It's summertime, we have half day Fridays, a few extra hours of daylight to get our cocktails going, and things are supposed to be easy, darn it! In a conscious effort to simplify our lives and celebrate the awesomeness of fresh summer produce, we're spending the whole season coming up with the absolute easiest, freshest, and tastiest summer dishes we can think of. On the menu today: figs, melon, Spanish ham, and basil in one gorgeous salad.
'Ham' on Serious Eats
Who says Chicken Cordon Bleu is reserved for sit-down dinners? Here, we've transformed it into a dip with chicken, ham, and plenty of melted cheese. Plus, by using a slow-cooker, you can make it in advance and just keep it warm until it's time to serve.
Prune's brunch is known as being one of the best in the city, and is worth the two hour wait, even on a chilly, hungover morning. One of the big draws is the Monte Cristo, an outrageous, deep-fried, French-toast/ ham-and-cheese hybrid. Gabrielle Hamilton shares the recipe in her new cookbook, Prune. She builds the triple-decker sandwich on white bread with loads of butter, French ham, Swiss Cheese, and roasted turkey. This gets soaked briefly in eggs and milk and griddled in clarified butter. And THEN deep-fried.
The flavors of classic eggs hollandaise—lemon, ham, butter, and toasted bread—all compressed into a bite-sized hors d'oeuvre.
Cheesy grits may be delicious as a side dish, but top them with kale that's been simmered in chicken stock with smoky ham and they become a flavorful, hearty meal. A dash of vinegary hot sauce, and you may never want to eat them on their own again.
This ham, rubbed with brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar, cooks alongside sweet and savory cipollini onions.
Cathal Armstrong serves this "boiling bacon," or brined pork belly, for Halloween, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it in March. It is, after all, comforting enough to tide us through the rocky weather of early spring, and the bright, herbaceous parsley sauce with which it's served has hints of the warm weather to come.
Smoked ham hocks are a magical, transformative ingredient. The collagen-rich bony cuts of pork leg boast intense levels of umami and the ability to turn mere water into a silky broth in a matter of hours (a.k.a. pot liquor). Throw in freshly shelled crowder peas (a small Southern shell bean) to that cooking water, as Donald Link does in his new cookbook, Down South, and you'll wind up with a homey yet flavor-packed dish.
These savory eggs bake in the oven in a water bath, ensuring even cooking and a perfect result every time.
These flakey folded biscuits are chock full of cheese and salty ham. No mixer needed.
Split pea soup was a favorite of mine as a kid (did that make me a weird kid?). I was perfectly happy eating it from a can as I was from a big, lovingly attended-to pot. But I rarely make it these days; in fact, I had forgotten about the soup until opening up Allison Fishman Task's new cookbook, Lighten Up, America! Her lightened version isn't much different from the classic.
Ham is not for everyone, but if you're a ham lover, lucky you, because ham is one meat that's darn difficult to mess up. Want to make it even juicier and more foolproof? Cook the sucker sous-vide. Because hams are pre-cooked, it's really just a matter of reheating them. Typically, I'd suggest removing meat from its retail packaging, seasoning it, then re-sealing it in a sous-vide bag before cooking it. But since ham's pre-seasoned, it can be cooked directly in the package it comes in, making the whole process even more appealing.
A Filipino barbecue-inspired glazes gives this ham a crust that has a depth far beyond its sugary base, packing a ton of flavor into each small bite.
Gruyère and Emmentaler Macaroni with Ham and Cubed Sourdough From 'Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese'
A rich, heady take on the classic comfort dish from 'Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese.'
Ultra-creamy, smoky cauliflower soup gets some zing from sherry vinegar and is served with roasted wild mushrooms and crisped ham.
Ham and cheese might be best known as a quick sandwich staple, but the classic duo makes an equally crowd-pleasing filling for a simple quiche.
When you need something a bit greasy, spicy and filling to undo whatever is left in your system from the night before these easy rice cakes are the answer to your hangover prayers
It's a cubano sandwich but without the roasted pork and the addition of a buttery, grilled crust.
A classic grilled cheese sandwich with roasted pineapple and ham.