Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ham Steaks with Caramelized Apples – Timely and Finally

I'm done! The cookbook is finally done! Well, at least the first phase of submitting all the recipes, and photographing all the plates. Pictured here is the last recipe I had to shoot, a lovely ham steak with caramelized apples.

I couldn’t video the recipe, but I have included the very simple written recipe below, since these apples would be great with that Easter ham. Especially after that amazing breakfast of coffee and warm, homemade Easter bread you're probably going to be enjoying.

Michele and I are getting ready to head up to Bodega Bay for Easter with the family, and a much needed break. I want to thank everyone who helped test recipes, and gave me such great feedback regarding the various dishes going in the book.

I'll have publishing details soon, and now that the bulk of the cookbook production is done, after this little break I hope to return to my normal routine of doing at least 2-3 new video recipes a week. In the meantime, I hope those of you celebrating enjoy your Easter meals, and that some of you find this apple sauce recipe useful and delicious. Enjoy!

Caramelized Apple Sauce
Enough for 6-8

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider or juice
small pinch of cinnamon
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 firm apples (I like Granny Smith, but any good cooking apple will work), peeled and sliced into 16ths. Cut each apple into quarters, and then each quarter into 4 slices.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh baked ham slices or pan-warmed ham steaks

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cider vinegar, apple cider or juice,
cinnamon, and Dijon mustard. Reserve until needed. Prep the apples as directed.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat. As soon as the butter melts, wait half a minute and add the apples. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the edges start to brown slightly.

Pour in the reserved mixture, turn the heat down to medium-high, and cook until the apples are tender and the liquid has reduced down to a glaze. If the liquid begins to get to thick before the apples are tender, just add a splash of water and continue cooking.

Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. It may seem odd to add salt and black pepper to this apple sauce, but it's a very important flavor component. Serve hot, spooned over sliced ham, or ham steak.


KrisD said...

w00t! congratulations on this big step!

Relax and enjoy, CJ.

Mike said...

I'm dying to get my hands on the cook book Chef, congrats on finishing. I'm sure it will turn out just as amazing as your blog.

Anonymous said...

Chef John - FWIW without your pretty photos on the RSS feed I find I'm visiting the website a lot less. Your photos are very appealing! :)

Jack Parker said...

I don't know how you find the time to do it all and then share it with, and help, us, too. Have a great time in Bodega Bay with your family. Happy Easter.

With Much Gratitude,
Jack Parker

Anonymous said...

finally the book!

Anonymous said...

finally the book!

Rita said...

i hope the book comes out soon. i can't wait!

have fun in bodega bay! i miss living in SF.

carmen said...

what an unusual idea, pepper in an apple sauce. try it! it's a fantastic addition. i used black pepper from the kampot region of cambodia, recently discovered during my winter hols.
its distinctive and fragrant flavour compliment the fruitiness of the apple sauce without overwhelming it or the dish it is served with.

Mother Rimmy said...

I've saved this one. I'm anxious to try that caramelized applesauce. I have some pork chops I bet this would be good with!

ghanima said...

Congratulations, Chef John!

ga in nc said...

How do we preorder your cookbook? Love the blog,but book in hand would be great!

cookinmom said...

Question...we have asian pears in our neck of the woods, however, they taste like a cross between an apple (crisp)and a pear. I believe the firmness of this pear would hold up to the cooking just like an apple. Wonderin' if it's worth the trial????

Mentor said...

Would this dish be weird with Your twice baked loaded sweet potatoes? And would it be even weirder with some lemony potatoes?

I'm trying to put together a meal for some people