I trust everyone had a good 4th of July holiday. Lordy, lordly, I did! It was a clothing optional party. My neighbors will never be the same after peeking over the fence at my pool. I’m sure they have never seen that many support hose drying out over the lawn furniture.
But, on to cooking. First of all, everyone has some version of a brisket recipe, but try this one. It’s quite easy and tasty. Then we “ham it up” with two other recipes. Be sure to try the gravy. It will pop your garters served over meat, or rice or quick-cooking grits.
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Combine thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and cumin in a small bowl. Rub brisket with liquid smoke to coat, and then rub with spice mixture.
GET TO IT BARBEQUE BRISKET
1 to 2 tablespoons dried thyme (to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
1½ cups barbeque sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Combine barbeque sauce and Worcestershire in a six-quart oval slow cooker. Add brisket and turn to coat with sauce. Cover and cook for eight to ten hours. Transfer to a cutting board and loosely cover with foil for 20 minutes. Cut meat across grain into one-quarter to one half-inch slices. Serve with sauce.
HAM IT UP CAKE-ETTES
1½ cups cold mashed potatoes
1 cup ham, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dill, dried or fresh
½ teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
11⁄4 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup vegetable oil
Stir together mashed potatoes, ham, egg, mustard, dill, pepper, salt and one-half cup panko in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Put the remaining panko in a shallow bowl. Separate a half-cup of the ham mixture into eight equal portions. Form each portion into a ball, and then flatten slightly into a patty. Firmly coat both sides of each patty with remaining panko, tapping off any loose crumbs. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until very hot. Pan-fry four patties at a time in hot oil, turning gently until golden brown, two to three minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towel lined dish to drain.
HAM AND SHRIMP GRAVY
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
11⁄4 cup cooked ham, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup finely diced celery
4 green onions, chopped, with white bulb pieces separated from green stems
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
3 tablespoons flour
3½ cups low sodium chicken broth
1⁄4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-pound large shrimp (31 to 35 count), peeled and deveined
Melt butter in a deep, 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook ham, stirring frequently until lightly browned for three to four minutes. Add bell pepper, celery, white parts of onions, jalapeno and garlic, stirring until softened, cooking for about five minutes. Stir in Cajun seasoning, cooking for one minute. Add flour and cook it all, stirring for two minutes. Add broth and Worcestershire sauce, and then increase heat to medium-high. Simmer, stirring frequently until liquid is reduced and thickened for 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shrimp, stirring until shrimp are cooked through, cooking for two to three minutes. Sprinkle with green stem pieces of onions before serving.