Posts Tagged ‘Ham’

Church Ham Dinner

May 17, 2009

Solebury United Methodist Ham SupperEvery year the Solebury United Methodist Church sponsors a Ham Dinner to raise funds for different church activities.  Donna and JoJo have been going the past few years as kinda a girls night out and they both enjoy the ham.  I don’t, they do. They brought me a take out order to try and convince me I like it.

The take out order they brought me was a great value at $12. For that you get a big portion of sliced Virginia ham with raisin sauce, green beans, boiled red potatoes, coleslaw, apples sauce, two rolls and carrot cake. Since they went to the effort of bringing home an order, I had to at least taste the food and report back to you what it was like. Again giving so much to my craft.

Church Ham Supper

The Virginia ham was very sweet, tender and favourful.  The raisin sauce with very plump raisin, matched well with sweet and slight salty ham. You could tell the tasty green beans were fresh and cut up by kitchen crew earlier that day. The red potatoes were well cooked with a bit of parsley thrown in for decoration. The apple sauce was a good match for the ham, matching the sweetness in both. The coleslaw is fast becoming my favourite salad (tell us your favourite salad here). I like the contrast in the sweet dressing and the tart cabbage, the crispiness of the veggies and the creaminess of the total salad.

The surprise of the meal was the carrot cake.  Most carrot cakes are very dense, the Church Supper cake was extremely light with a nice sweet frosting to match. 

All in all, the meal was a success and a bit of a revelation for me, well it was a church supper. LOL. Perhaps next year I will attend in person.

Road Trip – New York

May 8, 2009

One day every quarter, some of the best and brightest digital marketers from my company and our digital advertising agencies meet in NYC to review what each other have been doing and bring in some outside speakers to enlighten us even further.  That day was yesterday and it was a very good and productive meeting organized by Vaughn, Pam, Adam, Matt, Marcelle & et al.  After the meeting, Everyday Health, a large digital health care advertising network sponsored a reception for attendees. 

Everyday Health - Spread Platter

Everyday Health - Veggie Platter

It was actually very impressive what the caterer pulled off in the small space the reception  was held in.  There were two food stations, one with bruschetta and hummus spreads plus grapes and three different cheeses – blue, brie and cheddar (left photo) and veggies, dip, olives,  more grape and cheeses – goat, Parmesan and Swiss (right photo).

In addition to the fixed stations, the staff from ScooziEventsNYC  passed plated appetizers to the hungry company and agency folks.  I managed to get shots a few of the decorated plates from the very cooperative staff that must of thought very strange things of me as I took photos in the middle of the reception. (What I do for my art. LOL)

Mini Lobster Sandwiches - Appetizers


On the left are Mini Lobster Sandwiches and on the right are Mini Crab Cakes.  The lobster sandwiches had a nice ratio of lobster to mayo to celery allowing the sweetness of the lobster to come thru.  The mini crab cake also had a nice ratio of crab to bread crumb.  The little dollop of what I thought was horseradish cream was a delicate touch that finished the crab cake nicely. Both of these were very nice seafood appetizers  and very well presented.

Mini Mac'n' Cheese appetizers  Mini Neapolitan Caprice

Two other appetizers  I enjoyed and were able to capture with my camera were the mini Mac ‘n’ Cheese and the mini Neapolitan Caprice.  The Mini Mac ‘n’ Cheese were bit size morsel of the classic kids food. Very cheesy but with a enough texture to make it interesting.  The Mini Neapolitan Caprice appetizers were layered mini sandwiches of sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese with a dot of aged balsamicvery tasty.  I didn’t get photos of the Kobe beef mini burger and the shrimp appetizers but both were worthy of note and inclusion if you decide to use this caterer.

Net – net it was a very enjoyable reception with a focus on mini version of classic foods.  Personally, I like this approach and the caterer executed it very well.  Good food, good drinks and good company – a great combination.

ScooziEventsNYC  Contact Gianluca Ballarini – 212-799-0080

After the reception, I joined Facebook Friend and San Francisco Agency honcho Barbara for dinner at BRASSERIE 44.  This upscale brasserie has some strong culinary heritage with John McDonald (Lever House, Lure Fishbar, Chinatown, and MercBar) and Chef Scott Ekstrom (formerly Daniel and Oceana) creating the space and the menu.

Salumi  - Brasserie 44

Barbara is a big fan of salumi so when Eric, our waiter, described their version as homemade, she suggested we order it.  It was a good choice as this appetizer came with three meats; Genoa salami, prochuttio and capicolla; grain mustard, toast points and cornichons.  The meats were very tasty.  The Genoa salami was cut paper thin with a mild garlic and pork taste.  The photo makes the prochuttio look fatty but the taste was moist and slightly salty.  The  capicolla on the other hand was less fatty but had a more intense pork flavour.Oysters Brasserie 44  The portion size was larger than I anticipated so I was glad the two of us were sharing.

We also decided to share some oysters.  The old adage that you shouldn’t eat oysters in months without “r”‘s is passe since most oysters are now raised in farms and not susceptible to red tide and other seasonable oyster aliments in the open water farms.  The oysters that night were Deer Point oysters from the West Coast.  We tried for a state but the best info we could get was the West Coast.  These small to medium oysters were plump and meaty.  The oysters had a fresh briny taste that often reminds one of spray off the ocean.  The oysters came with classic cocktail and red wine vinegar sauces and a lemon wedge.  I usually like a little sauce with my oysters but these ones were delicate enough that the sauces took away from the core oyster taste so that the sauces were not needed.  A little lemon did bring out the flavour but not much was needed. Very tasty even if it was May (without the r).

