Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cajun Christmas Part 3: Smoked Ham, Cajun Coleslaw and Hush Puppies

And finally the conclusion of Cajun Christmas: The Entree Course. 
I learned to smoke meats when we were living with my parents in Illinois before we purchased our home in Wisconsin. My family has a long tradition of grilling in ridiculous winter weather. My Dad grew up in Minnesota where his father would shovel his way to the grill through feet of snow. My father kept up this tradition vowing to grill at least once a month during the winter and in turn my brother learned to shovel his way to the grill too. And now it is my turn. It was 2 degrees outside on Christmas Eve Day but it didn't actually feel that cold. It was a dry cold and not too windy that day.What was interesting was that when I shoveled my way to the grill I found a surprise! A sheet of ice underneath from our recent freezing rain before the snow storm. And at 2 degrees, nothing was melting that!

First you want to pile up a little bit of charcoal on one side of the grill. This is a cold smoke. The idea is not really to cook or heat the meat, but to get the smokey flavor "soaked" in.

Light the charcoal,  add some lighter fluid to make sure it catches,
cover the grill and wait about 1/2 hour or so 

While you wait soak some wood chips in water. I used Cherry this time.

My lovely 8 lb ham waiting for it's destiny

The coals should be about half lit like this

Add one of the pieces of wet wood and pile with a couple of new pieces of charcoal

Then put on the ham

And let the grill do it's magic.

Every half hour or so add a new piece of wet wood and
a couple more new pieces of charcoal and cook this way for about 4 hours. It helps to keep a squirt bottle near by to extinguish any flair ups, only red coals and smoke, no fire!

2 degrees outside, and I'm smoking ham.
If the neighbors didn't already think I was crazy, they must now!
(skidding on a sheet of ice out to the grill every half hour doesn't help matters)

Finished! After 4 hours I brought it in, covered it and put it in the fridge to wait for Christmas. Then Christmas day as soon as the oysters vacated the oven I put the ham in a covered clay baking dish with a bit of wine for moisture at 350 for 2-ish hours.

The Cajun Coleslaw is another masterpiece from the geniuses at Heaven on Seven. We decided this would be a good "vegetable" side for our entree course.

Cajun Coleslaw

1 head of cabbage (shredded)
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup shredded carrots

Honey Jalapeno Dressing:
2/3 cup mayo
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
5 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon seeded, minced jalapeno
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning (below)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning:
3 tablespoons Hungarian Paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish Paprika (I used smoked)
5 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons thyme leaves
1  1/4 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder

Mix the Honey Jalapeno Dressing ingredients together in a bowl

Blend well

And add the chopped vegetables

Toss and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavors to meld together before serving.

Finally my brother made the Hush Puppies for a nice starchy side.
Like corn bread but better, so much better!

Hush Puppies
3 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons sugar
splash of milk

peanut oil to fry

First mix the dry ingredients

Then add the buttermilk

And the eggs

A splash of milk and mix well

Drop spoonfuls into hot oil

Fry til golden brown

Yum! The perfect main course to finish up our Cajun Christmas!

No comments:

Post a Comment