Tag Archives: Bon Appetit

Father’s Day Dinner – 5 Grill Favorites

Father’s Day, falling as it does on a temperate mid-June Sunday, is the perfect time to get out the grill. No matter who is handling the chimney starter, these five recipes for a grill-centric meal will make for a delicious and special Father’s Day celebration.

Five Grill Favorites for Father’s Day

Dad will absolutely love these delicious yet healthy Grilled Turkey Burgers from Bon Appetit. Made with cheddar and smoky aioli (a kind of homemade garlicky mayonnaise), these burgers don’t skimp on flavor, seasoned with cumin, coriander and smoked paprika (I recommend the incredibly flavorful Spanish paprika from Penzeys).

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Is your dad more of a rib guy?  Father’s Day is a special occasion, after all. Recently I picked up some country-style ribs to try as an alternative to our bone-in barbecue favorites slathered with sauce.

In its recipe for Barbecued Country-Style Ribs, Cook’s Country has some excellent tips on how to keep the cooking even between the white and dark meat.

From Cook's Country

From Cook’s Country

“We brined the ribs so that the white meat would stay juicy and pounded the ribs to an even ¾-inch thickness to “break down” the fattier dark meat,” writes the Cook’s Country test kitchen. “As for flavor, a double layer of barbecue spice and sauce and a quick smoke on the grill turned these ribs into something to sing about.”

Whatever meat you put over the coals, combine it with Charros, or smoky Tex-Mex beans. Steve Raichlen has a recipe for these “soulful, spicy pinto beans” seasoned with onion, bay and cloves, finished with bacon, jalapenos and fresh cilantro.

Charros from Primal Grill

“Don’t be surprised by the soupy consistency of the beans,” Raichlen writes. “Charros are always served with lots of flavorful broth.”

Spring has been slow to come to our part of the country, so we’re still in asparagus mode. Luckily, it’s a one of my favorite things to grill and an early summer favorite.

For Father’s Day I might dress them up with this Gourmet recipe for Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez.

photo by Ditte Isager

Photo by Ditte Isager

For a decadent and special finish to your Father’s Day celebration, try grilling peaches.

The first time I ever attempted the recipe below to make caramel, I meant to drizzle it over ripe, juicy grilled peaches, a finishing touch to a dinner party with friends.

I followed the New York Times recipe for Grilled-Peach Sundaes With Salted Bourbon-Caramel Sauce almost to the letter, though in my nervousness about the temperature, I pulled the caramel before it got really brown.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

I didn’t make that mistake the second time. When it got really, well, caramelized, this syrup was easily the best “candy topping” I’ve ever made. Heck, for a simpler dessert, ditch the grilled peaches and just make this caramel. Spoon it on store bought ice cream and it’ll be the best dessert dad’s had all year.

One final note: If dad loves to grill, one of my favorite cookbooks for cooking on the fire is Weber’s excellent “Way to Grill” (Sunset Books, 2009). It’s full of big color photographs, step-by-step illustrated demonstrations and practical advice. At about $17 on Amazon, it’s a Father’s Day gift that begs to be paired with some grilling tools and/or a homemade meal from you.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and Dad stand-ins who make all the difference in our lives!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Five Great Mexican-Inspired Dishes for a Summer Party

As the days get longer and the sunset stretches on well past dinner time, all things Mexican-inspired start to sound irresistible. Guacamole with fresh tomatillos, agua fresca, mushroom chile tacos topped with pickled onions and jalapeños — and who can turn down a fresh margarita or a crispy, indulgent tostada?

These five recipes can serve as the cornerstone of a late afternoon Sunday supper, or make them all and invite some friends to sit around a backyard fire. Salud!

Turkey Tostadas

9-Black-Bean-Tostada

From Coupon Clipping Cook

If by chance you have a gift certificate for turkey or ham still lingering in your wallet, you’re in luck this summer — according to About.com’s Chelsie Kenyon, “turkey is actually indigenous to Mexico and was a part of the Aztec diet along with tomatoes, squash and sometimes iguana.”

