Ham is one of my favorite things to make, point blank. And let me tell you, this is one of those “why the hell didn’t I think of this sooner” moments? As it turns out, Dr. Pepper works unbelievably well as a glaze base, and when you roast it? Oh man. (A British friend of mine has recommended boiling a ham in a whole 2L bottle of Dr. Pepper. I am incredibly intrigued to try this out.)

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham
Makes: ham. Many ham. 

Ingredients

  • A ham. Go with whatever you can get the most of for cheapest on sale. This one was a ten pounder on sale from Christmas.
  • .75 c packed brown sugar
  • .5 c Dr. Pepper
  • 2 T orange juice (fresh as possible)
  • 2 t Dijon mustard

Take your ham. Preheat the oven to 250. If you have an oven bag, click on the recipe for those instructions. If you don’t, place your ham face down in your roasting dish, be sure to remove the plastic cap on the bone, wrap your ham tightly in foil, take out at least one of the racks in your oven (cause these things are bigger/taller than you think), and put in the ham. Figure about seventeen minutes per pound for roasting time – a ten pound ham will take about two and a half hours. Go do other things, like nap, or play video games, or attempt to do a batch of cookie dough that will fail because you don’t have enough flour.

About ten minutes before the ham is finished with the initial roast, combine the brown sugar, Dr. Pepper, orange juice, and mustard in a small pot, and bring to a simmer, cooking for about 8 minutes, until reduced to .75 c and thick and syrupy.

When your ham is done roasting, remove it from the oven, peel off the foil, and gently pour the juices that have gathered in the pan into your sink. Then, slowly pour the glaze over the ham, and brush it liberally with the glaze while you’re at it. Put it back in the oven for another half hour, until the glaze gets sticky. Then, remove from the oven, brush it with the glaze again, and let sit for a half hour or so to cool.

Then, enjoy your ridiculously good ham.

In terms of impulse decisions, this is one of my better ones. I had everything for this in my fridge except for potatoes when Deb first posted the recipe, and new potatoes showed up at the farmer’s market literally last weekend, so I decided to go for it. 

And man, this is amazing. The vinaigrette is lovely, bacon/potato/eggs is a well known good combo, and it turns out that adding blue cheese into the mix only improves things. In short, yaaaaaaaaas. Would probably be prettier in a non bento-sized container, but man, it still works. Do yourself a favor and do the thing.

Potatoes With Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette
Lasts 5 meals as a side

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs fingerling or other small potatoes (used new potatoes)
  • whatever amount of eggs you prefer (recipe recommends 4, I made a whole big batch the other night to use in combination with breakfast)
  • .5 lb thick cut bacon (get it from your farmer’s market if you can)
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • .5 t smooth Dijon mustard
  • crumbled blue cheese to taste

Take your potatoes, put them in a pot with cold water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer your potatoes for about 20 minutes, until fork tender. Drain them, and once they’re cool enough to handle, halve them. 

Meanwhile, chop up your bacon and cook it in a heavy skillet over medium heat, until it’s about ¾ths as done as you want it to be. When that happens, whisk in your red wine vinaigrette and dijon, and let simmer for ten seconds (see pic 3). As soon as that ten seconds passes, pour the bacon vinaigrette over the potatoes, add your blue cheese, and toss to coat. 

I recommend making the soft boiled eggs ahead. 

Bring a pot of water plus a good splash of white vinegar to a boil, add your eggs, boil for six minutes, and put into ice water.  Peel your eggs (if they’re cracked, it’s okay, that’ll make it easier) and store them. 

Right before serving, take a soft boiled egg, squeeze it gently so it opens in half and spills the yolk over your serving of potatoes and bacon, and then split the halves further to drizzle the last bit of yolk out, and toss the whites on the potatoes. And then, enjoy!

I picked up a ham for cheap from my school’s butchery program recently, and was looking through my recipes to see if there was something else I could try besides my mainstay ham recipe. I came across this recipe in my Pinterest, and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought, meh, why not?  I chose to stud my ham with cloves for this, but the recipe does not require it.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham 
Depends on the size of your ham; 5 lb ham lasted about a week for me

Ingredients

  • ham 
  • cloves to stud ham, to preference
  • .75 c packed dark brown sugar
  • .5 c Dr. Pepper
  • 2 T lime juice (original called for orange juice, didn’t have any to hand)
  • 2 t dijon mustard

Preheat your oven to 250. Take your ham out of the packaging, stud it with cloves, put it in your roasting pan, and tent tightly with aluminum foil. (The pictures you see are after having removed the foil tent). Roast the ham for about 17 minutes per pound (this was a 5 lb ham, so it was roasted for about an hour and a half). Ideally you should have a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, but I didn’t, so I mainly just guessed.

When it gets down to the last ten minutes, combine the brown sugar, Dr. Pepper, lime juice, and dijon mustard in a pot, whisk together, bring to a simmer over medium high heat, and then simmer for about 8 minutes, until it reduces and thickens to a syrupy consistency. 

