My brother talks the talk but can he walk the walk? He took the ham to his house and after only one night and not much of a dent in the ham he returned it to me. Not impressed he said. He wants a cow.
So I am developing a plan. First I went to my southern cookbooks and made this great pea and rice salad that is perfect for spring. Very tasty and good for lunch for the rest of the week. I have 4-5 crock pot recipes I plan on trying with the ham, one of which is a potatoes and ham gratin that I can't wait for. Stay tuned for that but try this salad with any great ham you can find in the mean time.
Cold Rice Salad with Country Ham, English Peas, and Mint
Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
Serves 4 people
1/3 cup plus 1 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup long grain rice (I used Basmati)
3 cups of water
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh English peas, shelled
2 tbls white wine vinegar
1 tbls lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 pound country ham, finely diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint (I had dried and used 2 tlbs)
black pepper to taste
Pour 1 tbls of the oil into a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When is shimmers, add the rice and saute, stirring, until it releases some of its fragrance, about 1 minutes. Add 2 cups of the water and 1 tsp salt and give it a gentle stir to distribute the rice evenly. When the water boils, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer vigorously until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 mins. spread the rice in a 9-X-13- inch roasting pan and place it in the freezer until chilled, about 10 mins.
While the rice cooks, bring the remaining 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the peas and blanch intil they are al dente, about 3 minutes. Strain the peas and run them under ice-cold water to stop the cooking.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup oil with the vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard until well blended, about 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rice with the peas, ham, and mint. If the dressing has begun to separate, whisk again to emulsify. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.