Tostadas are among the most forgiving of Mexican dishes, stacked like nachos on a crispy tortilla with everything from refried beans to fresh cilantro. Try Rachael Ray’s recipe for tostadas topped with black beans, corn and shredded turkey, with cheese (cotija is excellent), sour cream, lime and chipotle sauce for extra kick. A little avocado wouldn’t go amiss here either.

Queso Fundido with Chorizo

Some recipes don’t need any translating. That’s the case with this rich, gooey cheese dip, spiked with serrano chile and studded with fresh Mexican chorizo sausage.

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Photo by Romulo Yanes for Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit’s recipe combines Monterey Jack and cheddar with beer (they say a lager, like Corona), minced onion, tomato and fresh oregano.

Served hot out of the oven or in a fondue pot with some good tortilla chips, it’s a can’t-miss party appetizer.

Ham and Cheese Torta

A torta is basically a Mexican sandwich, a crusty white roll piled high with meat (steak, chicken, pork, chorizo) and the classic trimmings you’d find on a taco or tostada, like queso fresco (a mild white cheese) and pickled onions.

It’s also a great vehicle for ham, as made clear in this simple recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table. Made with refried beans, avocado, queso fresco, fresh tomato and fresh onion as well, these ham tortas would make an excellent weekend lunch.

For more inspiration, see a slide show of 10 fantastic tortas on Huffington Post Taste. Fried egg, spinach, pork belly and roasted jalapeño? Si, ¡dámelo!

Pozole

20090610182812Pozole (or posole) is a Mexican stew made with tender, slow-cooked pork, hominy (corn without the hull, soaked in lye), fresh chiles and lots of toppings. You can slurp it with a spoon or pull out the meat and toppings and wrap them in fresh tortillas.

A classic version is Rick Bayless’ white pozole with all the trimmings, which calls for three kinds of pork (shank, trotters and bone-in shoulder) and is best made on  a weekend, when there’s plenty of time for a slow simmer.

Or try Marcela Valladolid’s recipe from “Mexican Made Easy” on the Food Network, a beef shank version that’s faster and simpler.

One Great Margarita

Margarita on the rocksThe perfect margarita doesn’t come from a mix, use bottled lime juice or require freezing and blending. No, the perfect margarita, as printed in Imbibe Magazine, is simple and fresh, the ideal thing to celebrate the coming of summer.

Make this correctly, and everything else on the table will taste even better. The salt on the rim is optional.

Makes 1.

  • 2 oz. silver tequila (or reposado if you like)
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
  • Ice cubes
  • Tools: shaker, strainer
  • Glass: double rocks
  • Garnish: lime wheel and salt (optional)

Combine ingredients with ice in a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

A Vegetarian Easter Holiday Dinner

Most people think of Easter dinner and imagine something heavy and carnivorous at the center of the table — a spiral-cut ham, a rack of lamb, a thick pork tenderloin.

But no one wants to leave vegetarian family and friends out of the loop, and even for the meat-eaters things can get pretty heavy. Change up your 2013 Easter menu with these simple, savvy veggie-centric options from some of the web’s best recipe sites.

Pear and Pecan Salad

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This simple starter salad from Betty Crocker could be made with any variety of nuts — pecans, walnuts or even pine nuts. Whisk together a quick dressing of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, maple sugar, salt and pepper. Make sure your pears are nice and ripe, and everything else takes care of itself.

Spring Pizza

MV7957_0 Asparagus is like an announcement in vegetable form: it’s finally spring! Perk up the Easter table with this pretty, bright spring pizza, topped with asparagus, garlic, chives and a mozzarella/fontina cheese blend.

Reviewers on Eating Well note that you can substitute green onions for the chives and feta for one of the cheeses. If the asparagus stalks are a little thicker, be sure to peel the ends.

