Good morning everyone!
We’ve got some good shit today including several menu suggestions and I guarantee you will find something appealing here.
First a quick rant though because I have to.
Today is “Mother’s Day.” Yet another in a long line of bullshit Hallmark “Holidays.” First of all it ain’t a motherfucking “holiday” if it happens on a Sunday every fucking year. To clarify I also lump “Father’s Day” in the group of bullshit observations and I’m a goddamn DAD!
Don’t even get me fucking started about Valentines Day. FUCK VALENTINE’S DAY IN THE ASS TWICE WITH A GODDAMN FIRE HYDRANT!
While I do indeed text both of my daughters “Happy Mother’s Day” because they’re both moms you see, I still loathe this fucking day.
My mom died in 2003 and every goddamn year at this fucking time I am reminded of the fact the she is still very much dead. The fucking commercials, advertising signs, shit, even the grocery store fliers I get in the mail remind me of this shit. I may have mentioned this previously but a couple of years ago one of the cashiers at the grocery store I shop at actually asked me as I was checking out on Mother’s Day “Did you remember to call your mother today?”
I simply responded, “My mother has been dead for 14 years.”
That ended our conversation.
I’ll stop now and I truly hope that everyone appreciates their mother. Go ahead and reach out to her in whatever way you see fit today but do the rest of us a favor and remember that not all of us will be observing this day.
Show some fucking sensitivity instead of trying to drive up your goddamn sales.
Anyway I feel better now.
I’m sure you all remember a couple of weeks ago when we did the annual Spring Ham Festival. That was a biggol’ ham I bought there.
While we fed 12 or so people with the ham, and it was truly fucking delicious! there was still a mighty amount of leftover ham. Probably a couple of pounds that I socked away in the freezer.
I know of many folks who will make sandwiches – and we did – and reuse the leftover ham for multiple recipes over the next few days after making a ham, but for me? After a couple of days I need a goddamn break from the ham. I love the shit out of it so don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I need a couple of weeks to reset my palate in order to fully appreciate it again.
What I’m getting at here is, we are going to show you some ideas for how to prepare and re-purpose the leftover hammy goodness.
One more tiny rant before we get going: lately I have seen and read several different food sites or shows that are now calling “Leftovers” “Nextovers.”
Don’t. Just fucking don’t. Don’t do this.
Motherfucker what else can we fuck up in this world?
That was a rhetorical question!
I’m all better now.
Let’s use up some leftover ham shall we?
Just to let you all know, this was pretty much my entire weekend’s worth of food from last week that I’m about to show you.
Let’s start with Friday night when I got home from work.
Menu suggestion 1.
Breakfast burrito! For dinner!
About 1/2 cup of chopped up leftover ham
Handful of cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice
Salsa or hot sauce – optional but not optional for me it’s MANDATORY
1 flour tortilla – warmed up for pliability
3 eggs – beaten
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper to taste.
Breakfast burritos can be eaten at any time of the day so I was totally cool having one for dinner. It would have been even better with some crispy potatoes inside but I made do with what I had on hand.
First thing I do is warm up or lightly toast the flour tortilla. Yes I do this right on the element of my gas stove top.
Set the tortilla aside and get out a small sauce pan or skillet. Melt the butter. When the butter is done sizzling add in the eggs and cook slightly. Then add in the diced ham.
Cook the eggs to desired doneness. I like mine a little soft. Add the egg/ham mixture to the tortilla along with the cheese and your salsa if you are using it.
Why that looks suspiciously like my world famous chile tepin!
Damn skippy it is. Yes, that’s my usual amount.
Roll that fucker up. Properly.
Consume with an appropriate number of beers. Like 12-13 of them.
Let’s move on to Saturday’s dinner.
Flatbread pizza with ham, bacon, Italian sausage and jalapeno! Or “The Slayer!” as I call it.
The instructions are in the link.
Put your ingredients on the homemade flatbread dough that’s been covered with the homemade sauce and top with the toppings.
Bake in the preheated 450 degree oven on top of the preheated pizza stone for about 9 minutes.
Slice and serve.
I had all three of my brothers on hand for this so I personally made FOUR of these! That shit was awesome. The diced ham was front and center. Goddamn wonderful it was.
Time for Sunday Gravy. This was what I had in mind when I thought of using up the rest of the ham, the others were just throw-ins because I had so goddamn much of it left.
Ham and au gratin potatoes!
3 large russet potatoes – thinly sliced
1 to 1 1/2 cups of chopped up leftover ham
4 tablespoons of butter – plus 2 more for later
4 tablespoons of flour
3 cups of milk – I used 2 cups of whole milk and 1 cup of 1% milk
1 cup of grated cheese – cave aged gruyere for me please
1/4 cup of grated pecorino romano – or parmigiano reggiano
1 small onion sliced very thin
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
No, you are not reading this wrong. I didn’t use any garlic for this recipe.
I know I know.
First thing to do is wash and peel the potatoes. In order to get the potatoes to the proper consistency I used my mandolin and managed the task without shaving off any knuckles!
