Ham in a rich cream sauce – a French thing …
Alright, here’s something I think you’ll like. What are you supposed to do with the extra tonnage of ham you may or not have left over from Easter?
My father bought a French cookbook while we lived in Europe. I loved the stuff he made from this cookbook. I thought he would give me this cookbook since he loved me ‘n stuff. He refused to give it to me. He gave me his 70-inch screen Sony television, but sweet feathery Jesus, not his French Provincial cookbook. Thank the culinary gods for eBay. I went online and got the same cookbook my father bought in 20 years ago for $6.67! They even threw in a cookbook titled “Traditional English Cooking” for free, like I am EVER going to read that!! Puuuulllease! Bangers suck, by the way!
This French cookbook is one of my bibles. Below is one of the better recipes in the book. The first time I had it was when my father made it when we lived in Germany. Only he made it with pork chops instead of ham. I figured this would be a good time to introduce it since some people may have a slab of ham leftover from this weekend.
Jambon à la crème de Saulieu
10oz white mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions (scallions)
2 cups cream
10oz Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped
1 tablespoon of flour
10 fairly thick slices of cooked ham
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 425°. In a large sauce pan, sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of the butter for about 3 minutes, until they are softened and slightly cooked. Season them with a SMALL amount of salt & pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the wine and the spring onions to the pan; boil till it has reduced by half. Add the cream & tomatoes and boil gently for about 5 to 6 minutes. In an oven-proof pan combine the remaining butter with the flour, stirring constantly until you’ve created a slightly thick sauce. Arrange the ham slices in the oven pan and sprinkle with the mushrooms. Cover the ham and mushrooms with the cream sauce. Sprinkle all of it with the fresh Pecorino-Romano cheese. Bake till it looks done.
I only made about half of the full recipe, since I’m cooking for myself, but you get the idea. It was a bit salty, so be careful how much salt you add. Ham is salty by nature, which is why it’s called ham. The picture doesn’t do it justice since I’m no expert in food photography. Chesha … where are you?