March 30, 2011

Hamming it up!

I made a ham for dinner the other nite with some nice Red eye gravy. Today I had to break the ham down into parts to use for other dinners. As I did this I decided to use some of the not so nice scraps to make Ham Salad for sandwiches. I started chopping that ham up and it reminded me of being at a family dinner this weekend. We had a BBQ and one of the kids was using a knife and chopping some pickles. The way he used the knife he was bound to hurt himself and his mom said so too.

So I decided to show him just which knife to use and how to use it. He was using a straight edged Japanese knife to chop with and he was trying to do the rocking motion you would use with a chefs knife. It was all wrong. And so I showed him what to use the Japanese knife for. Then I got a chefs knife and showed him how to use it so he wont get hurt whether chopping or slicing. My chefs knife tho is my favorite tool. I will grab it first before anything else and so how to use it is not something I even think about anymore. So it was nice to be able to pass on some knowledge of the proper handling so he wouldn't get hurt.

And so today I sliced off some of the nice ham slices and mixed it with the gravy and packed it away for another dinner one nite when I don't have time to make much. And then I did the rest of the slices to use later on for either sandwiches or fried with eggs for breakfast. I like to keep it on hand also for adding to mac and cheese with peas for a whole casserole dinner sometimes. But there's always pieces and bits that aren't really nice for that and are too much for anything else. I take the ham-bone too and pack that with some not so nice pieces to freeze to make soup later on. But I don't like to add alot of ham to that, so there's always some left.

My bfs dad made Ham Salad once when we were there. Now Ive had all sorts of things with all the cooking I do. And I worked at a fine 4 star restaurant too. I was exposed to caviar, salmon ,fresh right from the farm stuff and everything homemade. We were encouraged to use unusual items and be very creative. But even with this in my background there's always things Ive never had. I didn't grow up with ham salad only exposure to it was that dreadful deviled canned ham. I hated that stuff. And so when I tasted this at my bfs dads house I was surprised. I liked it!

And so I'm not sure what he put in his.......seemed simple enough. And I wandered online too and most recipes are very simple too. So most of you may not care what my recipe is. But for those of you who never had's my version. 

 Ham Salad for Sandwiches (makes about 4 sandwiches)

about 3c. of chopped ham from a lg. roast
1 med. size shallot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/4c. Dijon mustard or to taste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Mayo to bind

Mix all chopped items together in a bowl. Sprinkle on lots of fresh ground pepper. Most hams are salty and don't need more added. Add mustard and about a half cup of  your favorite mayonnaise. Mix well. Most likely it will need more mayo but I do this first to distribute all the veggies and spice and mustard well. Add more mayo if needed. It depends on how moist you like your salads. I added about another half cup over the first amt. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need it. I put this on some nice 8grain bread and topped it with Swiss Cheese. 

***Note: I found out my bfs father did add sweet pickle relish to his ham salad. I added a few tb. to what I had left and it was delicious. The relish does help cut the salty taste of this alot. Ill be making it that way from now on. 

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