Next do the same damn thing with the onion. Having both the onion and the potatoes the same thickness allows them to cook at the same time and meld together for a more consistent final dish.
Here are some of the players.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
On to the sauce element of our program.
You will notice quite a few similarities to the construction of the cheese sauce that I use for my macaroni and cheese. And you would be a smart motherfucker for noticing!
Start by building a roux. Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and then add in the equal parts of flour. Give a bit of a stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour taste. Next add in all of the milk, the salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. Cook and stir for a few minutes then add in the cheese. This will cook long enough for the sauce to thicken up some.
To build the dish grab a big ass casserole dish. Once again I used a disposable aluminum version because son of a bitch, we made some dirty dishes today.
Make a layer by adding in 1/3 of the potatoes, onion and ham.
Now pour over about 1/3 of the cheese sauce, then another layer of the ham, onion and potato, another 1/3 of the sauce and repeat one more time to finish building. Sprinkle the grated pecorino romano over the top.
I place the flimsy fucking disposable pan on a more sturdy baking sheet then cover everything up with some foil.
This will cook in the 375 degree oven, covered, for 60-65 minutes. At this time remove the foil and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter cut up into little dollops all over the top of the dish. Now back in the oven uncovered to let brown for about 25-30 minutes more until it’s nice, bubbly and golden brown.
Serve this glorious bastard with a nice spinach salad and you will be very very….
I did say I was making bread again in last weeks post didn’t I?
Well guess what motherfuckers?
I made homemade French bread!
I’ve got something bread-wise in the works for next week but after that I don’t think I can make fresh bread EVERY week. While the equipment I have makes it easier this shit is still some work. Especially with the 2 rises and the timing factor.
But I did this shit so here we go!
5 to 5 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 package of dry active yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
2 cups of warm water 110 degrees
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
1 beaten egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water for an egg wash
Before we get started, if this recipe looks familiar, well it probably should. We’ve made this before when I made the bahn mi sandwich.
You should know the drill by now but start by adding the yeast and sugar to the working bowl of your mixer and add in the 2 cups of 110 degree water to bloom the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes to get the hungry yeast all fed and shit. Next add in the salt, oil and 3 of the cups of flour and using the paddle attachment mix on low for just 2-3 minutes.
After the initial mix, remove the paddle attachment, replace it with the hook attachment, add in the remaining 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour and let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Quick note on that whole 5 to 5 1/2 cups of flour confusion up there. Certain things can affect the density of the finished bread here. Ambient temperature being one and humidity being another. I initially used just 5 cups of flour as the original recipe says but the dough was a little too gluey and was sticking to the mixing bowl so I added in another half cup to get the dough to the proper texture. This is a pretty key step since adding in the flour later in the process made the finished bread just a tiny bit too dense. You have to get it right from the get go and I can’t say a goddamn thing but practice, practice, practice. Next time I’ll use the 5 1/2 cups from the start.
That’s the dough after it’s initial 2 hour rise.
At this point punch down the risen dough and roll out into 2 long loaf shapes.
I gave the tops a few snips with some kitchen shears. Let these rise again until doubled in size. It shouldn’t take too long if they are rising in a kitchen that has the oven going.
These doubled in size in about 45 minutes.
This would be the time to brush on the egg wash. You can even sprinkle a little bit of kosher salt over the loaves prior to cooking.
Into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Notice that these are a bit on the pale side. Know why? Because like a dumb fuck I forgot the egg wash part. Still very tasty but goddammit yeah right practice what you fucking preach!
One thing that was cool, the au gratin potatoes and the bread both cooked at 375 so I did the first hour of the potatoes, removed the foil and at the same time put the bread in the oven to bake.
They finished at the same time.
Let these both rest for a few minutes so you don’t burn the living shit out of the roof of your mouth.
Instead of making garlic bread with the fresh bread, I simply sliced and served with some extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar to dip the bread into.
Use a spatula to cut wedges into the potatoes and get yourself a big fucking wedge of that deliciousness. Add a bit of spinach salad, get a slice of bread and maybe pour yourself a beverage.
Today we are pairing the dish with this baby.
That’s a sauvignon blanc from Decoy wines. I’m a big fan of this vineyard, especially their pinot noir.
There we fucking go.
These potatoes are so rich and savory with the salt from the ham, the richness of the sauce, that slight funk and tang from the gruyere and served along with some just out of the oven homemade French bread?
Are you shitting me here?
Fucking hell this was excellent. Just to give you an idea that big ass disposable aluminum pan was entirely empty when we finished dinner.
There were only 3 of us eating.
If you decide to skip the bread step, that’s cool but seriously give these fucking potatoes their day in court and use your own favorite cheese. I won’t mind.
There are many, many ways to use up the LEFTOVER ham. Try one of these or try them all.
Creativity is the key here.
I appreciate you good folks for reading along.
Thanks for indulging me after I fully fucking overindulged on this baby.
We’ll see you all next week and have a good Sunday.