måndag, november 19, 2007

How to Shut Up Anyone Who Thinks You Can't Cook

Need to impress someone in about 72 hours? Can't cook? In a panic. Try this.

City Ham, Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Good Eats
1 big, grocery store ham, with a bone.
1/4 cup brown mustard
2 cups dark brown sugar
1-ounce bourbon (poured into a spritz bottle)
2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies
Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
Remove that plastic piece that covers the bone (no one ever tells you that), and put the cut side face down into the roasting pan. Using a small paring knife score the ham from bottom to top, spiraling clockwise as you cut, then spiral counterclockwise. Confused? Just think "gotta make a diamond pattern all over." Or do 1 inch squares, no biggie. Loosely cover the ham with foil, so it looks like it has a little pup tent over it, and cook it in the 250 degree oven for about 3 or 4 hours.

Then take the ham out of the over, throw the foil away (using over mitts through all of this, and then pull off the diamond (or square) pieces of skin and fat. This will be really hot on your fingers, so let it cool if you have to. Meanwhile, turn the oven up to 350 degrees F. After you have the skin and fat off, take a brand new 1 or 2" inch paint brush and slather on the mustard. Then pack on brown sugar, loosely. Then spritz the bourbon over the brown sugar. Then pack on the crushed ginger snaps. Return the big mess to the oven - uncovered - and cook for another hour. When you pull it out, the kids make fun of how ugly it is because it will looks like a dull brown boulder). Let it rest for 30 minutes. Then cut. Most of the pieces will have this wonderful wisp of sugar, honey and ginger cookie.

I can't cook, but I can do this and everyone loves it. I have paraphrased it from the Food Network's site, but only out of fear it will someday disappear and I won't be able to find my notes.