed potatoes. I also increased the amount of mashed potatoes, as I wanted the pie to fill more of the shell. I experimented with various spices until I came up with a delicious savory mix. Because I was using turmeric, I choose to use gold potatoes so the finished pie was a beautiful, deeply golden color.

Miryam Levy's Updated Savory Potato Pie

Pie Crust (you can use store bought)

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons water

Prepare dough by combining flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulsing until it is looking crumbly. Drizzle in water and pulse until crust comes together. Pat into a round, cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out the crust to about 12 inches. Lightly grease 9-inch pie plate and set in the pie crust. Preheat oven to 450˚F and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Filling

3 pounds gold potatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup milk (if you’re using different, starchy potatoes increase milk up to 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Scrub the potatoes well and cut into cubes before placing them in a large pot. Cover them with cold water and add the salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside until the potatoes are done. Stir 2 tablespoons of heated milk/butter mixture into the sour cream, to make it easier to incorporate.

Drain potatoes and return to the warm pot. Mash and then stir in the heated milk and butter. Fold in the sour cream. You want about 3 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes. Set aside the potatoes to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic and onion powder. Use a hand mixer or a whisk to mix potatoes, eggs, parsley flakes and the other seasonings together. Place into prepared pie shell and smooth the top. At this stage, the pie can be refrigerated overnight before baking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown and pie is firm. If cooking from the refrigerator, bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Optional: sprinkle with diced chives before serving.

Twice Baked Potatoes

The grocery store had large bags of Russet potatoes on sale, so we bought a couple and used the largest out of the bags to make twice baked potatoes. I like to keep them in my freezer for a quick, weeknight side dish.

For the ones we were having with dinner, I placed them on the grill and let them warm up in the hickory smoke goodness as the chicken finished cooking for about 20 minutes. After ten minutes, I added the cheese. I choose provolone as it really becomes delicious when you add smoke to it.

Twice Baked Potatoes

12 large potatoes
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons)
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese or other melting cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash potatoes, pat dry and coat with vegetable oil.

Bake potatoes until done, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, just enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half and scoop out interiors. Leave enough potato in the shell for it to retain its shape. Mash together potato interiors with butter and milk. Add a light amount of salt and pepper. Refill potato skins with mashed potato. Sprinkle tops with cheese.

If you’re making the potatoes to eat immediately (ie not to freeze), replace some of the butter with sour cream. Feel free to add bacon bits and even some cheese into the mash before filling the skins.

Bake the refilled potatoes at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

From frozen: Bake the potatoes straight from the freezer at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.