Monday, January 25, 2010

It is a bit chilly in Vegas this week

Click on Picture to enlarge
Dan took this great picture of the mountains and I just had to share it with you.
As you can see we still have snow covered mountains. We also have had rain (which we needed badly.) So we are ready for the sun to shine. We cannot complain because California has really been drowning. Football season is almost over! Hope your team won and if not we only have about six months before the season begins once again.
Christmas has come and gone, but since this is our first Holiday in our new home, I am having such a hard time taking all those decorations down. I decorate everything and everywhere humanly possible. It just seems so empty when it is all put away. However I have run out of excuses and it will all come down in two weeks. (I like waiting until after the Superbowl) Then up goes Valentine’s decorations!!

Sleepy time.

Yes she can. She layed on Sleepy! lol
Click to enlarge pictures.

I have included a few of our first XMAS pictures.
 We were still unpacking and trying to find the decorations from a couple of storage places and unpacked boxes, so I think we did ok, considering.
I have added a great Holiday or anytime recipe for Grilled Ham. Dan and I made this together and it turned out soooo great! If you decide to try this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Click on picture to enlarge

My Man's way with Grilled Ham
Remember your cooked ham could be eaten right out of the package. So go low and slow.
Tip: Sugar will burn at 265. Yet you will have a very nice dark brown crust at 225 degrees with this recipe. Don’t worry about the really dark areas. It has actually preserved and has crusted the ham’s tenderness with loads of flavor. Always make sure your Ham is grilling on indirect heat.
The real trick to this tasty Ham is the Cheese Cloth. Yep Cheese Cloth soaked in the glaze of your choice. (I didn’t create this; it is actually a very old trick our great grandmothers used. Anyone taking credit today will actually be taking credit for something they didn’t come up with. But that’s another story, for another blog entry.
Step 1: Using a paper towel pat the ham as dry as possible. Score ham and prepare the roasting pan. (There are sights on line that show you how to score a ham. You are looking for slits in the fat, if you want to get fancy you can do a diamond pattern, (still working on that design myself! Lol)
Place, apple juice, water and the strained herbs and vegetables in the bottom of your roasting pan, then place the grilling rack inside the roasting pan.
Step 2: For a Whole ham place the ham bone side up and cut side down on rack. Half spiral and/or cooked ham will need to be placed on its side.
Step 3: You will need to check and make sure you have liquid in the bottom of the pan to help keep the Ham moist. (See recipe for the apple cider water bath)
Step 4: This is where the Cheese Cloth comes in play. (Refer to recipe)
Step 5: Cover ham completely with the Pomegranate glazed soaked cheese cloth.
Step 6: Every 40 to 60 minutes check liquid in pan and refill if necessary. (Mix extra apple juice and water to refill pan and set aside for later use) Using a turkey baster, coat the ham with additional liquid glaze on top of the cheese cloth. (I will tell you when to remove the cheese cloth)
1 quart apple juice
2 cups of water
1 package dried pomegranates
1 stick butter
(If you do not use the real thing (butter) this recipe isn’t for you. (Refer to the beginning of this blog. No offence, but there are many other recipes you can try. This one is for those who want great flavor, and a minimum of substitutes.)
2 tablespoons sage
3 garlic cloves smashed
1 whole white onion quartered
2 tab kosher salt (I know Ham is salty, and I will freak you with my up coming ham brine recipe but you will love it and there is less sodium in that, than you are eating now.You can leave it out if you are afraid)
2 tab freshly ground pepper
¼ cup finely minced rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tab finely minced thyme
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 gallon apple cider
1 cup water
Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer, fifteen minutes.
Strain the liquid glaze and set aside. Place the remaining strained ingredients in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Cut cheese cloth in pieces or large enough to cover ham.
Soak cheese cloth in the strained glaze, and drape over the ham.
Fill roasting pan with ¼ of the marinade, then place the ham on top of the inserted grill grate (comes with the roasting pan) now place ham in the pre heated grill. Re fill bottom of roasting tray with more liquid if necessary. (use water if needed)
Use a brush or sprayer to re glaze the ham every 40 minutes. (You want to keep the ham moist).
Tip: A Spiral cut ham will cook faster. But remember you are looking to get a nice crust. So check the internal heat along with observing the outer crust. (it is all about balance)
Internal temperature should be 165 degrees. (For all types of Hams, pre cooked, fresh, spiral or ( I cannot imagine! Canned.)
Remove Ham from Grill. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Ladle or (I use a spray bottle with some of the marinade and then spray heavily the cheese cloth covered ham)
Place ham on cutting board then gently remove the cheese cloth from the ham.
Slice ham and serve. Yumo!!
We really, really enjoyed this and if you make the effort I think you will to.

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