As soon as the syrup has thickened, take the foil off the ham, pour off any juices that have collected in the pan (if applicable) and brush the glaze over the ham. Return to the oven and bake for another half hour, until the glaze is sticky. Brush the collected glaze over the ham, let it rest for about a half hour to cool, and then enjoy your delicious labors!

So, this recipe came to me as part of a trial of the Plated service. (Disclaimer: I was not compensated by the company for doing this, and all opinions are my own.) I chose a six plate trial, which meant that I got two plates of three different recipes, and only had to pay shipping ($24 at that level) to have everything delivered to me the next day. I honestly got it because I was running a bit short on food, and couldn’t afford to do a full grocery shopping trip. 

I would recommend at least giving the free trial a run. The service delivers you the exact ingredients you’ll need for the recipes on the menu, with the exception of a few staples (olive oil, salt, pepper, water for the recipes I used). And even if you end up not liking a recipe for whatever reason, you can just use the ingredients that you get towards a recipe you know you’ll like (see: my using most of the ingredients for a beef brussels sprouts stir fry in recipe I’ll be posting after this instead).  Plus, the recipes are interesting, all of the ingredients are fresh and as far as I could tell regionally sourced, the recipes are well written, and will give you a chance to try something you might not necessarily try otherwise.  

Like at least two thirds of this recipe for me.  I don’t know any hunters, so it would be difficult for me to get my hands on quail on any given day, and I really haven’t seen quince in any grocery stores around here, but it’s definitely a thing I would like to eat if I ever got a chance to get it on a regular basis. The recipe provided is incredibly simple, and didn’t take me more than a half hour to make. I did end up adding a bit more balsamic to the quince, but for the most part, I will not be altering the recipe card I got for this in transcribing it here. 

Roasted Quail with Balsamic Quince and Smashed Potatoes
Lasts 2 to 3 meals

Ingredients

Roasted Quail

  • 4 small partially-deboned quail
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 packets dijon mustard

Smashed Potatoes

  • 6 baby red potatoes
  • sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil

Balsamic Quince

  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 quince, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 T water
  • 1 packet butter

Preheat your oven to 425. While the oven preheats, season a pot of water with sea salt (to taste), add your potatoes, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover the pot and cook until fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. While the potatoes boil, take your quail, roughly chop the rosemary leaves, and pluck the thyme leaves off the sprigs. Mix the herbs with the dijon mustard. 

On one half of a foil lined baking sheet, season your quail with salt and pepper on both sides, and then brush the dijon herb mixture over the top of the quail. As soon as the potatoes are done, drain, pat dry, and add them to the other side of the sheet and smash the potatoes with a bowl, so that they are flattened, but still mostly intact. Drizzle with oilve oil and sea salt and pepper.  Put your quail and potatoes in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and the quail are golden. 

While your potatoes and quail are roasting, peel and core your quince, dicing it into small pieces. As soon as it’s diced, add it to a small pot with the balsamic vinegar, thyme, and water, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and simmer about ten minutes over medium heat, until the quince is tender. Remove the pot from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the butter to melt. 

And then, enjoy your awesome fall meal!

This is another recipe I haven’t made in a while, but honestly, with the level of improvisation that I applied this time around, it’s a whole new recipe.  This recipe features the three Wisconsin greats: beer, cheese, and bacon; put your money and quality into these three ingredients, and honestly, it doesn’t matter what else you do to it, there’s nothing you can do to the recipe to fuck it up.  The bacon is from a local vendor who sells at our farmer’s markets, the cheese is from the University dairy store that’s literally a block down from where I work (and smoked and aged on top of it), and the beer is from a local brewer.  And the result is absolutely fanfriggintastic, and one I’d make again.

Ale and Cheddar Soup
Lasts 5 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • .5 lb bacon (thick cut, if you can get it from a farmer’s market or a local vendor definitely go for it), sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • .5 t ground thyme
  • 2 T butter
  • .25 c flour
  • 1 12 oz bottle ale (I used Ale Asylum’s Madtown Nutbrown)
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1 T Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 c cheddar cheese (I used smoked aged cheddar from the university dairy store)
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Cook your bacon over medium heat to desired doneness, and then put aside all but 2 T of the bacon grease.  Take your chopped onions and jalapenos, and cook about ten minutes, until tender.  Then add your garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, which is usually one minute.

Melt your butter over the garlic, thyme, onion and jalapenos, and then sprinkle the flour over the top, until it coats everything and turns golden brown (see pic 5). 

Then, add your beer and chicken stock, followed by your bacon, cooking over medium heat for ten minutes.  Then, add your heavy whipping cream, the Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and the smoked aged cheddar.  Stir continuously, until the cheddar is melted into the soup, but don’t bring it to a boil.  

Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and enjoy your little taste of Wisconsin.