Showing posts from March, 2010

Savory Orange Slices: Salad for Spring or Summer

A simple and surprising orange salad — surprisingly good, too!
"Delightful." ~ Pauline
"Yumm!" ~ Melanie
In the 1950s, my Minnesota grandparents bought a place in Florida and flew south in a fast ’53 Ford to become snowbirds. If the words ‘place in Florida’ conjure up something grand, think again. The place was a sandy patch parked with a small trailer with one bedroom and a pull-out couch in the living area.After my grandfather died, Gramma walked the beach for long hours, finding solace in the sea shells that washed up along the Gulf Coast. In the spring, my parents descended with my sister and me, schoolbooks in bags, the dog on a leash. Out back was a veritable citrus grove: the gnarled old grapefruit whose fruit was heavy and sweet; orange trees of different varieties; a glossy-leafed lemon tree; a mostly fruitless tangerine tree that disappointed a tangerine-loving eight-year-old.Mornings, Dad led us out back to pick fruit for the morning’s juice…

Twice-Smoked Ham:
How & Why to Smoke a Smoked Ham a Second Time

Looking for a special way to cook a ham? Start with a smoked ham and then, yes, smoke it again. The second smoke transforms an already good ham into something that's smoky-good and with perfect texture for serving at room temperature in a buffet or gently rewarmed in the oven for serving hot at the table. The story of my obsession with ham, especially Twice-Smoked Ham, begins four years and 200 pounds of ham ago.Inspired by a recipe from a food magazine, I went hunting for a Christmas ham, not just any ham, mind you, but the exact one specified in that ‘preferably’ language that recipes use – a ‘smoked ham, bone-in, shank end’ ham.My teenage nephew was along, our first stop was Whole Foods where we found little more than blank stares. “Com’on, Auntie Al. Let’s get a honey-baked spiral ham,” he pressed, already bored with my pursuit.Plan B, however, was what we ‘always’ serve for Christmas, a beef roast. So off we went to Ladue Market, the only place in St. Louis to buy prime meat, …