Risotto Primavera

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This risotto primavera from Bon Appetit is perfect for Easter dinner for so many reasons. It’s rich and warm, perfect if the late-March weather is still snowy. And it’s endlessly adaptable based on what you find at the grocery store, from edamame and spring peas from the freezer to carrots, spring onions and leeks. Top it with an over-easy egg if you’re feeling decadent.

Scalloped Potatoes with Creme Fraiche

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Scalloped potatoes always feel so wonderfully holiday-worthy. These are especially good, containing creme fraiche (similar to sour cream, but milder), half and half, fresh thyme, garlic and chives.

According to one cook on the Food Network website, “I made this wonderful recipe for Easter and it was a HUGE success!! The potatoes came out beautifully creamy and the flavor was just amazing.”

Venetian Carrot Cake

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For dessert, conclude with one of the Easter Bunny’s favorites — carrots, cleverly disguised and sweetened up in this beautiful Venetian carrot cake by Food Network chef Nigella Lawson. Amped up with pine nuts, golden sultana raisins, vanilla, almond flour, nutmeg, lemon and (of course!) rum, this lovely cake will please everyone at the table, vegetarians and carnivores alike.

We wish you the best for a wonderful holiday with family and friends. We hope these recipes help you to make it a delicious event too. Bon Appetit!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Sweet and Savory Pies for Pi Day!

Happy International Pi Day!

gThankYou! Pi Diagram

Diagram from 314 Solutions, Inc.

Around the world, people celebrate mathematics on March 14.  Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter; which is approximately 3.14159 but can be calculated out to about a trillion decimal places!

Here at gThankYou! we take the liberal view of Pi – in order to celebrate gThankYou! Pie Gift Certificates and delicious pies of course!

Deep Dish Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb

Pi Day comes at a rather inconvenient time for pie bakers, when the fruits of summer are still a long way off. Solve that problem with this deep dish beauty, which combines dried figs, fresh apples and pears, and either fresh or frozen cranberries for a pie tasters describe as “amazing” and winning “rave reviews” from “gaga” guests.

photo by Sara Remington via Epicurious.com

photo by Sara Remington via Epicurious.com

Find the recipe, taken from “Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More” by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, on Epicurious.

Pear and Almond Tart

photo by  YasmineAbdullah via Flickr.com

photo by Yasmine Abdullah via Flickr.com

The difference between a pie and a tart is really very minor. According to The Kitchn, a pie is “a sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling. The sides of a pie dish or pan are sloped,” unlike a tart pan, which has straight sides. A pie “can have a just a bottom, just a top, or both a bottom and a top crust,” while tarts are open face. And pie crust, made from flour, salt, butter or lard and cold water, can go either sweet or savory, while a tart crust often contains sugar.

No matter how you define it, this pear and almond tart is a keeper. The recipe, published in the February 2005 issue of Bon Appetit, comes from Paule Caillat. Feel free to adapt the recipe using canned pears: just drain them, “dry them very well and carry on.”

Double Crust Apple Pie

photo by Edward Kimuk via Flickr.com

photo by Edward Kimuk via Flickr.com

For one entire summer, Evan Kleiman, the host of KCRW’s popular radio show “Good Food,” made a pie every single day.

Serious Eats reports that after all the variations on “shepherd’s pie, ice cream pies, cream pies, fried pies, gallettes, crostadas, small French tarts, and bastillas,” her favorite pie was this one — the double crust apple pie.

“It has everything,” she wrote. “The yielding sweetness of fruit cooked in sugar with a hint of cinnamon. If I were an apple, it’s how I’d like to go.”

Savory Pork and Peas Pie

Nicole Mourian won four ribbons at the Fourth Annual Good Food Pie Contest in 2012, at least one of them for her humble-sounding pork and peas pie.

photo by LA I'm Yours via the Good Food blog

photo by LA I’m Yours via the Good Food blog

The secret to this recipe is twofold: controlling the temperature, and high quality ingredients. According to the Good Food blog, “It’s a combination of slow roasted Niman Ranch pork shoulder, pork belly, carrots, chopped Gravenstein apples and peas that she had shucked and frozen last spring.

