Root Beer Glazed Ham

I’m still here, don’t worry about me. It seems like it has been an eternity since my last post, and there are reasons for that. One is that I have been busy, and too is that our family was on vacation. We went to the great state of Kentucky, just south of Paducah to do some fishing with the kids and relatives. The trip to say the least, was fun, but only a handful of fish, unlike we were expecting. We took the road trip back on Saturday morning, just in time to wind down for Easter Sunday. The last thing I wanted to do, in all honesty, was cook on Sunday morning. I had a hankering for some Mexican food, however I woke up early and decided to hit the grocery store, and do what a man’s gotta do, and that was make an Easter meal. The classic ham and scalloped potatoes. I couldn’t resist.

Jet holding a crappie

Jet holding a crappie

With that said, we came back from our vacation with things that the other members of the family did not want, and one of those things was an almost full 12 pack of A&W Root Beer, something my kids would normally drink, but not for my wife and I. As I stared down at that soda, I decided I was going to use that product and great a sugary, savory glaze that I knew would just be amazing, and it was.

Root Beer Glazed Ham

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 pound bone-in ham
  • 24 oz A&W Root Beer
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

Simple, and delicious, I know.

Start by cooking your ham, according to the directions. During this time, start making your glaze. Combine all of the ingredients (with the exception of the ham, of course) into a sauce pot. Mix, and cook on medium heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the sauce reduces by half. You want a thicker glaze. Reduce the heat about 40 minutes in, and stir frequently to prevent any sugars from burning to the pot. Also keep in mind to keep an eye on it. I know this as I stepped away only for a few minutes and my daughter yelled from the kitchen “Dad, I think you want to come in here now!”. I knew exactly what that meant, and yes, it was boiling over. A bunch of cleanup I was not looking forward to, but it happened, and I moved on.

About 30 minutes before the ham is cooked, begin glazing the ham with the sauce. Remove the ham from the oven, and begin brushing on the glaze, all over the ham. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes, and repeat. Continue until the glaze is done (or reserve some to pour on your ham), and the ham registers 145 degrees in the thickest portion.

Root Beer Glazed Ham

Slice and serve. My family devoured (and I know they totally appreciated it) the root beer glazed ham, and loved it. One of my kids is a ham junkie now, and he made about 8 sandwiches that day, because lord forbid he eat the scalloped potatoes!

8 Minute Hard-Boiled Eggs

My wife and I have been making hard-boiled eggs since we have been together, and often make them on a weekly basis. I love them. They are quick to take on the go, especially during the frantic workday mornings. In the past, I really took my wife’s lead and placed the eggs in cold water, brought them to a boil, then covered them and set the timer for 13 minutes.  I thought I was doing this right, but realized the shells were a bit difficult to remove, and the eggs were definitely hard-boiled, which I did not really mind all that much.  I then read an article about cooking the eggs a different way, and fell in love with the process.

Welcome the 8 minute hard-boiled egg.

8 Minute Hard-Boiled Egg

I went with 8 minutes because that is where I found the perfect creaminess to my liking. I tried a 6 minute, 7 minute, as well as a 10 minute egg, and again, I fell in love with the timing. The egg white is cooked perfectly, and the yolk is slightly hard but has just a bit of warm creaminess that just goes perfect with toast.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs (or less/more)
  • Water, enough to cover the eggs by an inch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • Toast, optional
  • Bowl of Iced water

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Slowly, and carefully add in the eggs. Set the timer for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place into the bowl of iced water.

Let them sit in the iced water for a minute or so before removing and cracking into the egg.

8-minute-egg-ingredients

My mistake in the past was never knowing when my water was coming to a boil as I typically walked away from the stove, and guessing on the length of time it would take to come to a boil. This technique is much more precise as you boil the water beforehand, resulting in a a perfect hard-boiled egg, and one where the shell simply slides off. A win-win in my book.

Once the shell is off, season with salt and pepper and go to town.

So if you are looking for a perfect egg, give this one a shot. I’m certain you will fall in love.

Mexican Cemita

I’ll admit that I could probably eat Mexican food every day if I could. Anything from the soups, stews, enchiladas, tacos, and heck, even a plate of rice and beans with some roasted chili toreados.  I love everything about Mexican cuisine to be honest, and to me, it has comfort food written all over it. There is yet another item I love off the Mexican restaurant menu, and that is the Mexican torta.  It’s a simple sandwich but it is loaded with amazing textures and flavor. There is however, a sibling, if you will, to the classic torta, and that is the Mexican cemita. Very similar, but a bit different in terms of a couple of the ingredients. If you are looking for a great sandwich, look no more, because this sandwich is awesome!

