Posts from the ‘Meat’ Category

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Split Pea and Ham

A bit ago my husband and I received Pea Soup Andersen’s dried split peas from the Saslows; the peas were packaged in a cute little cotton drawstring bag with the soup recipe printed on the back. What a wonderful winter gift! If you have not visited one of Pea Soup Andersen’s locations before, I highly recommend that you go. They have all sorts of tasty, tasty dishes beyond pea soup, ranging from sandwiches and salads to steak and chicken. I have visited both of the California restaurants, one in Santa Nella and the other in Buellton, while on roadtrips with family and friends. Each time I found it difficult to decide what I wanted to order (other than the famous soup, of course), since their menus are so big!

The split pea and ham soup provided several great satisfying meals; sometimes I even had a few small bowls as snacks on they days that the weather was particularly chilly. Making this soup also allowed the perfect opportunity to incorporate some of the leftover ham from my earlier post into yet another delicious dish. The meat and spices really added to the soup’s over all flavor, making it even more hearty.

Andersen's premium selected split peas

Andersen’s premium selected split peas

Split Pea and Ham Soup
Adapted from the Pea Soup Andersen’s “Soup-in-a-Bag” instructions.

Yields 12 Servings

Ingredients
3 C Dried Split Green Peas*
4 qt Filtered Water, divided
1 Large Stalk Celery, trimmed, coarsely chopped
1 Large Carrot, trimmed, Chopped
1 Large Sweet Yellow Onion, skinned, trimmed, chopped
2 – 3 T Minced Garlic Cloves
1 lb Ham, cubed
1 tsp Dried Thyme Leaves
2 Pinches Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 Large Bay Leaf
Sea Salt, to taste
Ground Mixed Peppercorns, to taste

Directions
Thoroughly rinse the peas under cool water in a fine mesh strainer. Pour into large stock pot. Cook at a rolling boil with two quarts water for 20 minutes or until peas are tender. Strain through fine mesh strainer.

Return peas to stock pot with two more quarts water. Add vegetables, herbs, ham. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes or until ham is heated through and flavors are blended. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

*For a more colorful soup, you can use a mixture of split peas with half green and half yellow.

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Glazed Clove-Studded Ham

Ham and String Beans

The other day at work, someone brought home-baked ham from lunch, which of course only made me crave it, so as soon as I clocked out for the day, I went to the store on a quest. A quest for ham! Well, the first store did not have what I wanted, and the second store did not either. As it was getting later though, I settled on a mostly unflavored precooked spiral-sliced hunk of ham, since that’s all the store carried. Honestly, I was too hungry to make dinner from scratch and bake the ham for several hours. I made sure to check the ingredients on the ham label first to make sure the meat did not contain any allergens or gross chemicals.

Once it was out of the packaging, I studded it with all of my whole cloves at about one-inch intervals. As per the directions, I placed the ham on a foil-lined baking sheet and then covered the ham tightly with more foil. I baked the ham at 350 degrees F for about an hour, which was about 8 minutes per pound.

During the last few minutes of the baking time, I prepared the glaze. To reduce the sugar, I opted to only use half of the sugary spiced glaze mixture, stirring it into 3 tablespoons of water in a sauce pan on low heat until the sugar crystals fully dissolved. I simmered the glaze on low for about two minutes and then brought the glaze up to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

While the glaze was still hot, I removed the ham from the oven and increased the temperature to 400 degrees F. I carefully spooned the glaze onto the ham, making sure to glaze all whole cut of meat. I set the foil covering aside for post-dinner ham storage, as it was no longer needed for roasting. Once the oven reached the desired temperature, I popped the meat back in the oven to roast for another hour, when the center of the roast reached 120 degrees F. (Remember the ham was precooked, so I was just reheating it and allowing the flavors to meld.) It was nice that the ham was spiral-sliced, so all I had to do was cut the meat in sections from around the bone.

Glazed Clove-Studded Baked Ham

I was so relieved that preparing the ham was so easy. Although I wish I cooked the ham and made the glaze from scratch, this was a nice alternative. I am very glad that there was plenty of leftovers for my husband and I to incorporate into later dishes, such as soup, salad and sandwiches. Most importantly, it was rather healthy and delicious.