“She combined the braising liquid from the pork belly with a little flour and rosemary to form a gravy. And as if that weren’t enough, her pie crust is made with the unctuous European Style Butter from Straus Family Creamery in Northern California.”

Still, there’s little doubt those of us without access to Niman Ranch and Strauss Family products can still come up with something pretty amazing for a chilly March night. Who says pie has to be sweet to be delicious?

We hope we have given you plenty of reasons to celebrate Pi(e) day tomorrow!  Brighten someone’s day with a pie.  You’ll be glad you did.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Ham FREE eBook: Spring Ham Primer

gThankYou! is excited to announce our free eBook,
“A Spring Ham Primer”.

gThankYou! Spring Ham Primer

Click Image to Download!

We believe a glazed ham is the perfect centerpiece for a spring party or holiday celebration. If you’ve never cooked one before, gThankYou! is here to help with this quick step-by-step guide on how to cook your ham, as well as suggestions for side dishes and additional places to look for great recipes.

Novice or seasoned pro, you’ll find useful tips and resources in this handy Ham Primer.  gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates are a popular employee gift this time of year.  Share this free Primer with recipients, include one of our free personalizable spring-themed enclosure cards and make your Certificate of Gratitude gift truly special!

Here’s a peek at our “A Spring Ham Primer” Table of Contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. How to Choose and Cook a Spring Holiday Ham
2. Great Ways to Glaze
3. Recipes
4. Super Side Dishes for Spring Ham
5. Resources

Download your free copy now by clicking this link:
“Spring Ham Primer”

For more recipes and “how to” posts about Ham, be sure to check out the links to these popular gThankYou! posts.  More posts are available under the “Ham Recipes” category so check them out and let us know what you like!

More Ham Posts!

Please enjoy your new Ham Primer and let us know about your spring ham feast!

Bon Appétit !

The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey, or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Simple Valentine’s Day Dinners for Two | Favorite Recipes

RoseGoing out on Valentine’s Day sounds romantic — wine service, beautifully composed courses, flowers on white tablecloths. But in execution, it’s often less than perfect. Expensive. Crowded. Babysitters are booked, servers are stressed, and if you didn’t plan ahead, you may not get a reservation at your favorite place before 9 pm.

This year, make it a simple romantic dinner for two with one of these easy main course ideas.  Pair one of these with a simple salad (such as Boston bibb with radishes and buttermilk dressing, citrus, celery and fennel, or Lidia’s radicchio, goat cheese and raisin salad), a bottle of sparkling wine and a purchased pastry dessert.

Now that’s romantic.

MN0612H_asian-marinated-pork-chops_s4x3_lg

Asian Marinated Pork Chops
These beautiful chops have as much going for them as a delightful first date. Marinated with brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, sesame oil, garlic and orange, these chops are rich and flavorful, but inexpensive enough to allow for a box of artisan chocolates for dessert.

Flank steak

Grilled Flank Steak with Watercress, Blue Cheese and Tomato

This simple flank steak becomes more tender with a lengthy marinade, at least eight hours (but overnight is fine too). The ingredients in the marinade, including rosemary, garlic, balsamic vinegar and red wine, are usually on hand.

Recipe writer EmilyC writes on Food52, “When you cut your steak into bite-sized pieces, a little juice spills out and creates a delicious, impromptu salad dressing. Plan to buy extra steak and salad ingredients when you make this dish — leftovers make a fabulous steak sandwich on toasted ciabatta.”

Mussels, Clams and Shrimp Saffron Risotto

Photo by Noel Barnhurst

Seafood is a classic for a romantic dinner. This lovely recipe from Epicurious resembles paella, with lovely mussels, clams and shrimp. Even a simple risotto with just shrimp would be a lovely weeknight dinner, made with whatever wine you’re pouring (ideally a dry white).

