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ham with red-eye gravy
Ham with Red-Eye Gravy

polenta
Parmesan Polenta

sunchoke parmesan
Parmesan Sunchoke
Slices

 

Menu Plan for the week of March 8, 2013:  Tuesday's Recipes

Ham with Red-Eye Gravy
Parmesan Polenta
Parmesan Sunchoke Slices

Cooking time: 35 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      A Southern meal with a Euro twist: Polenta for the Cheese Grits and deli ham for the country ham.  All easy.

Sliced Ham with Red-Eye Gravy                   Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
     Mushrooms aren't traditional but I like them.... And this style ham isn't traditional either, so...

2 - 4 slices ham, 12oz (350gr) total weight
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
4oz (125gr) mushrooms
1/2 cup strong coffee
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 1 tbs water

Clean, trim and slice mushrooms. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot add paprika and sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes longer. Move mushrooms to the side and add the ham slices. Brown lightly on both sides.  Add coffee, sugar and bring to a boil.  Remove ham to a small platter.  Add cornstarch dissolved in water and stir until sauce is thick. Pour over ham and serve.

Parmesan Polenta                                                     Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes
     Check the package directions for quantity proportion - you may have to add more (or less) liquid to get a soft consistency.  It can be adjusted at the end, before serving.   This should be like mashed potatoes.

1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup polenta, quick-cooking 
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) Parmesan, grated
2 tbs milk  or more chicken stock
nutmeg

Heat stock in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  When stock is simmering slowly pour in polenta, whisking constantly.  Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until done. 
Add milk or stock, Parmesan and a pinch of nutmeg.  Cover, keep warm and let sit 5 minutes.  Serve.

Parmesan Sunchokes Slices                       Preparation and cooking time:   35 minutes
     Sliced, coated with oil and baked. Simple, delicious.  They don't get crispy, like potatoes so be a bit careful when taking them off the baking sheet. A nonstick baking sheet will work best. Sunchokes discolor quickly so keep in water after peeling if not preparing immediately.

3 - 4 sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs Parmesan

Mix olive oil and Parmesan in a bowl. Peel sunchokes, cutting each sunchoke into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Add slices to oil / Parmesan as you work, stirring to coat.  Lay on a nonstick baking sheet with a lip. Put in a 400F (200C) oven and bake for 25 minutes. Serve. 

Cooking schedule: 35 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet, small saucepan with lid, baking sheet,
2 bowls, whisk

Turn oven on 400F (200C) 
Grate Parmesan
Peel sunchokes
Mix oil, Parmesan
Slice sunchokes, add to oil/Parmesan
Stir to coat, lay sunchokes on baking sheet, bake
Trim, slice mushrooms
Sauté paprika
Add mushrooms, sauté

Heat stock for polenta
Move mushrooms to side, add ham, brown
Add polenta to stock, whisk/stir
Turn ham
Add milk or stock, Parmesan, nutmeg to polenta
Remove from heat, cover
Add coffee, sugar to ham
Dissolve cornstarch in water
      Wait for the sunchokes
Remove ham, increase heat
Add cornstarch, stir until clear and thick
Spoon mushrooms, gravy on ham
Stir polenta
Remove sunchokes, Serve