Friday, December 31, 2010

Diet Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

I don't typically make ham very often, but there is something about New Year's, ham, black-eyed peas and cornbread that just go so well together that totally justifies buying a huge ol' ham!

This year, I wanted to do a fun twist on the regular glazed ham and since my husband is a HUGE Diet Dr. Pepper fan, I thought I would make a diet Dr. Pepper glazed ham for him! Diet Dr. Pepper has a natural brown sugar flavor --or 23 flavors to be exact ;)-- so that I thought it would work really well as a glaze for the ham.

I hope you enjoy it and most of all, I hope you all have a wonderful New Year full of blessings!

6-8 lb. smoked, bone-in ham
1 12 oz. can of diet Dr. Pepper
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove ham from refrigerator. Next, you want to score the ham diagonally to create a diamond pattern. To do this, lay the ham, cut side down on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, lightly score the ham with diagonal lines one inch apart across the back of the ham. Turn the ham one counter clockwise quarter turn and score the ham with diagonal lines one inch apart. This should create a diamond pattern. Place ham in a shallow cooking dish (cut side facing out), set aside and allow it to come to room temperature. This is help the ham heat more evenly.

To make the glaze, combine remaining ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a light boil and reduce heat to low. Allow glaze to continue to simmer, whisking occassionally. Before the glaze thickens, lightly brush the ham with the glaze, cover the ham with foil and put in the oven to cook for about 3/4 of the total time (see below). The total cooking time will be about 15 minutes per pound, so for example, if your ham is six pounds, you will cook it a total of 90 minutes and you will want to cook it for one hour before reglazing.

Meanwhile, continue to simmer the glaze until reduced by 2/3, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

After one hour of cooking, remove ham from oven and discard foil. Liberally, glaze the ham with the thickened glaze and return to the oven to cook for the remainder of the time, reglazing every ten minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with Hawaiian rolls or your favorite sandwich rolls along with your choice of dijon mustard, mayonaise or leftover Dr. Pepper glaze.


Cooking times:
6 lb. 90 mintues total (1 hour, 30 minutes)
7 lb. 105 minutes total (1 hour, 45 minutes)
8 lb. 120 minutes total (two hours)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Black-Eyed Peas

It's not New Year's Day without at least a spoonful of Black Eyed Peas, is it? You know they are supposed to bring you good luck, how could you not have at least a spoonful?...Wink!
So, with the new year approaching, whip up a batch for your family... This recipe is so easy and delicious, you're all sure to have a lucky 2011!
1 cup thick-cut bacon, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium jalepeno, chopped (with or without seeds, your call)
4 cups water (plus 1 cup later, if needed)
1 12 oz. package of pre-soaked black-eyed peas
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 dashes of Tabasco

In a stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned and crisp. Depending on the size of your pot, you might want to do in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pot. Remove bacon to a plate and drain excess grease from the pot, but leave any browned bits in the pot. Add the onions, jalepeno and garlic to the pot and saute for two minutes. Add the water, peas, salt, pepper, cumin and tabasco and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered on low for approximately two hours, stirring occasionaly.

After the first hour, check the water level to see if it looks dry. If needed, add about one additional cup of water. Also, check the broth for flavor and adjust seasonings, if needed.

After the second hour, taste the black-eyed peas for tenderness. Remove from heat or continue cooking depending on how you like your black-eyes peas. Personally, I like them with a little broth and not too mushy, but you can certainly cook them longer if you prefer. Serve with corn bread.

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year full of blessings!

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Smoked Gouda en Croute

If you loved my recipe for Baked Brie en Croute, you will love this recipe for Baked Smoked Gouda en Croute just as much! It is equally simple (if not more) and equally delicious! Perfect for those holiday parties and get togethers!

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 7 ounce round of smoked gouda, wax removed
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Dust your countertop with the flour and carefully unfold the puff pastry. With a rolling pin, roll the puff pastry out to expand the size a bit. Spoon the mustard into the center of the pastry and using a pastry brush, a knife or the back of a spoon, evenly spread the mustard over the pastry. Place the gouda in the center of the pastry. Carefully fold up the sides of the pastry around the gouda, crimping the sides together and tucking the folds under. If you can, trim off any excess pastry. Flip the gouda and place on a greased pan seam side down. If you have any excess pastry, use it to decorate the top. Use your favorite cookie cutters to achieve the desired shapes.  In a small bowl, beat the egg and add about a teaspoon of water. Brush the pastry with the egg wash.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is a nice golden brown color.

Allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into the pastry to allow the cheese to set a bit. Serve with an assortment of crackers.

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