Posters rave about the olive relish, and though it’s technically a one-pot dish, recipe testers recommend cooking the seafood separately from the rice to make sure everything comes out right.

food52_01-24-12-0809

Photo by James Ransom

Melissa Clark’s Really Easy Duck Confit

Duck is a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it for a special occasion. This recipe from Food52 takes the French bistro classic, duck confit, and simplifies it for an easy weeknight meal.

“This is not the confit they teach in cooking school, or the kind served at restaurants,” writes the editor who adapted the recipe from Clark’s “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.” “It’s the kind you can make any time — all you need are a few good duck legs, a skillet and some very basic spices. And it’s just as good.”

So find a plan for the kids and take the time to enjoy your own special Valentine’s meal at home.  We hope you enjoy these simple yet special recipes.  All the best for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Five Great Ham Recipes for Breakfast

Or, what to do with all your wonderful leftover holiday ham!

I know I’m not the only one with a Tupperware taking up half of my fridge’s bottom shelf, stuffed with leftover glazed ham. Use those leftovers as inspiration and get a little protein into your morning with these five breakfasts. (Some of them are make-ahead, but all are simple.)

1. Ham and Fontina Frittata

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Easier than an omelet but with all the same ingredients, a frittata is as simple as whisk, pour, bake. Rachael Ray keeps it simple in this recipe, which has just a few ingredients: eggs, milk, ham, cheese, and a little butter and oil for cooking.

It’s simple to add veg, too — try New York Times’ Mark Bittman’smore vegetable less egg” frittata, which can be adapted to whatever’s in your fridge/pantry: onion, broccoli, asparagus, snap peas, tomatoes, mushrooms and more.

2. Ham and Asparagus Quiche

ham-asparagus-quiche_300

Photo credit: Charles Masters

Quiche is such a grand breakfast food, probably more suited to brunch than a quick run-out-the-door weekday. Started on a premade pie crust, this ham and asparagus quiche from Real Simple uses Gruyère (and four large eggs) to bring all the flavors together.

Quiche is infinitely adaptable, too, though as with the frittata, parboil or sauté the vegetables that won’t cook through in the oven. The recommendation to serve each wedge of quiche with a green salad dressed with bright vinaigrette is a smart one — the tartness of the dressing cuts through the relative heaviness of the quiche.

3. Ham and Cheese Breakfast Strata

MK5155Strata is like a ham and cheese sandwich saw a tray of lasagna and decided that a casserole pan held its destiny. The sandwich ingredients (bread, ham, cheese, mustard) get bound together with eggs and a few flourishes, like rosemary and roasted red peppers.

This version, from Eating Well, gives a nod to January as get-back-on-the-treadmill month by using skim milk and fewer egg whites for “plenty of flavor, half the calories and one-third the fat of the original.”

4. Honey-glazed Ham on Sweet Potato Biscuits with Blackberry Balsamic Drizzle

ZB0206H_honey-glazed-ham-on-sweet-potato-biscuits-with-blackberry-balsamic-drizzle_s4x3_lgMost breakfast dishes that incorporate ham into the mix use eggs as the glue. But this morning dish, from Food Network “sandwich king” Jeff Mauro, skips them in favor of buttermilk sweet potato biscuits, crunchy arugula and a sweet-spicy drizzle made with fruit preserves, serrano chile, basil and balsamic vinegar.

5. Ham, Artichoke and Potato Gratin

Making a gratin is a little like making lasagna (and both take a long time to cook, so make this one the night before). But the end result, with its lovely layers of thinly sliced potato, ham, artichokes and Comté cheese, is well worth the effort. Bruce Aidells created this recipe, using leftover or good-quality deli ham.

We wish you the best for a healthy, happy and inspired New Year!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

How to Cook, Glaze and Carve a Holiday Ham

Few centerpieces are more anticipated than a perfectly pink holiday ham, glazed with a spiky coarse mustard and sweet fruit preserves, and sliced into lovely petals.

