SAVE THAT ‘OL HAM BONE

hambone

 

It’s been weeks since Easter but today I re-enjoyed the fruits of my spiral sliced Easter ham. Well, technically it was my daughters ham since she had invited me over for dinner but let’s not split hairs here on ownership. Besides, I ended up with the ham bone when I realized she was about to throw it away so I rescued it.

Upon returning home, I immediately wrapped and froze it.

Today during my hunt for some breakfast vittles I spied that ‘ol ham bone (it actually called my name from the freezer and called out, “eat me!”).

My first thought in rescuing the ham was to cut off as much usable large pieces of meat from it and save the rest for bean soup. (somewhere in my blog I’m sure I have a recipe for bean soup, if not, shame on me!) By the time I prepped everything, the ham bone was still partially frozen so I had a bit more difficulty in saving the nice spiral hunks clinging to it. Frustrated by my ineptness that early in the morning (5:30 am) I decided to just strip the bone bare as possible and grind like hamburger whatever meat I could glean from it.

That ham bone produced a whopping 2.5  pounds of incredibly delicious  ground ham! And to think it was destined for the trash bin!

Below is a pictorial of making one of the most delicious breakfast I’ve enjoyed since moving here to the desert of Arizona.

My nearly 4 pound rescued ham bone

My nearly 4 pound rescued ham bone

Chopped up and ready for the grinder

Chopped up and ready for the grinder. Notice how much smaller the bone is now.

My 30 year old KitchenAid

My 30 year old KitchenAid

I have to hand it to the KitchenAid folks, the hopper is just the right size

I have to hand it to the KitchenAid folks, the hopper is just the right size

Using the small hole plate and cutter blade, the ham quickly ground into a perfect blend of high quality ham fat and meat.

Using the small hole plate and cutter blade, the ham quickly ground into a perfect blend of high quality ham fat and meat. Opps, sorry about the blurriness, my bad.

I recovered 2.5 pounds of delicious meat and fat from that 'ol bone!

I recovered 2.5 pounds of delicious meat and fat from that ‘ol bone!

Bagged by the pound

Bagged by the pound

With the ground ham all fried up to my liking, I throw in a couple of eggs and mix it all together.

With the ground ham all fried up to my liking, I throw in a couple of eggs and mix it all together.

A couple of slices of my home made bread to toast makes for a great breakfast sandwich (the recipe for this bread is located in an earlier post in this blog).

A couple of slices of my home made bread to toast makes for a great breakfast sandwich (the recipe for this bread is located in an earlier post in this blog).

I added a slab of cheddar to it all and had a very fine breakfast... and still have enough for at least 10 more breakfast sandwiches too boot!

I added a slab of cheddar to it all and had a very fine breakfast… and still have enough for at least 10 more breakfast sandwiches too boot!

A note of caution... after grinding and washing, soak or spray all the parts in bleach water for 5 minutes before packing the grinder away. Better safe than sorry.

A note of caution… after grinding and washing, soak or spray all the parts in bleach water for 5 minutes before packing the grinder away. Better safe than sorry.

 

 

 

A great tasting oven baked French Fry? No way!

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First, let me state for the record that I used to say that oven baked French Fries are about as appetizing as a cooked Gila Monster…YUCK!   Until I tried these!

I can’t even remember where I got this recipe from so I can’t give the credit to the rightful person. Whoever you are, thank you big time.  I grew up in Idaho and since I was old enough to exchange breast milk for spuds, I’ve been eating these things with gusto. I consider myself a true spud connoisseur.

I’ve tried cooking potatoes in every form imaginable with pleasure but one form that I’ve consistently turned my nose up at is the oven baked French Fry. They either turn out so crisp that they cut the roof of your mouth or so mushy that they mimic a mashed potato.  Well guess what? This recipe fills the bill for great tasting fries!

Now spuds are a staple for the trail cook. Tossed directly into a fire, home fries made in a skillet or even baked in a portable oven, potatoes can be cooked in numerous ways. But good tasting non-deep fried french fries have always been elusive… until now.

Try them and see for yourself. It’s all I’m asking.

Seasoning Ingredients

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into good sized pieces.

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

1/2 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of garlic powder

2 TBL of grated  Parmesan cheese

1 TBL of olive oil

Oddball stuff

*Lots of ice

*A big bowl

*Parchment paper lined baking pan (Not really needed but it keeps the pan from getting all messy)

*A gallon sized zip lock type storage bag

Directions for making and baking

Preheat oven to 425 degrees—– baking time will be 35 minutes (preheating is important if you’re using your portable camp oven.)

Peel and cut your potatoes into pieces a bit thicker than a McDonalds fry but not the size of a true potato wedge. Immediately place the cut fries into a bowl. Add a bunch of ice to the bowl and fill with water until the potatoes are covered. Let stand for 45 minutes to an hour to deep chill the fries. (This is important!  The combination of cold and soaking in water forces the extra starch a russet contains, out of it but leaves the sugars intact.  (In this case, you want to keep the russets sugar but not the starch.)

In a large plastic storage bag place all the dry ingredients in it including the Parmesan cheese, and shake it up until well mixed.

When your fries are done being chilled, drain off all the water and pour the fries out onto a cloth towel to absorb any remaining water. Give them a good rubbing to get them dry.

Place the chilled and now dry fries into the plastic storage bag that contains the spices and grated cheese. Do a shake and bake to get them all good and covered.

NOW, add the olive oil to the same  bag and redo the shake and bake again to make sure every fry is well coated with the oil / spice mixture.

Pour the fries onto the parchment lined baking sheet and spread them out so they don’t touch each other.

Bake until a golden brown.  (around 30 -35 minutes, begin checking at 30)

Rare pictures of french fries being made… 

Gather up your fixens

Gather up your fixens

Get your spuds in order

Get your spuds in order

cut up spuds and get 'em soaking in ice water

cut up spuds and get ’em soaking in ice water

 

prepare your baking sheet.

prepare your baking sheet.

 

Mix up your spices and grated cheese in a gallon storage bag.

Mix up your spices and grated cheese in a gallon storage bag.

 

keep your olive oil close at hand

keep your olive oil close at hand

 

place dried but chilled fries into your spice filled storage bag and do a 'shake and bake'  to 'em.

place dried but chilled fries into your spice filled storage bag and do a ‘shake and bake’ to ’em.

 

Once the fries are well coated with the seasoning, add your olive oil and man handle the bag  until every fry is well coated

Once the fries are well coated with the seasoning, add your olive oil and man handle the bag until every fry is well coated

 

Once your fries have absorbed all the spice/oil mixture, lay them out in your pan like this.

Once your fries have absorbed all the spice/oil mixture, lay them out in your pan like this.

When done baking, they should look like this.

When done baking, they should look like this.