From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Getting back my food groove

Well, after the failures with both corn tortillas and then new-recipe chili, I knew I had to pick myself up and get back on the stove.

I bought one of those 5# chubs of Superior Meats ham.

While they are already fully cooked and ready to serve, I do not like them at that point.  Too salty.  To rubbery.

What I do is section it then sear all sides of the sections on a hot, dry skillet.  After making sure that all pieces are in contact with the bottom of the skillet, I loosely cover it (to allow moisture to escape, else I'm just steaming them), and set the temp to just a little above 'low'. 

Every 30 minutes or so I turn the pieces so another surface is on the bottom.  At this point the moisture from the ham is making it's own glaze in the pan - thick and savory.

After 4 hours, all sides of the sections are deeply glazed and the meat is just shy of falling apart.  Talk about taste and texture!

Turning off the heat under the meat, I sliced up a pan of sweet potatoes, added a couple of tablespoons of water, covered, brought to near steam, then lowered the heat and let them cook themselves from their own moisture.

That doesn't take long, maybe 30 minutes.

When they were very tender, I mashed them with a potato masher, then used my new blender wand to finish the job.

A quick stir with a spatula and presto - velvet sweet potato whip.  Nothing added.  No salt, etc.  These things are stellar all on their own.

Finally, to round out the menu, I made some fresh slaw.

I shave Brussels sprouts, then add chopped walnuts, carrots and a handful of fresh pomegranate  seeds. 

Then I flavor with salt, cracked black pepper, garlic granules and then lightly drizzle with a homemade sweet & sour dressing.

By then I was more than ready to make all these into a well-deserved hot and savory meal.

I'm tired of cold, and snow and ice and wind.  I wanted something special.

And, trust me, this meal was spot on.  Yum.

Are you treating yourself well during this protracted winter?

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  1. This meal looks scrumptious. I have never whipped sweet potatoes; I need to do that before my stash goes bad. They aren't keeping as well as in the past. I wonder could be do butternut squash the same way.......I have lots of bn squash.........

    We need to do something to counteract this dreadfully cold weather.

    1. Butternuts whip up wonderfully too! I bake them until soft, scoop them out and whip them up. Like the sweet potatoes I then freeze individual portions for later use. Really convenient. Yep. Still hating this winter.