Heavenly Ham Sandwiches

I just made awesomely amazing ham sandwiches for my husband and myself. I was raving about it so much, I had to share it with you, too. It was simply that good! It satisfied many of my cravings at once, sweet, savory, salty, fatty, crispy and gooey. Sorry I did not include any pictures below. They did not last long enough to photograph, but I’m sure you can use your imagination.

Despite the bright sunshine of happiness lifting many people’s moods in the North Bay and that many people had today off due to Presidents’s Day, I was feeling tired and a bit run down, so I felt like making myself some comfort food for lunch. I did have half of the day off after all, so I had some time to make a hot lunch at home.

Grilled Ham Sandwiches
I made two versions of the sandwich one for my husband and one for me. For a more balanced lunch, I accompanied them with big green side salads dressed with vinaigrette.

Version 1
1/4 C Fatty Ham Trimmings
OR 1 tsp Bacon Grease
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
2 Slices Soft Gluten-Free Bread of Your Choice
1 1/4″ Slice of Glazed Ham, enough to cover bread
2 T Shredded Daiya or Dairy Cheese
1 – 3 T Honey or Dijon Mustard

Version 2
1/4 C Fatty Ham Trimmings
OR 1 tsp Bacon Grease
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
2 Slices Soft Gluten-Free Bread of Your Choice
1 1/4″ Slice of Glazed Ham, enough to cover bread
2 T Shredded Daiya Mozzarella-Style Cheese
1 – 3 Cranberry Mustard

Directions
Melt the Ham fat out of the trimmings for flavor on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Stir again to redistribute the flavors. Add two slices of bread and the ham to the pan. Make sure they absorb some of the oil to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Once the bottoms are a bit browned, flip the bread and ham. Add and distribute more oil as necessary. Sprinkle some cheese onto each slice of bread. Place ham on top. Cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove the lid. Add the mustard. Put the slices together to make a sandwich. Carefully flip the sandwich a few times, waiting about 1 minute in between each flip. Grill until toasted to your liking. Serve. Cool a bit to prevent burning hungry mouths.

Garlic Pepper Pork Nabe

I have intended to make another hot pot style soup for a long while now and actually have not made any since the time I cooked the shrimp & vegetable nabe for my folks during the summer of 2012. Recently, the pork tenderloins were on sale at our local grocery store, and I was trying to think of another way to cook the meat beyond sauteing, grilling or roasting. Why not cook it in a nabe dish? Though I love my cute donabe, which I was luckily able to buy at Shiki, Inc., an amazing pottery shop in San Francisco Japantown’s West Mall (I absolutely love that store) where I bought my mom’s. I actually had not used my hot pot in who-knows-how-long and was feeling quite guilty for letting it just collect dust. I was got the idea of cooking the pork in my glazed clay donabe at when my husband and I decided to have dinner at Honey BBQ in Rohnert Park (check out my review from last week). The pork bibimbop was very inspirational; I will have to try my hand at making it in my pot later.

Fishy Donabe

Whole Grain Red and Black Rice

Adapted from “Japanese Rice for Shime” from Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat.

Yields 2 cups of rice

Ingredients
2 C Filtered Water
1 tsp Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce
OR 1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/2 C Himalayan or Bhutanese Red Rice, uncooked
1/2 C Wild or Chinese Black Rice, uncooked
1 C Hot Filtered Water

Directions
Rinse the rice in cool water. Strain the rice through a fine mesh and set it aside. Bring two cups of water to boil with the tamari in the donabe. Stir in the rice and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 40 minutes. Add a cup of hot water to prevent the rice from burning to the bottom of the pot. Cook another 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat. Drain off the excess liquid, reserving it for later. Set the rice aside in a covered dish.

First arrangement of the nabe.

Garlic Pepper Pork Nabe
Adapted from my Shrimp & Vegetable Nabe recipe. This recipe makes a lot of soup, so you may want to use a larger pot. Keep in mind that not everything may fit in the pot; add the vegetables, broth and rice in batches. Include more meat if desired; my husband wished there was a greater amount in the meat to vegetable ratio.