But if you’re cooking a ham for the first time, getting from the package in the grocery store to that beautiful Christmas Day dinner-table picture can seem like a daunting journey. So, for the newbie, this is our ham primer.

Nueske's spiral sliced bone-in ham

Nueske’s spiral sliced bone-in ham

Start with a cured or smoked (precooked) ham. (You can definitely make a fresh one, but today let’s leave that to the more experienced cooks.)

The most popular kind of ham is a city ham. Much like a brined Butterball turkey, city hams are wet-cured, injected with a mixture of salt, seasonings and curing agents. An article on Real Simple claims that “bone-in city hams tend to be moister and more flavorful than the boneless variety,” though both come ready to eat.

Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Ham

Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Ham

Country ham is favored in the south. These hams are dry-cured with a salt/seasoning rub, then smoked and aged. Real Simple explains, “salty and chewy, the intensely flavored meat is usually served with biscuits or incorporated into casseroles and salads. It’s sold both uncooked and cooked, and mostly bone-in.”

Bon Appétit recommends getting a ham with “some kind of bone in it. It will give you a sense of where to take the ham’s temperature to determine doneness (see below), plus, that leftover bone will bring a soup or pot of beans to the next level.”

According to a Rachael Ray how-to, “spiral hams cook faster because the heat penetrates better.” Either way, if you have a whole ham, be prepared to dedicate your oven to it for a good chunk of time.

Alton Brown, the lovable science-geek chef on the Food Network, recommends warming a precooked ham for three to four hours at a low temperature (250°F) under foil, then increasing the heat, adding a brown sugar/bourbon glaze and then upping the heat (350°F) for a final hour.

A classic holiday ham recipe on Chow.com estimates five hours of cooking and prep time, using a temperature of 325°F. The Neelys’ recipe is a little faster, about three hours for a 14-pound ham at 350°F. Choose a recipe that fits your time frame; remember that the ham will smell wonderful while it cooks!

how-to-carve-ham-1

Photo by Zach DeSart

Choose a glaze for your ham, usually a combination of something savory or spicy, like mustard, cloves, garlic or ginger, and something sweet, like orange juice, pineapple, fresh or dried figs or even Coca-Cola. The glaze usually goes on in the last 60 to 30 minutes of cooking.  Check out our recent post, 5 Ways to Glaze a Holiday Ham, for more recipe ideas.

Finally, carve your ham. If you have a spiral sliced ham, that’s already been done for you. If you don’t, look to a step-by-step guide like the one Jeffrey Elliot put together at Huffington Post, or this one from Hunter Lewis at Saveur.

For a video, watch Ron Stapleton from Stapleton’s Quality Meats demonstrate how to carve a holiday ham. And avoid some common mistakes, like drying out the ham or burning the glaze, by reading this tip sheet from Bon Appétit.

We hope these tips and resources for cooking a Holiday Ham help you enjoy cooking yours.  Happy Holidays!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

What to Serve at Your Holiday Party: Turkey or Ham?

A perfectly browned turkey or a glazed holiday ham, sliced into layers like the petals of a flower. Either makes for a crowd-pleasing main course, ample enough to feed a crowd, with leftovers to spare.

But when you’re hosting a holiday gathering (that isn’t Thanksgiving — turkey has the clear edge there), which do you choose for your centerpiece? What makes better appetizers for a cocktail party?

If your gathering is less than two weeks after Thanksgiving, everyone might be happier with ham. A spiral-sliced, smoked bone-in or boneless ham comes already cooked, so all you have to do is warm it up, glaze it and serve.

Hosting a cocktail party? For appetizers, ham is a little more decadent than turkey.

For example, I served ham and cheese puff pastry squares (recipe by Ina Garten on the Food Network) for my New Year’s Eve party in 2010. They were finger food, easy to make and fantastic with sparkling wine.