Fresh Skate

 Barbara’s main was Skate with crushed potatoes and beurre noisette.  You often don’t see skate on menus because it is such a delicate fish with a short shelf life so Barbara decided to give it a try.  The first try and the piece Barbara shared with me were very salty. We speculated that using sweet butter with the beurre noisette may have been an option but as Barbara got into the thicher pieces of fish the saltiness decreased making the dish an acceptable dish.  Both Barbara and I have Irish heritages in our background and found the “crushed” potatoes reminding us of boiled potatoes our parents served us in our childhoods.  Good memories but at these prices, I would have expected a starch offering of higher quality.

 My main was the Halibut with creamy endive and speck ham with truffle oil. Mine was a winner.  The well Halibut Brasserie 44cooked halibut flaked at fork point and was moist and sweet to the taste. There was also a light crust on the outside of the flesh which I think came from pan frying the generous portion of halibut.  The creamy endive was a first for me but I enjoyed the slightly bitter taste of the endive matching well with the sweetness of the fish.  The earthiness of truffle oil also matched well with the fish and endive.  This was also the first time for me with the speck ham in a sauce.  I expect salt from hams but the oil seemed to negate the salt making the dish a complete success. 

The wine list at Brasserie 44 is suppose to be a highlight of the restaurant and it was working for me.  Barbara tried a couple of different reds but I stuck with my Pinot Noir.  It worked for me and Barbara seemed to enjoy her choices.

Thanks for meal Barbara, I enjoyed our foodie outing – photos and all and I look forward to the next one.

BRASSERIE 44, 44 West 44 Street, New York City 10036 212 944 8844

Only in Miami is Cuba so far away

April 28, 2009

I have been a Bette Midler fan since my undergraduate days at Acadia University and she does a great song about the Cuban exPats missing Cuban and living in Miami on her “Best of ” album.  One of the ways you get to know a culture or community is to experience it’s food.  To know the Cuban community you should try the Cuban Sandwich.  I never had a Cuban Sandwich until I visited the Sunshine State in a few years back on a corporate assignment. 

Tonight I had to go directly from work to poker so I decided to eat at the bar again (like that never happend before).  It was a good night cause Triumph was hosting the Wood Brothers at that bar tonight so they decided to increase the usual $6 Bar Menu items from the usual six items to ten differnt items.  One of the additional items was the Mini Cuban Sandwich.  Given my sameless promotion of the sandwich poll I decided to go with it.  (Go ahead new readers choose three sandwiches types). Mini Cuban Sandwich

Tonight’s sandwich a mini version of the classic Cuban Sandwich actually was very tasty.  I am a big fan of presentation and was disappointed when the dish arrived.  Once again it was only $6 but I think the staff could do better with the presentation.  The photo above is my attempt at making the sandwich looking better but the chef should have done better.  The good news it tasted very good.  Most impressive was the soft thin moist pita bread  that contained a moist roast pork, swiss cheese, ham and pickels with a light coating of mustard.  The sandwich came with the homemade chips which I am already a big fan of.  Other than the need to work on the presentation the sandwich was tasty and good value.

Easter Feast

April 14, 2009

Since Easter and Passover often fall very close to each other many families are celebrating with food.  Our weekend feast started Saturday night when I cooked lasagna.  I love making this layered pasta dish and have been doing it for years.  Saturday night’s version was a little different because I used ricotta cheese infused with basil as the middle cheese layer.  It turned out well as I hope the photo shows.  I matched the lasagna with some pretty straight forward garlic bread. Saturday Evening - Easter Feast

Sunday morning was bunch time even if it was just for Donna and I.  I made Eggs Benny with rosemary hash browns and Canadian bacon.  Donna loves my hash browns as I kick them up with rosemary, thyme and oregano plus some yellow onions and a little clove of garlic.  I grilled the Canadian bacon lightly and placed them over the hash browns instead of classic English muffins.  The poached eggs topping the bacon were covered by hollandaise sauce.  An extra couple of pieces of Canadian bacan and a tomato slice finished the plate.  We made tea and toasted with mimosas making our Easter Bunch special.Eggs Benny, rosemary hashbrowns and Canadian bacon.  Fruit, mimosas and hot tea


For Easter Supper we made a spiral ham with a sugar clove glaze, potato scallop and green beans.  This was our first spiral ham for Easter as we usually have turkey.  I am not a big ham fan but the ease of the spiral ham and Donna’s love of ham made me want to try it this year and boy was I glad.  The ham was moist and delicious with a nice mixture of textures and sweet and salty.  The subtle rich potato scallop made with a basic béchamel sauce and roasted in the oven.  Donna put a nice layer of cheddar cheese on the top towards the end of the cooking time making a nice cheesy crust on top.  The combination of ham, scallop potato and veg is a classic and a great conclusion to our Easter Weekend Feast

Spiral Ham with sugar glove glaze, potato scallop and green beans

Happy Easter and Good Eating to Everyone.