Yields About 25 Servings

Broth Ingredients
5 C Filtered Water
2 T Minced Garlic
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
1 – 2 tsp Grains of Paradise
1 T Dried White or Yellow Chopped Onion
Remaining Rice Water
Meat and Vegetable Ingredients
Marinated Garlic and Peppercorn Pork Tenderloin
2 C Coarsely Chopped Collard Greens
2 C Coarsely Chopped Mustard Greens
3 Scallions, trimmed, cut into 4″ lengths
6 Inner Leafy Celery Stalks, cut into 1/2″ thick 3″ lengths
2 Large Carrots, cut into 1/2″ thick 3″ lengths
2 Medium or 1 Large Head(s) Broccoli, cut into bite sizes
1 – 2 Broccoli Stalk(s), cut into 1/2″ thick 3″ lengths
1 Small Head Cauliflower, trimmed, cut into bite sizes
Cauliflower Leaves, stems cut into 1/2″ thick 3″ lengths
1 C String or Green Beans, trimmed, cut into 3″ lengths
Cooked Whole Grain Rice (See Above)
1 C Enoki Mushrooms, separated from roots, cut into 3″ lengths, optional
1 C Bean Sprouts, cut into 3″ lengths, optional

Directions
Bring the broth ingredients to a boil in the donabe for 5 minutes over medium high heat.

Meanwhile, drain the marinade from the pork, reserving up to half a cup, and set aside. Thinly slice the pork about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick rounds with a very sharp knife. Be careful not to cut yourself. Add the marinade and pork to the broth. Cook covered for about 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Transfer the broth and meat to another covered dish.

Arrange the cut vegetables on a large platter in groups in order to add them to the soup easily.

Inside the donabe, cover the bottom with the dark greens. On top of the greens, arrange about 1/3 of the vegetables in clustered groups around in a circle, leaving the middle open. Spoon about half of the rice into the center, piling the meat on top. Make sure not to stack it above the lower lip of the pot. Pour in the broth up to the lower lip of the donabe. Cover and cook the soup for 5 minutes on medium heat. The greens should wilt a bit, providing more room. Add more vegetables and meat into their designated sections, pushing them under the broth with a large wooden spoon. Cook another 5 minutes and repeat. When adding the last of the broth, I made sure to pour the grains of paradise and peppercorns onto the center on top of the meat instead of garnishing the each bowl of soup as I would with a shichimi togarashi or furikake. Do not over fill the pot; you do not want it to over flow during cooking.

Carefully bring the pot to the table with hot pan holders or oven mitts to rest it on a trivet set on top of a thick towel if you are serving the soup tableside. Serve the soup in bowls, making sure to get a bit of everything. Garnish if desired.

Remaining vegetables added to the nabe.

There is now more room in the donabe. Add leftover vegetables, meat, rice and or hot broth to the soup. Recover the pot to preserve the heat and allow the fresh ingredients to cook.

Black and Red Turkey Chili

My husband likes really meaty chili, whereas I like more beans and vegetables. This recipe was a compromise between the two differing preferences as well as an adaption of my previously posted chili recipe. It’s also getting colder at night as we move further into autumn, so this makes a rather comforting evening meal. There’s really nothing like a warm bowl of hearty chili to make you feel warm and cozy.

Black and Red Chili Beans

As my tummy has been extra sensitive lately, I made sure that this chili was as “Noel-friendly” and easy to digest as possible. I soaked the beans for a full day, changing out the water half way through. I added baking soda to cut down on the beans’ required cooking time. I skimmed the foam full of “impurities” (such as indigestible sugars and bitter compounds), which can cause bloating and affect the over-all flavor. I added a bunch of turmeric (I thought about adding asafoetida, as well, but didn’t want to stink up the house) and a strip of dried kombu seaweed (contains good bean-digesting enzymes). The spice mix I used contains cayenne pepper, but I added a little extra for more kick. I waited until the beans were tender to add in the salty and acidic ingredients. Just in case, I took a digestive pill, as well. If your stomach is not as touchy as mine is, you do not have to take all of these precautionary steps. All of them were definitely worth the hastle for me though. The chili turned out very tasty indeed. Besides, this chili is filled with protein, which is great, since my husband and I work out at our local gym.

