Saturday, November 10, 2012

Like that Bible miracle...but with ham.

I have been playing my Aldi "Chopped" game again, where I wander around the store, grabbing random things, then I come home and figure out how to combine them. This round, I sliced up half a large onion and put it in the bottom of the crock pot, then put in a small ham (3-4 lbs.). I sprinkled it with pepper, garlic, and ground celery seed, and slathered it with grainy honey mustard and a handful of brown sugar. Then I added the mystery ingredient--a jar of red cabbage and apples--and finally, a good splash of apple cider vinegar. I cooked it in the crock pot on low all day (6-8 hours) then served it with homemade mashed potatoes. This is my basic methodology for cooking pork roast, but I wasn't sure what it would be like with ham. As it turns out, it's DELICIOUS! My roommate was heard to exclaim, "I never want to eat anything else but THIS!" Ha ha.

We had this ham dinner for two nights, and there was still plenty left. Monday night after choir rehearsal, I stopped by Panera to buy a loaf of bread to make some sandwiches for an Election Night party (FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!), but they were closed. Boo hiss. So I popped into Walmart and I was surprised to find that they had Cubano bread in their bakery. So I made two (whole loaf) Cubano sandwiches for the get-together.

A Cubano is normally ham and pork roast, but I used ham and honey roasted turkey, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and homemade pickles, and crisped up the bread and melted the cheese in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes before serving. My fellow Democrats gobbled them up, despite the fact that Cuban sandwiches made no sense thematically for the occasion. Tee hee. (Pictured left is the AWESOME serving platter than my darling friend, Kurt, sent me for my birthday. It reads: "Democrat: a person who believes in the political and social equality of all. A member of the Democratic Party of the United States." How perfect is that??)

And can you believe that there was STILL ham left after all of this? So for lunch today, I chopped the remaining ham (a couple of cups?) and whizzed it up in the food processor with half of an onion and three medium dill pickles, a good dash of black pepper, and about a half cup of mayo. Then I toasted up some bread, slathered on the ham salad, topped each open-faced sandwich with a slice of sharp cheddar (one had to have pepper jack when I ran out of cheddar), and some tomato slices for my roommate's sammies. YUM! And all this from one little seven-dollar Aldi ham! I AM THE BUDGET MASTER! FEAR ME!

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