Ham and rice croquettes are a tiny bit more fussy because they require frying, but reviewers of this Gourmet recipe raved about them. “Superb! One of the easiest apps to please a wine-swilling crowd,” wrote one; another said, “My guests really loved them.”

For a Spanish flare, try Spanish-style garlic shrimp with ham and bell peppers, which is a “great tapas or appetizer with crusty bread.”

If you have picky eaters or anyone who keeps kosher on the guest list, go with turkey. Turkey offers white meat for the dieters and dark for everyone else, and most flexitarians make an exception for fowl.

If you choose, you can even roast a smaller bird (though the leftovers are so good, that’s a hard argument to make).

Credit Elinor Carucci for Bon Appétit

For appetizer portions, Jennie-O is a font of great entertaining ideas based around turkey, like pesto turkey pinwheels and smoked Gouda and turkey dip.

These turkey pockets are made super easy by the addition of premade dough.

For something different in the weeks following Thanksgiving, try something more exotic on your turkey. Asian flavors are awesome with the neutral flavors of turkey breast meat — check out the cinnamon-orange scented turkey from Rick Rodgers at Bon Appétit (the “dry brine” salt includes star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, clove, coriander and fennel).

Joanne Chang’s recipe for a turkey glazed with soy, sesame, honey and ginger, found in Food & Wine, will banish memories of Thanksgiving from your holiday gathering. Also intriguing is a recipe for a teriyaki glaze on the turkey and shallot gravy to finish.

Credit Con Poulos for Food & Wine

Whatever you do, be sure to save some leftovers for yourself! Enjoy.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Five Fresh Ideas

The turkey has been cooked and carved. The mashed potatoes are packed away, the pie decimated, the football games concluded. The relatives have either decamped for home or are napping, sedated by carbohydrates.

Now comes the best part: Leftovers!

Leftover roast turkey is a marvelous thing. This year, go beyond even the perfect turkey sandwich with these five simple recipes.

1. Jambalaya from Food52

Jambalaya on Food52

Jambalaya is the ultimate one-pot rice meal, accommodating everything from spicy sausage to shrimp, crab meat and scallops. This version on Food52 incorporates “the trinity” (onion, green pepper and celery) with andouille and cooked turkey; you can substitute any beer, long-grain rice and Cajun seasoning you like.

2. Turkey and Ham Pie on The Splendid Table

This, according to “Plenty” author Diana Henry, is the perfect dish for the day after Thanksgiving when you have leftover turkey and ham. Seasoned with nutmeg and made using premade puff pastry, it’s as comforting as it is filling.

3. Cheesy turkey quesadillas with spinach and mushrooms from “Bay Area Bites”

With creamy Monterey Jack cheese pulling together cooked mushrooms, spinach and leftover turkey in small corn tortillas, these quesadillas from Kim Laidlaw are simple, delicious and weeknight-dinner-fast.

4. Turkey and Rice Biryani from “City Kitchen” in The New York Times

For David Tanis, author of “A Platter of Figs” and author of the New York Times’ City Kitchen column, leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. “With broth made from the turkey carcass and a pile of meaty leg meat (use the white meat for sandwiches), all that is necessary is a handful of spices and some good basmati rice,” he writes.

Asian Turkey-Noodle Soup photo by Scott Peterson

5. Asian Turkey Noodle Soup with Ginger and Chiles from Bon Appétit

Ginger, fish sauce (which provides umami, a savory flavor) and fresh toppings like bean sprouts, mint leaves, serrano chiles and fresh lime make this a kind of faux-pho, with preparation cut to mere minutes with premade turkey stock and already-cooked turkey.

If this doesn’t leave you thoroughly inspired, The New York Times’ Mark Bittman has a whole range of ideas for clearing out the turkey (and stuffing, and your fridge. The best-looking among them: Turkey Salad with Scallions and Spicy Mayonnaise, Pan-Fried Stuffing Cakes and Garlic-Rosemary Potato Fritters.

Enjoy your leftovers!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.