Tag Archives: ham

Back-To-School Time: The Humble Ham Sandwich


The Croque-Monsieur, or Mister Crisp

A ham sandwich. Plain and simple goodness. That’s what it is. And millions of kids across America will be happily toting them in their lunch boxes over the next week. We have Elizabeth Leslie (1787- 1858) to thank for introducing it to America when she offered a recipe for a ham sandwich in her 1837 book Directions for Cookery. It reads:

“Cut some thin slices of bread very neatly, having slightly buttered them; and, if you choose, spread on a very little mustard. Have ready some very thin slices of col boiled ham, and lay one between two slices of bread. You may either roll them up, or lay them flat on the plates. They are used at supper or at luncheon.”

Of course, the ham sandwich has experienced many reincarnations since Leslie’s time. The best-loved ones include:

The American ham and cheese, most commonly made with plain boiled ham and American or Swiss cheese or white bread.

The American grilled cheese, most commonly made with American, Swiss, or sliced Cheddar cheese, and grilled to buttery perfection.

The Croque-Monsieur, or French-style hot ham and cheese, pictured above.

The Monte Cristo, a fancier version of the humble ham and cheese that’s dipped in egg and cooked like French toast, until all brown and buttery, then dusted with confectioners sugar’.

But when you think about it, lots of ingredients go well on a ham sandwich— crunchy potato chips and Fritos, salty bacon and pickles, sweet strawberry jam, nutty peanut butter. What else? Tell me!  What’s your favorite way to enjoy a ham sandwich? What kind of ham do you like? Bread? Condiments? Fillings? I want to know. Really, I do!

Photo credit: Courtesy of Matt Armendariz, from the book The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by Susan Russo.

The Daily Buzz Whips Up Easter Ham

Easter isn’t Easter without a ham. And I know you’ve got yours. You do, don’t you? If not, stop what you’re doing and go to the market right now and buy yourself a big, beautiful ham. Actually, watch this video first, then go to the market and buy yourself a big, beautiful ham, and Reese’s peanut butter egg. Just because they’re so good.

In the short video below you’ll be ham inspired by Daily Buzz Chef John Ashton. With lightening speed (and a charming British accent) Chef Ashton pulls together a Thyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes in less than 15 minutes! He also tells you how you could win an Easter ham.

For more Easter inspiration, check out these posts:

Italian Easter Sausage Bread

Three New Easter Ham Recipes from Pork, Be Inspired

BLT Deviled Eggs AND Bacon and Blue Cheese Wedge Salad

Even better, there’s a give-away involved. Last week  gave away two Easter hams, and the generous folks at The Pork Board want to give away more!

Three New Easter Ham Recipes from Pork, Be Inspired!


There are some foods that simply must be eaten on Easter Sunday: Deviled eggs, chocolate bunnies, and ham. Not necessarily in that order. Deviled eggs should be fluffy and speckled with paprika. Chocolate bunnies should be solid, not hollow. Ham should be the piece de resistance of the Easter table. Whether it’s for brunch or dinner, Easter just doesn’t taste as delicious without a big, glistening roasted ham. Now, I know many of you have your traditional Easter ham recipes all ready to go. But, I’m hoping I can tempt you with a couple of new recipes we have from Pork, Be Inspired!

The first new ham recipe is for an elegant Thyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes. Sweet roasted grapes and grape jelly contrast deliciously with fragrant thyme and shallots, making this a stand-out Easter ham. It pairs beautifully with spring vegetables such as roasted asparagus and carrots and braised artichokes.

The second new ham recipe is an easy Ham and Peas with Mint and Tarragon which captures the flavor of spring.


Finally, we have a hearty, family-friendly Ham, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Tart made with springtime asparagus. If you’re hosting an Easter brunch, then this tart just has to be on your menu.


For many more inspired ham and pork recipes, do what bunnies do, and hop on over to www.porkbeinspired.com.

Plus, don’t forget about our BIG Easter ham give-away! We’re giving away coupons for TWO Easter hams. Want to win? Click here to find out how!

Favorite Family Easter Traditions, Plus A BIG Easter Ham Give-Away!

It’s almost Easter! Are you ready? We’re here to help. We’re giving away TWO coupons for FREE EASTER HAMS!

Here’s what you have to do to win:

1) Watch the above video in which my husband and I share one of our favorite Easter traditions and pork recipes. It involves sausage and Italian mothers and their sons. How can you go wrong with that combo?

2) Share your favorite family Easter pork tradition or recipe in the comment section below between now and March 28, 2012 (midnight PST).

3) Boost your chances of winning by sharing this give-away announcement on Twitter and mentioning @Porkandknife.

Italian Sausage Bread Recipe from Jeff’s Mom, Dorothy
Makes 10-12 slices

1 pound pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1/2 cup diced hard pepperoni or diced pepperoni slices
6 large eggs, lightly beaten, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 small balls of fresh mozzarella (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F, and center a rack. Roll out 1 pound of room temperature homemade or store-bought pizza dough into a rectangle about 10 X 12 inches on a lightly floured counter top. Transfer to an unrimmed cookie sheet coated with a little cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel while cooking the filling.

2. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage into small pieces. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Add pepperoni. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, mozzarella, Parmesan, and parsley. Cook 2 to3 minutes, stirring several times. The eggs should be partially cooked, and the cheese partially melted and stringy. Overcooking the eggs will make them dry. Let egg mixture cool for about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Spread egg mixture on dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Turn the shorter sides of the dough up on to the filling. Then roll the dough into a loaf, in a jelly-roll fashion. Turn the roll over with the seam on the bottom. Place in the middle of the pan. Brush the top of the loaf with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Cool slightly before serving. Eat hot or at room temperature. Wrap leftovers in tin-foil and refrigerate. Toasted, they make a delicious breakfast the day next.

A Family Christmas to Remember


A few years ago my wife and I decided cooking a huge Christmas dinner was a drain on family time and took away from the spirit of the day.  We started going with opening presents at a leisurely pace about mid-morning with a light brunch and then a movie.  Soup and homemade bread closed out the day.  We all seemed to enjoy this relaxed approach.  But, this year Christmas was on a Sunday so no movies for us.  So, this year dinner became my responsibility.

Continue reading

Makin’ Bacon at the Herbfarm.

We've been gone for a bit. Sorry about that. The final edits for our narrative cookbook, which will be published by John Wiley and Sons next fall, are due this week. We've been buried in baking and tweaking and typing. Everything else except playing with our daughter came to a halt.

We're back now. We're almost done with the book. We're proud of the work we have done. Wait until you see the recipe for bacon-wrapped pork belly!

Danny and I have not decided how we want to celebrate when we complete the manuscript and press the send button. There are so many great restaurants in Seattle. We do know, however, if we could afford it, we'd be running to The Herbarm's Makin' Bacon dinner.

You may remember that we were lucky enough to eat at The Herbfarm in August. We will never forget that meal.

Some might say we should never eat at the Herbfarm again, just to preserve the memory of that perfect experience.

Did you just meet us? And have you seen this menu?


Mangalitsa pork cracklings? Ham bone soup with chard? Berkshire-pork-head-and-leek terrine? Caramelized pork belly with duck tongues?

Be still my heart.

To top it all, look at this dessert: wild chanterelle-tapioca pudding with prosciutto, sage, and candied black walnuts. Oh, and quince tarte tatin with bacon-oatmeal ice cream.


That was the sound of us fainting.

We can't go to this dinner. But you? Oh my, you have to go.

The Herbfarm

14590 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072

(425) 485.5300