Mexican Cemita

Yes, that is one massive piece of beef milanesa that you see placed between a cemita roll!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cemita roll, halved
  • 1/2 roma tomato, thinly sliced
  • Oaxacan cheese, pulled into strands
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted red salsa, or your favorite
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 cup refried beans, cooked
  • 1 piece of beef milanesa (thinly pounded breaded beef)
  • 2 cups of cooking oil

Start by adding the oil to a large skillet, and bring up to temperature, about 350 degrees. During this time, begin preparing all of your ingredients.

When the oi comes to temperature, carefully slide in the beef milanesa. Fry for about three minutes on each side, until each is a deep golden brown. Once cooked, remove and place on some paper lined plate to drain any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt.

How to make a Mexican cemita

Now you can use something other than beef milanesa, such as shredded chicken or heck even carnitas, so you are not limited to beef milanesa, however it is a classic, and I highly recommend it.

To assemble the sandwich, take the bottom cemita roll, and lather on the cooked refried beans. Next, top with the beef milanesa, the shredded Oaxaca cheese, the cilantro, mashed avocado, tomato, and red salsa. Top with the seeded cemita bun, and get in attack mode.

It’s a great sandwich. Now granted you could go with a smaller piece of beef milanesa, but this is what was purchased from my local Mexican grocery store, so it was great biting into it, and getting a bit of the cheese and salsa, and then you get into the awesome cemita itself, and well let’s say it’s hard to put down.

The creaminess of both the beans and avocado are perfectly balanced by the heat from the roasted salsa, and well the saltiness of the cheese goes so well with the crisp and tender beef milanesa. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches, and I know you will love it! Hope you enjoy…

Mexican Cemita
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cemita roll, halved
  • ½ roma tomato, thinly sliced
  • Oaxacan cheese, pulled into strands
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup roasted red salsa, or your favorite
  • ½ avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup refried beans, cooked
  • 1 piece of beef milanesa (thinly pounded breaded beef)
  • 2 cups of cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the oil to a large skillet, and bring up to temperature, about 350 degrees. During this time, begin preparing all of your ingredients.
  2. When the oi comes to temperature, carefully slide in the beef milanesa. Fry for about three minutes on each side, until each is a deep golden brown. Once cooked, remove and place on some paper lined plate to drain any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt.
  3. Now you can use something other than beef milanesa, such as shredded chicken or heck even carnitas, so you are not limited to beef milanesa, however it is a classic, and I highly recommend it.
  4. To assemble the sandwich, take the bottom cemita roll, and lather on the cooked refried beans. Next, top with the beef milanesa, the shredded Oaxaca cheese, the cilantro, mashed avocado, tomato, and red salsa. Top with the seeded cemita bun, and get in attack mode.
  5. It’s a great sandwich. Now granted you could go with a smaller piece of beef milanesa, but this is what was purchased from my local Mexican grocery store, so it was great biting into it, and getting a bit of the cheese and salsa, and then you get into the awesome cemita itself, and well let’s say it’s hard to put down.
  6. The creaminess of both the beans and avocado are perfectly balanced by the heat from the roasted salsa, and well the saltiness of the cheese goes so well with the crisp and tender beef milanesa. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches, and I know you will love it! Hope you enjoy…

 

 

Seared Tuna Steak

Every Friday I make an attempt to make either a classic Wisconsin fish fry, or at least some type of fish or seafood. It’s probably how I was raised, as many of us in Wisconsin, where the default meal on Friday was typically a fish fry. Those who do not live in Wisconsin probably do not understand, and that’s perfectly fine. There are times however where I do not feel like frying a bunch of fish to feed five, and typically my default it pan searing seasoned tilapia filets, but this past week I decided to make a pan seared tuna steak, and I am very glad I did.

I love tuna, I really do, and it is something I normally do not cook with, but when I do, I like to buy a nice, fresh steak, and let the tuna shine. I think that searing tuna is the best way to cook it, and this recipe is not only quick, but it is pretty delicious.
Seared Tuna Steak

There are a variety of ways you can marinate your tuna, even different ways of cooking, but I find that a nice coating of a spicy dry rub, and pan searing it really makes the tuna shine.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tuna steak
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 2 tbsp chili oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Start by rinsing your tuna steak, and patting it dry.

Mix the garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and tarragon in a small mixing bowl.

Once dry, drizzle the chili oil all over the tuna steak, gently massaging it with your hands.

Sprinkle the seasoning all over the fish, trying to get all sides. Set aside on a plate, and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

How to make pan seared tuna steak

When you are ready to cook the tuna, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil, and heat for a minute or so.

Carefully add in the tuna, and cook on both sides, uncovered for about 5 minutes per side. Now you can go longer if you want, but I go for a nice pink in the middle as that is how I prefer it, but you cook it to your liking.

The tuna steak is pretty awesome. The seasonings and the chili oil really make this one shine. Any leftovers can be used for a tuna salad as well, should you want to go that route and make a sandwich. Hope you enjoy!