Tuesday, February 16, 2010

HAM: An Obsession with the Hindquarter

This Easter, why stick to the same boring ham recipe you’ve used year after year? Instead, shake things up and take a mouth-watering tour of the wonderful world of ham in Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; March 2010; $29.95 US / $38.95 CAN; ISBN 978-1-58479-832-3). Weinstein and Scarbrough leave no part of the world unexplored, featuring ham recipes from the Philippines to Spain, the Caribbean to the American South, and even their own home corner of rural Connecticut (where they buy and help raise a hog of their own). Gifted storytellers and talented cooks, the pair offers hilarious stories as they pig out on a hundred delicious recipes.

This luscious volume covers four types of ham: Fresh Ham, including recipes for a Ham Tagine and Steamed Ham Buns; Dry-Cured Ham in the Old World, with recipes for Chilled Honeydew Soup with Frizzled Ham and Prosciutto-Wrapped Meatloaf in a Vinegary Tomato Sauce, as well as a menu for a European ham party; Dry-Cured Ham in the New World, offering Jerk-Style Country Ham and Pineapple Tamales and a Glazed and Roasted Country Ham; and Wet-Cured Ham, featuring an Iberian-Inspired Frittata and an over-the top Mac and Ham and Cheese.

With incredible photography; invaluable information about buying, preparing, and serving ham; and dozens of globe-trotting recipes, Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter is the only guide you’ll ever need to this luscious, versatile delicacy.

About the Authors:
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the authors of the bestselling Ultimate cookbook series, fronted by The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, with over 250,000 copies in print. They published two new titles 2009: Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It (Morrow) and Cooking Know-How (Wiley). Frequent contributors to national publications including Eating Well, Cooking Light, the Washington Post, and weightwatchers.com, they also appear regularly on the Today show and Good Morning America. Weinstein and Scarbrough live in northwestern Connecticut.

Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter
By Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Stewart, Tabori & Chang / March 2010
$29.95 U.S / $38.95 CAN; ISBN 978-1-58479-832-3
25 full-color photographs / 100 recipes / 224 pages; 7½ x 9¼ / Hardcover

From HAM: An Obsession with the Hindquarter
Shirred Eggs in Prosciutto Crudo Cups

Makes 6 servings

¼ cup heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons minced chives or the
green part of a scallion
2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves
Unsalted butter for greasing the muffin tin
12 paper-thin prosciutto crudo slices
6 large eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon freshly ground black

1. Warm the cream, minced chives, and the rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat just until little bubbles ring the inside of the pan, 3 or 4 minutes. Cover and set aside off the heat for 30 minutes to steep.
2. Meanwhile, set the rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven up to 350°F. Lightly butter 6 indentations in a standard muffin tin, or six 1/2-cup oven-safe ramekins.
3. Line each indentation or ramekin with 2 prosciutto crudo slices, crimping and overlapping them to create the outline of the indentation as well as a little lip on each. If necessary, tear the strips so they fill the indentations without any gaps or holes.
4. Set the tin in the oven or the ramekins on a baking sheet and then in the oven. In either case, bake until the prosciutto begins to get crisp at its edges, about 15 minutes.
5. Transfer the very hot muffin tin or the tray with the ramekins to a wire rack and divide the cream mixture among the indentations, a scant tablespoon in each cup.
6. Crack an egg into each indentation, then top each egg with pepper.Set the tin or tray with its ramekins back into the oven and bake just until the eggs are set, about 8 minutes for a softer yolk and 12 minutes for a more set yolk.

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