Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Ham and Spinach Salad with Mustard Seed Dressing

We're starting another week of Rachael Ray recipes after a long hiatus.  We'd gotten into this bad habit of being too lazy to get groceries, so we were constantly going out to eat.  All that must stop, as the spending has gotten out of control!  So, we're back to Rachael and her $100/week meal plans.  This was Monday's meal, but because of Jagger's baseball, we didn't cook last night so the week will stretch out a little longer than usual.  Check back for lots of yummy recipes!

Ham and Spinach Salad with Mustard Seed Dressing
Serves: 4  Prep: 15 min (yeah, right)  Cook: 15 min

4 eggs
1/2 red onion (1/2 thinly sliced and 1/2 chopped)
One 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
One 6-ounce bag baby spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1 pound boneless smoked ham steak, patted dry

1. Place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 12 minutes.  Drain and submerge the eggs in ice water to cool, then peel and chop them.  Transfer to a salad bowl along with the slice onion, mushrooms and the spinach.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the mustard seeds until beginning to pop, about 3 minutes.  Reserve half in a small bowl, then transfer the remaining seeds to a blender along with the chopped onion, 5 tablespoons olive oil, the sugar and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.
3. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add the ham and cook, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a work surface to cool slightly.
4. Drizzle the vegetables with the dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss.  Sprinkle the ham and reserved mustard seeds on top.

We were pretty happy with how this one turned out - it was a nice summer meal and didn't heat up the kitchen much.  All of these recipes are supposed to be designed that you can do the cooking on the grill if you want to, but to just cook one ham steak, it was just as easy to use the stove.  I wish I had read through the whole recipe before I started though, since I didn't realize I needed to hardboil the eggs or that I would require the blender.  Finding the blender and its lid in the cupboard proved to be the hardest part of this recipe, and resulted in the most cursing.

The recipe made loads of salad, more than enough for us both to have dinner and have lots leftover for lunch the next day (always the goal).  I'm not crazy about leftover salad though, especially when it already has dressing on it - it's always too soggy.  Next time I make it, I would try to reserve half of the dressing and toss it later for lunch.  Spinach is just so wilty!

Next up: Shrimp and Corn Chowder!

No comments: