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Ham with Red Eye Gravy – Something From Nothing is Something

In this age of cutting back on fat whenever and wherever we
can (and by “we” I mean “you”), we forget that throughout most of history, this
was the complete opposite. Fat was a concentrated, powerful fuel that literally
kept people going, and this red eye gravy is a little taste of those times.

The challenge in tough times is to make those greasy pan
drippings more palatable, more interesting, and more delicious. It’s not like
families struggling through the depression had pots of demiglace reducing on
the stove, or bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon sitting around to deglaze their
cast iron skillets – heck, they probably didn’t even have a decent Merlot. So
they used what they had; like a splash of leftover coffee.

Is this a recipe that would have been developed based solely
on how awesome it tastes? Probably not, but that’s not to say it isn’t still
very tasty. It is. The way the bitter coffee marries with the sweet, smoky fat
is far from unpleasant, and infinitely better than simply pouring the pan
drippings over your food.

By the way, the name apparently comes from the fact that
when the sauce is poured in a bowl and brought to the table, the fat and coffee
separate, it takes on the appearance of a big, reddish eye. Of course there’s
another legend about how General Andrew Jackson told a hung-over cook to make a
gravy for his ham that was as red as his bloodshot eyes.

I’m pretty sure whoever made up that story also had very red
eyes, but not from whiskey. Anyway, like I said in the video, I did this as
more of a culinary experiment than a “you have to try this” recipe, but
regardless, I think it’s an interesting dish, and one I’d be interested in
hearing about if you do try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
1/2 cup of chopped fatty ham scraps
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 thick slices of ham
1 tsp flour
about 2/3 cup black coffee
black pepper and cayenne to taste

Mushroom Stroganoff


A quick and easy meal, perfect for Meatless Mondays! A combination of Shiitake, Baby Portabella and Cremini mushrooms with noodles in a light creamy sauce.

I played around with Mushroom Stroganoff a few times last week (until we were sick of it) for a Meatless Monday option. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Beef Stroganoff, so for me it was a challenge to get the flavor of the beef without using any meat as well as keeping it creamy yet light. The bonus of making it without the beef is that you can eat more for less calories and fat.

Using a variety of mushrooms gave nice textures and flavor and the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste helped give me some of that beef flavor I was looking for. I love Ronzoni Smart Taste noodles, I think they have the best taste but No-yolk and Healthy Harvest are also good options.

As a kid, I always topped my Stroganoff with grated Parmesan cheese. This is completely optional, but I personally think it makes any noodle dish go from good to great. Hope you enjoy!

Mushroom Stroganoff
gordon-ramsay-recipe.com
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 268 • Fat: 3.5 g • Carbs: 52.5 g • Fiber: 7 g • Protein: 12.5 g • Sugar: 4.5 g
Sodium: 312 (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth (or beef if you’re a carnivore)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 5 oz sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • 8 oz sliced baby Bella mushrooms
  • 3.5 oz Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp white wine or sherry
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 8 oz uncooked noodles (Ronzoni Smart Taste, Healthy Harvest or No-Yolk)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

Cook noodles in a pot of salted water according to package directions, I like to under-cook them a bit so I can mix it with the sauce and let it finish cooking.

Meanwhile, while the water starts to boil for the noodles, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter over medium heat and add onions to the pan. Cook 2 – 3 minutes over medium-low heat.

Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Gradually add broth, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; stir and cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Add wine; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 30 seconds. Stir in sour cream; add noodles, mix well and garnish with parsley if desired.

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