Best Ham ever!!!

Okay… just to let ya know what you are seeing in the pic, on the top is the croissant, next row is flat green beans and mashed potatoes, last we have corn, ham, and baked beans… 😛 but for this post we are focusing on the ham (or any oven back meat really)

The secret to fall apart meat? lower the temperature and up the time!!!

For the Ham, I put the oven on 275 degrees (which is about the temp I usually use, but the rule is half the temp.) I went a little above half for my temp because cooking below 275 seems insane to me, but you are welcome to try.

a Ham is a good meat to start your experiments with.. most of the holiday Hams come pre-cooked. In fact, some people just cut and serve (which I would never do. I like to up the taste)

Getting a cookie sheet, I place a disposable aluminum pan on the cookie sheet. Placing the Ham inside, I am ready to start.

                 Ingredients: for a smaller ham, can double if needed
              Ham (I use superior tavern ham)
              can of Pineapple slices (as many as you want)
              juice from Pineapples
              1/2 cup of brown sugar (I sometimes use sugar-free)
              1/2 stick of butter
              Diet coke (about half a can)

With toothpicks, I arrange pineapple slices around my ham. I half a dozen slices to a full dozen. Basically, I used different numbers depending on the size of the Ham. Some times I also stab into the Ham so that the mixture will soak in more.

Melting my butter, I then add in the pineapple juice and sugar, and stir well. Last I pour in my diet coke and mix a little before pouring over my Ham.

Using aluminum foil, I pull off two pieces a little longer than the pan. Placing them on top of one another, I fold the edges over a few time so that when opened there is an extra wide piece. I then place the foil over my Ham and secure the edges tightly. This gives a cooking bag effect (pressure cooker).

Finally, making sure the shelf in the oven is on the lowest level, I cook my Ham for 7-8 hours. The longer you cook the Ham, the more you increase the tenderness of the Ham. I learned this technique from my aunt, after eating a Ham she cooked that was so tender it was falling apart.

The end result is definitely worth the longer cook time. And on the plus side, any leftovers can be frozen to eat on their own, or used in things like white/brown bean, vegetable soup, etc… use your imagination!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Okay… this is a pinterest pic, mainly because I forgot to take a pic when I made this dish for mom… she was in a faze where she wanted to (I think the restaurant was called Max & Erma’s but not sure)… the point is, every week she wanted to drive up to Huntington (an almost hour drive) to have a bowl… so I decided??? I’ll just make it myself… after looking through some online copy-cat recipes on the internet, I settled on this one. Enjoy

 In a large stockpot combine and whisk together until smooth: 
 1 can each of the following Campbell soups: cream of mushroom, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, and 10 oz of Salsa Con Queso Cheese dip (I use the medium).
 2 cans (15 oz ) chicken broth
 1/2 - (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
 1/2 cup Pace brand medium salsa
 1 (4.5 oz) can Ortega green chiles (I only used half but then it wasn’t hot enough so I added some more.. really this is up to you)
 1/2 medium onion, chopped
 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
 1/2 tsp. red chile powder, more or less to your taste
 salt and pepper to your taste
 Bring to a full boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
 2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into small chunks (then shred… I didn’t like having bite size pieces, but again it is your call)
 Simmer another hour.
 While soup is simmering, make your soup toppings:
 Cut 1 pkg. flour tortillas into small thin strips and deep fry in hot oil until lightly browned. (mom liked fritos on top, also the grocery sells tortillas toppings in salad aisle )
 Shred 1/2 lb. longhorn style colby cheese (package sharp cheddar works too)
 To serve: 
 Ladle soup into bowls, top with shredded cheese and fried tortilla strips. Yummm 

Sadly, I am hit for miss with this recipe… with mom my only taste tester… lol… I think I screwed up the second time by shredding the chicken instead of just cutting it up bite size… hope you enjoy