Category: ham

Jambon à la crème de Saulieu

By , April 18, 2006 12:44 am

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?

French Ham

Croquetas de Jamón (Ham Croquettes)

By , March 6, 2006 10:49 am

Often served as tapas, croquetas are most well known as a Spanish dish. This recipe comes from my Cuban influence. The best Cuban ham croquettes I’ve had on the west coast were at Felix Continental Cafe in downtown Orange, California. Dip these into a side of Cuban mojo and you’ll be in heaven.


4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups room temperature milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
4 cups of smoked ground ham, about one pound
1 cup dry bread crumbs
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil

In a large pan sauté the butter and onions until the onions are translucent. Slowly stir in the flour and make a roux. The roux needs to be very smooth with all the flour dissolved. Add more butter if necessary. Gradually whisk in the milk. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. The sauce needs to be very thick. Add the nutmeg, sherry, and parsley. Fold in the ham and bread crumbs. If you can’t find ground ham, you can finely mince it yourself or grind it in a food processor. Allow the mixture to simmer for five minutes on low heat. Taste the mix and season with salt and pepper if necessary. The ham has quite a bit of salt in it already, so be careful. Spoon the mixture into a baking pan and refrigerate at least one hour. The mixture needs to be firm enough to form into rolls. If your mixture is too soft or sticky, add some additional bread crumbs.

Shape the ham mixture into three inch long logs, ¾-inch thick. Make an egg wash by beating the eggs with water until frothy in a small bowl. Combine the bread crumbs, flour, salt and pepper in a second bowl. Dip the logs in the egg wash and roll the logs in the seasoned bread crumbs. Dip the rolls in the egg wash a second time and re-roll in bread crumbs. Cover logs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two to three hours. This is very important!

Sauté the croquettes in hot vegetable oil, a few at a time, for three to four minutes, turning occasionally until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. You can also deep fry them if you like. Serve immediately.

One variation of these croquettes is making them with chicken. You can easily substitute a pound of cooked chicken for the ham, white or dark meat, or a combination. Finely mince the chicken or grind it in a food processor. Add a dash of fresh lime juice to the chicken. You can also grind in a small handful of chopped cilantro instead of the parsley for a nice flavor twist.