Monday, May 18, 2009

A light country ham supper

Since coming to Virginia, I've been experimenting with country ham and what to do with it. Originally, tasting it on the ham biscuits (that seemed to pop up at all the parties we went to when we first got here), I thought it was similar to the jambon of Provence or prosciutto, but it's courser than the latter, and not quite as dry as the former. It's delicious, but not good to eat as is or by itself.

Last night, I prepared a couple of thin slices (did I mention it's extremely salty?) in the following manner:

Slice a large yam in half, then each half in quarters. Spray with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes until soft. 
Rinse ham briefly,  and fry to the recommended temperature of 160 degrees in a deep skillet. Remove, cover and keep warm. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan (or if you have any drippings, enough olive oil to make a tablespoon). Sauté a large onion, sliced, and a clove of garlic, minced, with a few grinds of black pepper. Add a can of plain (not marinated) artichoke hearts, drained. Cook until the onions are golden and the artichokes are lightly browned on all sides. Serve with the ham to one side and the yams on the other.

All in all, as a meat, it makes an excellent seasoning (if you don't have to watch your salt intake too closely).

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