September 26, 2022

Ham Dinner

I’d been looking forward to making the City Ham ever since I read the reviews on the recipe page. People rave about this one so I wanted to see for myself. I started with an 8lb shank-end grocery store ham, and had fun cutting some diamond shapes into it. If you look closely you can see them:

diamond shapes

Cooked it for just over 3 hours before taking it out and peeling off the skin and the layer of fat as best I could. I probably could have cut the diamonds a bit deeper, because I had to do some serious peeling. I then brushed it with mustard, patted on brown sugar, sprayed with apple juice (lots of people in the comments used apple juice instead of bourbon), then packed with food-processed ginger snap crumbs.

crusted

It was then into a 400 degree oven (I bumped it up 50 degrees because I saw in the comments that people had trouble keeping the crust on at 350). Another 45 minutes and it was done.

done

I forgot to take photos of it sliced, but it was fantastic. The crust was sweet and crunchy, and it largely stayed on the ham. The meat was moist and flavorful. Great method for ham!

With the ham we had some of Vlad’s Very Garlicky Greens made with kale. I opted for “medium” garlicky but using 5 large smashed cloves plus a large sliced up clove.

garlic

Once again, in the ham-induced excitement of the moment, I forgot to photograph the kale in the pan. Instead here it is plated:

garlicky kale

City Ham

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used an 8-pound, bone-in, shank side packaged ham
  • Took it out at 125 (took 3h 15m) and added crust
  • Used apple juice instead of bourbon
  • Put it back at 400 to crust up until it hit 140

Vlad's Very Garlicky Greens

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used 5 smashed garlic cloves plus one sliced

September 24, 2022

Fruit Tart

First time working with puff pastry, and these were easier to make than I thought they’d be. We cut each Fruit Tart and served them with a scoop of ice cream and some whipped cream.

tarts

Thinking I might try making every smaller, bite sized ones at some point.

Fruit Tart

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Made one with granny smith apple, and another with pear
  • Used peach preserves as a glaze

September 18, 2022

Spicy

Was planning on doing some tacos tonight and figured it would be the perfect opportunity to make the Salsa from season four. Because I was out shopping anyway, I also figured that pairing the tacos with some Spicy Pineapple Sauce for dessert.

The salsa started with finely chopping a bunch of ingredients.

finely chopped

The fun part was scorching the jalepenos over the burner. In the episode, AB used his metal steamer insert over the burner, so I tried that myself.

jalepenos

They turned out well, but I think it ruined my steamer. It’s all discolored now, though it does seem to work still. Anyway, once I removed the skins and chopped them up, the salsa was done.

salsa

Alton says to let it sit for 24 hours or so, but it was still really good on the tacos – it had a nice fresh taste that went really well with the rest. You can taste a little hint of the roasted jalepenos. They have a nice combination of spicy and sweet. Looking forward to seeing how it tastes once it’s had time to meld together!

After the tacos I tried out some spicy pineapple over ice cream, complete with fried up corn tortillas.

spicy ice cream

While the salsa was good, the dessert left a little to be desired. I could see how maybe it would be good with really fresh pineapple, but I found it to be a little flavorless. I’d make more salsa in the future, but I doubt I’d do the spicy pineapple again.

Salsa

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used 2 scallions and about 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • Wish I knew how much salt to add, just added to taste

Spicy Pineapple Sauce

  • Crowd: 2/5
  • Ease: 4/5

September 10, 2022

Honey Mustard

Had some friends over tonight so I thought it would be a good opportunity to whip up some Honey Mustard Dressing to go along with some (store bought) pigs in a blanket.

honey mustard

The dressing was good, and it went really well with the piggies. It is thin, so I guess if you really want a dip or a spread you could leave out the vinegar.

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 4/5
  • This dressing is thin, to make a dip I'd probably skip the vinegar

September 08, 2022

Mayo Battle

In season 4, Alton presents two mayo recipes: Mayonnaise and Party Mayonnaise – both of them mayo, but with some slight differences.

The first – Mayonnaise – seems like the “traditional” mayo completely whisked by hand and adding oil in drop by drop for a good portion of it. I started with this, and once I was done it felt like my whisking arm was going to fall off.

whisked mayo

The second one – Party Mayonnaise – was much easier since it was done in a food processor. While the first recipe had lemon juice and all safflower oil, party mayonnaise called for lime juice and a few tablespoons chile oil. I didn’t have chile oil so I made some by heating oil in a skillet and pouring it into a bowl with a couple tablespoons of red chile flakes.

making chile oil

From there it was just a couple seconds in the food processor and done.

let the party begin

The question was how to taste mayonnaise – what recipes feature mayo? My first thought was egg salad, so we went with that first.

egg salad

They tasted basically the same, so the second plan was BLTs. I didn’t get a picture of the side-by-side tasting BLTs but that did the trick – we were able to taste the difference. They are both really good, but of course the one that’s a huge pain to make (literally) was the winner. I’m digging the idea of homemade mayo so maybe next time I’ll try the first recipe in the food processor. Best of both worlds maybe?

Mayonnaise

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 2/5
  • Arm almost fell off
  • Used safflower oil
  • Had perfect mayonnaise consistency

Party Mayonnaise

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Made my own chile oil with safflower oil and red pepper flakes
  • Used safflower oil
  • Had the consistency of yogurt

September 05, 2022

Sweet Tea

Time to launch into Season 4! Pretty excited about this season as there looks to be a bunch of great mains that I’m looking forward to trying (stuff lobster anyone?). I’m going to have to do the Smoked Salmon early, because if I save it to the end I’ll just procrastinate like I did with the catfish in Season 3. We’ll see.

I actually started Season 4 the other day making both mayo recipes, but we haven’t tried them yet. So, it’s Sweet Tea that will start us off.

This was a pretty easy one. I started off making the simple syrup (halved the recipe) with 3 lemons and a few springs of mint.

simply syrup

The tea couldn’t have been simpler – I bloomed it in a sauce pan and then strained it into a pitcher.

the tea

When everything was cool, we poured some glasses with ice and everyone could sweeten theirs the way they liked it. It’s a great version of iced tea that is so easy to make. Glad we got this in before the summer completely goes away on us!

Sweet Tea

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Bloomed tea in a sauce pan
  • Halved the simple syrup