Tag Archives: ham

Ham and Pea Soup

17 Jun


Gluten-Free, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet

PNW friends! I’ll be appearing in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver BC next month, signing books with Sarah Ballantyne and Mickey Trescott! More info on my events page.

Peas are an ancient food, eaten seasonally during the Paleolithic era. They were also one of the first cultivated plants, first grown in Western Asia about 8,000 years ago, and spreading to nearly every major culture from there. Today, there are many reasons to enjoy peas. They are very economical, and frozen sweet peas are one of the cleanest vegetables even when raised conventionally. They’re also very practical, since grabbing a handful of frozen peas from the freezer couldn’t be simpler. This soup is a great example of how convenient the little green guys are; start to finish, you can be enjoying this delicious and deeply flavorful meal in 25 minutes.

The word pea has an interesting origin; it was originally written as pease in English (taken from the ancient Greek pisum), which referred to both the singular and plural forms of peas. People confused the word pease with peas, incorrectly thinking it was plural, and later formed the singular word pea, which eventually became the norm around the 1650s. Pease still exists in some contexts, such as in pease pudding, or the children’s song “Pease Porridge Hot”.

Referring to thick fog as “pea soup” has been around for about 200 years, first used to describe the fog in London.

There is some controversy as to whether peas are “Paleo” since they are legumes. Like green beans, peas are the result of cultivation, and were selectively bred to reduce their toxicity, to the point where they can be eaten (and enjoyed) in their raw state. Theoretically legumes should be avoided, but I’m not one to follow food rules based solely on theory (see: my support of one of those pesky “grain” things, white rice). Personally, until the science definitively proves otherwise, my personal take is that they’re fine. Obviously, if you react poorly to them (or any other food, for that matter), you may want to rethink this approach.

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Savory Slow Cooker Ham

1 Apr


Gluten-Free, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet

Ham recipes have always been special to me; they tend to remind me of family gatherings. But recently, they have been especially special. For starters, my other ham recipe marks the first collaboration I did with my friends at US Wellness Meats, when I was their April 2012 Featured Chef. Last year, that same ham recipe was featured in People Magazine. That’s quite a lot of attention from one little cured pig leg!

The other day, US Wellness Meats asked me to try out another ham recipe, this time using a slow cooker. I jumped at the chance. This recipe is simple and not unlike my other recipe, but with the added convenience of simply throwing everything in a pot to cook in a savory broth. Better yet, this recipe works well in two ways: perfectly cooked to 140F and sliced, or slow-cooked to shreddable deliciousness. Instructions for both methods are provided below.

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I’m in People Magazine!

12 Dec

Just wanted to share some cool news: my Honey and Citrus Glazed Ham recipe is featured in this year’s People Magazine Holiday Entertaining issue! Definitely one of the highlights of my cooking/blogging career so far.

If you get a chance to grab a copy, let me know what you think. I pared down the recipe slightly to appeal to a broader audience, but it still definitely carries my personal touch to it. It’s awesome to see a Paleo recipe in such a widely-circulated magazine! And I must admit, it’s pretty surreal to be able to go into any supermarket right now and grab a picture of yours truly.

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Honey and Citrus Glazed Ham

2 Feb


Ham seems like a simple hunk of meat. All you have to do is buy a cured, pre-sliced ham and warm it up in the oven. Unfortunately, while this is the easiest (and most common) way to get some ham in your belly, it’s not the healthiest option. Your everyday pre-cooked ham is loaded with sugar and nitrates.

I’ve been meaning to tackle an uncured ham for a while, so imagine my delight when US Wellness Meats asked me to write up a recipe for their petite ham. This smoked ham is both sugar and nitrate free, using compassionate certified pork. Its size is also perfect for our family of three – 2.5 lbs of porcine goodness. There was plenty for us to eat, and a good amount of leftovers to boot. For those of you using a cured and/or pre-sliced ham, don’t worry – this recipe works just fine for them as well.

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Homemade Ham/Pork Stock

4 May


NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.

I decided to make a pork stock using our Easter Day ham – what else am I going to do with a huge ham bone? Although bean soups are usually the best and easiest use of ham stock, I may use it to steam some greens, make jambalaya, or a bean-free soup. Regardless of what I end up making with it, here’s how to make your own ham stock.

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