Ham Steaks with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Pilaf

Recipes in this PostHam Steak with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.

When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.

Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.

Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.

Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Poached in Beer AKA Gussied Up Beer Can Chicken

Recipes in this PostChicken Condon Bleu Poached in Beer AKA Gussied Up Beer Can Chicken with Risoto Fungi

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite dishes. Usually, it is flattened chicken breast rolled around ham with cheese, breaded, and fried. An American dish, it has its roots in the Schnitzel from Switzerland and Chicken Kiev from Russia. Cordon Bleu means Blue Ribbon, not to be confused with the famous cooking school of the same name.

Beer Can Chicken has wonderful flavor, but does not lend itself to small pieces of chicken.

I try to not deep fry things too often, and I don’t like breading that much. I had chicken tenders, black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and a can of beer. I thought I could combine them and make Gussied Up Beer Can Chicken. Perfect!

My small 4 quart Nesco Roaster oven was the best appliance to use for this, just simply fill the well with some of the beer, and let it cook. Beer Can Chicken all gussied up.

This is a really simple dish to make. If you don’t have a Nesco, then you can use a baking dish, a cake rack, some foil and your oven. It might not turn out quite the same, but it will still be good.

This recipe calls for Lavender mustard – if you can get it, wonderful, if not, use Dijon.

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Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Olive Toast

Recipes in this PostLentil Salad with grilled peppers, tomatos, onions and celery with a light olive oil, white wine vinegar dressing

It had been so hot lately in Los Angeles, and even though the day promised to be only in the high 70’s, I still did not want to heat up the house. It was also Friday, which in our house, means no meat. We had some left over grilled sweet peppers that I wanted to use, and some remnants of other vegetables. My friend, Amber, had planted a basil plant I had brought home into two larger containers, and they had plenty of leaves to go with my vegetables. So, what kind of good, cool salad could I make and still have the protein that our bodies require? Lentils were the perfect answer!

As I was checking out at my favorite store, the Adams Supper Market in Glendale, I mentioned my plan to the cashier, and said I would be back later to get some nice crusty bread to go with it if I didn’t have any at home. As it turned out, I did have bread at home, but by the time I discovered I didn’t have any butter, Adams Supper Market was already closed. No problem, Olive Toast to the rescue!

It’s a recipe for a cool, protein rich salad on a hot day.

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