I confessed several years ago that I spent many hours as a youth in a bass boat. We also spent hours in a camper, either on our way to a place where we could get into a bass boat, or on our way to a river or stream which contained other sorts of fish.
The camper also took us skiing and to things like the Muensterfest or the Cheyenne Rodeo. I have a very vivid memory of my mother braiding a blue ribbon into my hair and a yellow ribbon into my cousin, Joey’s, hair. We were resplendent in Wyoming that year, as pudgy 10-year-olds, with our Heidi braids and our belts with our names on the back. Don’t deny the cultural value of a youth of relative transience. I had fun, lots of fun, deviled ham sandwiches and all.
Deviled ham, you remember the can wrapped in white paper, right? We ate crates of the stuff. What can you have in a boat or camper, with questionable ability to refrigerate, and still feed kids when they start grouching without having to find a marina or a truckstop. Deviled ham on white bread or Vienna sausages on saltines. A well packed ice chest could hold precious pimento cheese or bologna and mayonnaise. I would always ask my mother for a “NINE pickle sandwich” because when placed 3 x 3, that is the number of pickle slices you can reasonably fit on a slice of white bread. I still can’t make a sandwich with pickles on it without considering laying them in a perfect grid…thus making any sandwich a “NINE pickle sandwich.”
Deviled ham was a critical part of our lunch arsenal growing up. I know that it should have occurred to me sooner than yesterday that one could make deviled ham. I always and forever believed that it was the stuff you got in the can. But in my desire to have a simple dinner last week, I picked up two pounds of smoked ham. I was working on a broccoli rice casserole recipe and ham seemed like the ideal protein that would require practically no effort on my part.
I was left with over a pound of ham. I put some in an omelet. I made roasted vegetable hash. And, I still had ham coming out of my ears. So, I made deviled ham.
This doesn’t taste like the stuff in the can. And that is not a glancing blow at the can. I’d still eat the canned deviled ham. This is just different. I did not put my ham in the food processor and pulverize it. I chose to chop it with a big knife until it was well chopped, but still had some texture to it. I used a good whole grain mustard because I like that flavor, with a little wine note in the background. I suppose you could use any kind of mustard, but it is a guiding flavor here, so proceed with caution. What I’m really saying is that I wouldn’t recommend plain yellow in this application.
And, remember, you can always add more cayenne, but you cannot take it out.
I didn’t end up eating this on a sandwich, though it would be great. We ate it as though we had invented the newest greatest thing for the charcuterie board. Toast some baguette slices or get out the Ritz crackers. This is a terrific spread. My son ate a ton of the stuff. I seem to recall that my brother, Will, was the one who could really eat his weight in deviled ham. They are a lot alike. I’m not surprised.
|Deviled Ham|| |
- 2 cups chopped smoked ham
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons whole grain prepared mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Chop the ham finely.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, syrup, salt and cayenne pepper. Combine the mayonnaise mixture with the chopped ham. Add additional mayonnaise or mustard to taste.
- Mix in half of the sliced onions and half of the chopped parsley.
- Place the deviled ham in a serving bowl and serve with a dollop of whole grain mustard on top as well as the remaining onions and parsley for garnish.