Rep Note:
Ham Steak Rev’d
3 October 2018

¶ Last night, I took a different approach to supermarket ham steak. This time, I borrowed some of the ingredients from a recipe that I first noticed in Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. I mixed small quantities of cream, mustard, and tomato paste, and poured them onto the ham after it had sizzled in butter for four minutes (two on a side). With only a bit of stirring, the sauce reduced to almost nothing immediately. The result was really quite delicious.

The ingredient that I didn’t borrow was mushrooms. I wasn’t in the mood. Child’s recipe, “Ham Steak Surmain,” is an adaptation of a recipe for cooking a whole ham that she took from chef André Surmain. I tried the whole-ham recipe once, but found it less interesting than the sautéed steak, probably because there were none of those savory brown bits that not only improve the flavor of any meat dish but that also marry the sauce to what it’s blanketing.

I also had another go at roast sweet potato, this time coating the chunks with a mixture of a few tablespoons of oil and rather more maple syrup, combined with rosemary and the usual seasonings. (Kathleen had reminded me at an earlier dinner of the maple syrup that I used to use.)  Much improvement! Not perfect, though. Some chunks developed somewhat rubbery skins. I think that I need to try a hotter oven.

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