Bean Sorting

Black and Red Chili Bean Turkey Chili
Adapted from my Turkey Black Bean Chili recipe.
Serve the chili with Paleo Carrot Coconut Muffins (made with cinnamon wildflower honey) and salad with fennel greens to further assist with digestion.

Yields about 30 servings

Ingredients
3 C Dried Red Chili Beans or Kidney Beans
3 C Dried Black Beans
3 to 3 1/2 qt Filtered Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 C + 1 T Minced Garlic
1 1/2 C Chopped Yellow or White Onion
1 1/2 lbs 80% Lean Ground Turkey
3 qt Filtered Water
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Large Piece Dried Kombu Seaweed
3 T Bean Roundup Spice Mix
3 T Dried Ground Turmeric
2 tsp Dried Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 16-oz Jar Balakain Farms Blended Organic Green Zebra Heirloom Tomatoes
1 C Mild or Medium Salsa Verde or Tomatillo Salsa
2 T Lime Juice
2 T Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
8 T Chicken Better than Bouillon, dissolved in 1 qt Hot Filtered Water
Filtered Water

Optional Garnishes
Cilantro Springs
Scallions, sliced
Avocado, skinned, pitted, thinly sliced
Vegan Sour Cream or Vegan Plain Yogurt
Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds

Directions
Sort your beans. Discard any beans that are discolored, under developed, malformed or broken, as well as, any rocks. Rinse the beans with water. Soak the beans for at least 8 to 12 hours or overnight in a large non-reactive bowl with 12 to 14 cups of water, changing out the water about half way through. Rinse with fresh water.

In a large oiled stock pot, saute the garlic and onions until they are tender and clear with a long-handled wooden spoon. Add in and brown the turkey. Stir in the water, baking soda, seaweed, beans and spices. Bring to a boil. With a long-handled ladle or wire mesh, remove any foam that forms on the surface for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the beans stop foaming; I like to keep a little bowl handy to put the foam into. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook covered for 1 hour or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Mix in the tomatoes, salsa, lime, vinegar and diluted bouillon. Cover. Return chili to a boil. Stir. Reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 1 hour, stirring often to prevent the beans and meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more water as necessary. Turn off the heat.

Serve and garnish as desired. Enjoy!

Elderberry Balsamic Lamb Chops

It is so nice to have had the opportunity to enjoy lamb two weeks in a row. What a rare treat! In this recipe, my husband cooked up the last of the lamb that I lucky to get on the cheap at the San Francisco Basque Club‘s annual picnic this year. I am so glad that our tastes are diverse; he picked out a more European-centric recipe. It was rather gourmet in my mind and very tasty.

Elderberry Balsamic Lamb Chops

Elderberry Balsamic Lamb Chops
Adapted from the recipe, Fresh Herb Balsamic Lamb Chops, found at Cooking in Sens
Yields: 6 Servings

Ingredients
2 Racks of 8 lamb chops
2 1/2 T Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 1/2 T Fresh Thyme, chopped
2 1/2 T Fresh Basil, chopped
Sea Salt, to taste
Peppercorns, fresh ground, to taste
3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 – 6 Scallions, trimmed, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled, trimmed, chopped
3/4 C Elderberry White Balsamic Vinegar*
1 3/4 C Chicken Broth or Stock
2 1/2 T Earth Balance Spread or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, room temperature

Directions
Rub the lamb chops with herbs, salt and pepper. Let the meat rest 30 minutes.

With the olive oil in a medium pan, sear the meat for 2 minutes per side over medium heat in order to add color and release flavor. It is alright if the meat blackens a little. Set aside.

Add the scallions and/or garlic to the pan to saute until softened. Add the vinegar and broth, boiling and stirring until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from the heat, and stir in the spread or oil. Return the lamb to the pan. Coat the lamb chops in the reduction. Serve and enjoy.

*You can use aged balsamic or another gourmet balsamic vinegar of your choosing, keeping the flavors in mind.

Note: If possible, try to get local lamb to ensure freshness. Although these were a steal and rather tasty, I wish they were not flown in all the way from New Zealand to become our dinner in California. The money did, however, go towards a good cause and local organization.