Dinner: Ham Steak and Acorn Squash

The most food-centric holiday of the year in the US, and I didn’t post any recipes. Clearly I am not ready for the big leagues of food blogs. But I’ve never actually done any of the cooking for my family’s thanksgiving celebrations, and I don’t know the recipes for the food we traditionally eat. Well, except for green bean casserole, but you don’t need me to tell you how to make that one.

Tonight I will make up for it with TWO simple and delicious recipes I just made for dinner. It’s been getting truly cold and wintry around here, and I managed to have on hand the perfect ingredients for a hearty and comforting winter meal.

Baked Acorn Squash

Ingredients

1 Acorn squash
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Cinnamon

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400° F. With a sturdy chef knife, cut acorn squash in half (I recommend having a rubber mallet handy for a large squash). Scoop out seeds and stringy bits. Put 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp brown sugar into each half, sprinkle with cinnamon. Fill a baking pan with 1/4 in water to keep the squash moist, and place the halves cut side up. Bake for 1 hour.

Notes

I love winter squash, and I had baked acorn squash all the time growing up. It takes a long time to cook, but is super-simple to make as long as you have a knife that is up to the job. Maybe you’ve heard this before, maybe you haven’t, but a good 8-inch chef’s knife is just about the most important kitchen tool to have. I cannot stress enough the importance of buying the best chef’s knife you can afford. That and a paring knife will get you through just about anything. They’re the only two knives I own and I am SO glad I have good ones.

Anyway, ham.

Autumn Spice Ham

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 (2 pound) ham steak
1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup maple flavored pancake syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preparation

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the ham on both sides in the butter until browned. Lay the sliced apple over the ham. Pour the syrup over the apples and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are cooked through.

Notes

My ham was leftover from the red beans and rice I made for lunch this week (straight from a box of Zatarain’s, all I did was add the ham, so no recipe there. Zatarain’s red beans and rice is totally delicious though, and I highly recommend it.), so I had a lot less than 2 pounds. I just used one apple and the last of our log cabin syrup, which was not quite enough to coat the apple and ham as well as I wanted, so I added a splash of apple juice, too. It turned out really well.

Together with some toasted dinner rolls, this was just what I wanted on a chilly December evening.

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