Monthly Archives: May 2011

A Different Take on Roasted Potatoes and a Green Bean and Cabbage Saute

I’ve had two 8 lb hams in my freezer since two days  before Easter.  Why, you might ask? Well, based on the minimum number of folks I expected to come for Easter, I had thought I would do an experiment and bake two 8 pound Cook’s hams, one a butt end and one a shank end, just to do a real-time comparison of flavor, texture, carving ease, etc.  However, it turned out that 16 pounds of ham would be a bit much for the smaller crowd  of 10 including Steve and me, so I opted to try 12 pound  “Buddaball” butt end of ham that Farm Land was carrying.  Great ham, by the way!

Luckily, hams freeze just fine and Steve and I like ham, so having two hams in the freezer was not a tragedy.  We hardly eat cold cuts and buy only uncured bacon and hotdogs, so ham is our big sodium nitrite splurge.  <grin>

ANYWAY – except for using grated ginger and some white sugar in water in lieu of the called-for gingerale in my 1950s retro ham recipe, the ham is the same as what I did for Easter, just a different brand and not as big.  But, here is a picture of me with the Easter ham:

But hey!, Hey!  What about the potatoes and veggies in the title of this blog?  Okay, okay…

The jury is still out as I write this as to whether Steve will like the potatoes, but, I like them! And, they have not even finished getting browned/crunchy yet.

To prepare, I peeled two mid-sized Idahos and cut them into 2 inch or so chunks.  I also peeled and more thinly sliced a white sweet potato just to jazz things up.  I coated them with a mixture of high-test olive oil (from the fresh pressed olive oil club to which I belong) and some truffle-infused olive oil my friend Linda Ireland gave to me.  I am liking the truffle oil.  [Linda, we’ll have to make something with it sometime and see if you like it in a dish.]

I then mixed together some nutmeg (freshly grated), cinnamon, coriander, fennel pollen, and freshly ground black pepper – tads and pinches of each.  I then added about a teaspoon of kosher salt to the mix and sprinkled it onto the potatoes, mixing it all to coat evenly.

Helpful hint – use a rubber or silicon spatula to mix.  The spatula scrapes the oil from the side of the bowl so more ends up on the potatoes.

I then put the potatoes in a pyrex baking dish and added maybe ½ cup chicken broth before covering with foil and cooking in the oven with the ham for about 45 minutes at 325.  Then I took the cover off and let the liquid cook off for about 20  minutes at 300 degrees, stirring halfway through.

As I write this, I have the ham resting and the potatoes keeping warm at 170 degrees.  Right before we eat, I am going to carve the ham, make sure the potatoes are now crisp on the outside, raising the temperature a bit if necessary, and cooking up the veggie dish.  Bet you forgot about the veggie dish.  🙂

So, yesterday I noticed that I had green beans and cabbage in the veggie bin of my fridge.  As usual, I typed the ingredients into Google and came up with a gaggle (sorry, could not resist) of recipes using green beans and cabbage.  I opted for this simple fare but for the one spice used: ground coriander.

It has been so long since I have posted here that I am putting this up before I am done preparing the meal, but doesn’t this sound light and lovely?  I did a scaled down version, but here is the original recipe from which I was working:

Green Beans and Cabbage with Coriander Butter
This is not a casserole, but a stove top saute that is both unusual and good.

4 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 1/2 cups fresh cut green beans
1 teaspoon ground coriander

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until butter just begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and add cabbage and green beans; toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon ground coriander and toss well. Return to stove and cook over low heat, covered, 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Serves  6.

I used about 2 cups – firmly packed – of chopped cabbage and about 2 cups – loosely packed – of beans and will probably use 3 T of butter and a scant teaspoon of the coriander.
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I’ll hopefully remember to update here on the final results once I’ve made this recipe and completed the meal,  but do know that this veggie recipe is what inspired me to add coriander to the potatoes, thus giving me an opening to use my fennel pollen.  Not a lot of recipes call for fennel pollen but I really like it. And it goes wonderfully with coriander.

So – time for me to post this and go finish the dinner prep.  Hopefully, it will all be really good!

UPDATE: The potatoes were exquisitely delicious, and deemed excellent by Steve, also.  I think that having the white sweet potato mixed with the regular potato added to it, although, just the regular potato would have been lovely as well.

And, I had chopped and sauteed four smallish shallots in olive oil earlier in the day and put them in the fridge for later.  I added them into the green beans and  cabbage at the end.  And,  before the end, I added 1/2 cup chicken stock and cooked the beans and  cabbage another 10 or so minutes to soften the beans further before finishing and serving.  Overall, a most wonderful meal.