Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How Much Ham Can One Woman Take?

Through a strange (and perhaps cruel) twist of fate, I found myself this week in possession of an 8 lb ham.  This, after eating ham on Easter and bringing home leftovers that we just finished.

However, I cannot bear to waste food and so last night I baked the ham, maple glaze and all.  I have a wedding to attend this weekend and am concerned about how bloated I will be after the consumption of this much pork and sodium.  I plan to bring a good portion of the ham to work to share!

Earlier in the day I had come across a recipe for Tabasco Quinoa on 101 cookbooks.  I figured a healthy dose of quinoa and veggies might help counteract the pork overdose.  The idea of adding butter to my nice healthy dish turned me off, so I adjusted the recipe a bit, using very little tabasco butter but ramping up the straight tabasco and adding roasted red peppers in with the asparagus.  The smokey flavor of the roasted peppers is a really nice compliment to the pork and helps add a new dimension to the quinoa itself!


4 Tbsp butter room temperature
Tabasco (start with 15 drops and move up from there)
1 tsp lemon juice
2-3 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup quinoa
1/2 lb asparagus cut into 1-2 in slices
2 red peppers
salt and pepper

For the Tabasco Butter:

Cut the butter into slices and blend in a food processor.  Add tabasco, the lemon juice and mustard and continue to blend.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Set aside.

Rinse the quinoa.  Combine the cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cook until all the water has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes.

Set up a bowl with water and ice.  Steam the asparagus for just a minute or two, until the asparagus turns a beautiful, bright green.  Shock in the cold water bath to stop it from cooking.  Drain.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Turn the broiler on High and roast the two bell peppers, turning until the peppers are charred on every side.  Put the peppers into a covered bowl to steam which helps loosen the skin from the peppers.  Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and remove the seeds.  Chop the peppers into thin slices approximately the same length as the asparagus.

Add a tablespoon of the tabasco butter, the asparagus, red peppers, salt and pepper to the quinoa and mix well.

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