Category Archives: holiday

Grilled Ham

ham 1This morning my parents texted me to ask what our Easter plans were and my first and only thought was Easter? That’s next month. I have no idea. And then I realized that no, Easter is not next month. It is next week. And I had a panic attack. Where has the spring gone? Where have I been? What am I doing? It was an existential crisis type morning.

ham 2

I’ve been on the road, constantly, every weekend, bouncing from town to town and event to event. All for the best and all for people I love, but never the less I am road weary. And with no signs of stopping. This weekend we’re headed to San Francisco for a week, and then it will be May, a month full of weddings and trips and, before we know it, June. And Easter will come and go and since we’re taking a red eye home from California on Easter Eve I’ll probably sleep through most of it and I definitely won’t be eating ham or deviled eggs (I have a strong suspicion that this will be a takeout Indian type of Easter). But YOU will be home and YOU will be well rested and ready to celebrate, so therefore YOU should make a ham. This ham. Smoke it. It’ll be like no ham you’ve ever tasted, I promise. And I’ll just lay in bed and snuggle my dogs and pretend I’m at your house for Easter dinner. Unless, of course, you’re delivering.

ham 3

Grilled Ham

ed note: This recipe calls for a fresh, uncured ham. Adding wood chips to the grill gives the pork a smokey flavor, but because it is uncured the flavor is more in the style of a pork chop than traditional honey baked ham. 

10-15lb ham, uncured

brine:

1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup red pepper flakes

1/4 cup chipotle powder

5 cloves garlic

glaze:

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

2 tbsp chipotle powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter

Hickory chips for the grill

The day before you’d like to cook and serve your ham, prepare your brine by combining all the ingredients in a large pot of water and submerging the ham completely. Cover and let sit, in a cool place, for 24 (or up to 48) hours.

The next day pat your ham down and place on a lined baking sheet. Mix together seasonings and rub evenly over ham. Cube butter and lay across ham. Heat your grill and place the ham over indirect, medium-low heat. Soak hickory chips in water and wrap in tin foil. Place on the grill next to ham. Cover and let cook, checking to baste occasionally.

Cook for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature meets 150F. Once finished remove from heat and let rest 45-60 minutes before slicing and serving.

Vinegar Pie

vinegar pie 2

This season has made me realize how truly, incredibly, overwhelmingly blessed I am. It’s been a hard few months, full of happiness and good fortune and time with family but also loss and heartache. It’s always a balance, but every once in a while something amazing happens that reminds you that you are loved.

vinegar pie 5

As silly as it sounds, that something this month has been the results of this crazy whirlwind contest- the Colombo Marsala Recipe Contest. Going into it I was hopeful but didn’t have any expectations of winning. I did my best to create a recipe that I was proud of, I encouraged my friends, family, and readers to vote (and tried to walk the line between enthusiastic and obnoxious), and I crossed my fingers. And while I was sitting there hoping, something magical happened. I watched  people I love sharing the link, over and over, encouraging their friends and family to vote. My aunt texting the extended family once a day to remind them. People I hadn’t seen or spoken to in months or even years rallying for me. My sister in Dublin asking people who came into her boutique to vote. My dad asking people at the bar with us for their vote. It was inspiring. It was humbling. I am so grateful.

vinegar pie 3Voting ends tonight and I’m up by a fair margin. For that, I owe you all a debt of gratitude. The winner will be announced on the 20th and it will be determined by the number of votes, the quality of the recipe, and the merits of the blog post. Whether or not we go to Italy, I am so grateful for what this contest has taught me. These past two weeks have shown me the type of love and small acts of kindness that this holiday season is supposed to be all about; it’s a small and silly thing to vote for someone in a recipe contest but it has meant the world to me. Please know that I am so thankful, that you all have made my world a better place.

vinegar pie 4

Consider this pie, a traditional vinegar chess pie, my thanks. It’s a sweet and simple pie that is warm and filling. The perfect balance to hot chocolate and peppermint and the decadence of the Christmas dessert table. And, with the help of a heart shaped cookie cutter, the perfect way to add a little love to your plate.

vinegar pie 1

Vinegar Pie

pie dough

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 1/2 sticks butter

Ice cold water

chess

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 cup butter, melted

Begin by making your pie dough.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Using your hands, work in the shortening.  Cube the butter and cut that in, until the dough has the consistency of cornmeal. Add ice water, as needed, until the dough clings. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To make the chess combine your dry ingredients.  Using an electric mixer, beat them together.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the butter, melted.  Add in vanilla and vinegar.

Heat your oven to 325. Roll out your pie dough and press into pie dish.  Pour filling into the dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the pie is brown and mostly set. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Satsuma Cobbler

satsuma cobbler 1

Generally speaking, Dan and I are beer and wine people. We know very little about what makes a good wine, we know a fair amount about good beer, and (most importantly) we drink what we like. With the exception of the year that Dan was really into Scotch, it’s not often that you’ll see our bar stocked with more than South American whites, spicy Malbecs, and craft beer.

satsuma cobbler 4

One of my favorite activities on Avery Island was our mixology workshop with Kirk Espinotal. Kirk demonstrated three different fun and delicious recipes, including a type of mixed drink that was completely new to me- the cobbler. A cobbler (the cocktail variety) is a liqueur that is shaken with fresh fruit and ice. Simple and delicious. The cobbler we tried at the Marsh House was Chartreuse, citrus, jalapeños, and Tabasco’s jalapeño pepper sauce. It was fantastic, something I’ve been dreaming about since we left the island.

satsuma cobbler 3

When we started planning our annual holiday party I knew that I wanted to try to recreate Kirk’s masterpiece. I couldn’t find yellow Chartreuse in Wilmington so I decided to combine lime, fresh satsuma, and St Germain, which is an elderflower liqueur. The finished drink was lovely- fresh and fruity with touches of citrus and elderflower. The benefit of the cobbler is that it’s not too heavy or too boozy, making it a good option for brunch or holiday parties where you want to celebrate without getting too crazy. We’ll be absolutely reprising this during the holidays. It may even be the new Christmas Morning Special.

satsuma cobbler 2

Satsuma Cobbler

makes 2

6 jiggers of St Germain or elderflower liqueur

Satsuma or clementine, peeled and sectioned

Lime, sliced

Champagne or prosecco (optional)

Ice

Combine liqueur, fruit, and ice in a mixer. Mix vigorously for 30-45 seconds. Strain and split between two glasses with additional lime and satsuma. For a lighter option top each glass with a jigger of champagne.