Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hamming it Up

Ham and Sweet Potato Hash with Caramelized Shallots 
Christmas dinner was a delicious success of scalloped potatoes, gingerbread cake, and ham. Oh so much ham! More ham than five of us could possible eat in a day. More ham than necessary for a huge pot of split pea soup, scrambles, and sandwiches. What to do with an excess of ham? I poked around the fridge and pantry for ingredients and came up with this delicious and easy meal perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try it out next time you're facing a few slabs of uneaten hog!

- 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced into 1" chunks
- 2-3 large shallots, sliced crosswise into disks
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp. minced parsley
- 2 c. roughly diced leftover smoked ham
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs cooked to your liking (I like them poached!)

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Toss diced sweet potato chunks in olive oil and arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften and turn brown. Turn potatoes occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent from sticking to the foil. Remove from oven.

While the potatoes are roasting caramelize the shallots. Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add shallots and break rings from disks with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow shallots to soften slightly over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and and caramelize shallots until they become very brown and soft. 

Once shallots have caramelized add roasted potatoes, ham, and parsley to pan and cook over medium until ham heats up and begins to brown. Meanwhile, heat broiler and prepare eggs to your liking (fried or poached works best). Once the ham and potato mixture is warmed through, sprinkle with an even layer of cheddar cheese and melt under boiler. Divide potato and ham hash among two plates and top with two eggs each. Serve with ketchup, Sriracha sauce, or your other favorite condiments! Very yummy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kris Krinkles!

Nutella and Cherry Crinkle Cookies
I was on my holiday baking marathon- Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti with White Chocolate, New Orleans Pralines, Fudge, Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies, and Peanut and Pretzel Caramel Blondies! Yum! While I have tons of delicious treats for sharing, an unopened jar of Nutella sitting in the cupboard taunted me. I wanted to create a simple, holiday-themed cookie treat with this beloved chocolate-hazelnut spread. Tah dah! These cookies come together in a snap into a chewy and delicious addition to your holiday baking list!

- 1 c. sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 1 c. Nutella
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 1/4 c. flour
- 2 c. dried cherries

Preheat oven to 325˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking pad. In a large mixing bowl cream together sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth and creamy with an electric mixer. Blend in eggs and Nutella and mix until the batter is light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients into the Nutella mixture in two additions, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Mix dried cherries into the batter until evenly distributed.

Drop tablespoonful dollops of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet. Evenly space dough apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes until cookies have spread and are slightly puffy. Let cool on baking sheet for about 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will crinkle as they cool. So yummy, so easy . . . what can't Nutella do?