Country Ham Pâté

© Katherine Stetson

Country ham is the famous ham of the south that is salt-cured and smoked. Serve this smoky pâté with assorted pickles, olives, cheeses, crudités, and crackers.

For 1.5 cups:

  • ½ pound Country ham, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon scallion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, subject to your love of Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Several dashes of hot sauce
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Roughly cube the ham and pulse it in a food processer to the fineness or rolled oats.

Cream together the cream cheese, butter, mayonnaise, mustard, and honey. Thoroughly fold in the remaining ingredients and the ham.  Transfer mixture to a storage container and refrigerate overnight. Allow to come to room temperature prior to serving.

Smoked Pork Shoulder

© Katherine Stetson

There are an infinite number of dry rub recipes, many of which are quite exotic.  I prefer something simple so that the flavor of the pork shines through.

  • 1 pork shoulder, approximately 8 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Soak one quart of Mesquite or Hickory chips in water for at least ½ hour.  Prepare your smoker as per its instructions.  The pork wants a fairly consistent 240 degree cooking environment.

Season the top (fat side) of the shoulder with the dry seasonings and place on the smoker rack.  Toss some of the soaked wood chips on top of the charcoal and put the lid on the smoker.  Replenish charcoal and chips as needed for approximately eight hours or until an internal temperature of 190 degrees is achieved.  Allow pork to rest for 30 minutes and then shred with two forks.  Leftovers freeze beautifully.

Note:  After eight hours of smoking, I often finish the shoulder in a 300 degree oven to achieve the 190 internal temperature.  Simply remove the shoulder from the smoker and set it in a roasting pan and cover tightly with foil.

Garlic Pork Potstickers

© Katherine Stetson

Substitute shrimp or beef for the pork and/or basil or cilantro for the mint.  Recipe can easily be halved.  Extra filling can be frozen or used to make mini meatballs served in lettuce cups.

Be sure to get the round dough, not the square, which is used for wontons.

For 48 potstickers:

  • 1 package of 48 potsticker/gyoza wrappers
  • 4 cups Napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • 6 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Blanch the cabbage just until it wilts, about one minute.  Drain and rinse in very cold water.  Drain again and press out as much excess liquid as possible.  Scoop cabbage into a clean tea towel and gently squeeze out remaining liquid.  Empty cabbage into a medium bowl and add remaining filling ingredients.  Mix well and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Set up a potsticker station with the following:  small dish of water, two teaspoons, two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and a sheet of parchment to lay on the counter for assembling the potstickers.

Remove filling from refrigerator.  Lay out eight wrappers rounds and use teaspoons to place a little less than a teaspoon’s worth of filling in the center of each wrapper.  Lightly rim the wrappers with some water, one at a time, fold over and pleat the seam to seal.  Seat the potstickers seam side up on the prepared cookie sheets.  When all the potstickers are prepared, cook immediately or freeze (on the cookie sheet) and place in freezer bags for later use.

To cook the potstickers, coat a thin layer of peanut oil in a nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add the potstickers, seam side up and cook until the bottoms are toasty brown.  Pour in 1/3 cup water and cover.  Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes.  Remove lid and when all the water has evaporated, remove potstickers to a warm platter.  Serve immediately with soy sauce or your favorite Asian sauce.








Grilled Pork Bánh Mi Sliders with Kimchee Slaw

© Katherine Stetson

Asian Grilled Pork

  • 1 pound (4 pieces) pork loin, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (available in the Asian food aisle)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons garlic chili paste (available in the Asian food aisle)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 spring onions, white and green parts, ¼ inch slices

Slice raw pork as thinly as possible.  Mix remaining marinade ingredients together in a plastic zipper bag.  Add the pork and marinate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to medium high.  Grill pork slices to desired doneness.  Remove to a warm platter and cover with foil until ready to assemble the sliders.

Nuoc Cham Sauce

For one cup:

  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (available in the Asian food aisle)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic chili paste (available in the Asian food aisle)
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • ¼ finely grated carrot

Combine lime juice, fish sauce, water and sugar in a small bowl and stir to dissolve.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors develop.

Kimchee Peanut Slaw

For two cups:

  • ½ cup kimchee, cut into julienne
  • 1 cup Romaine lettuce, ribs removed, cut into julienne
  • ¼ cup sliced scallion, white and green parts
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup Nuoc Cham sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • several grindings of black pepper

Combine all ingredients (except for Nuoc Cham sauce) in a medium bowl and toss until well combined.  When ready to serve, add the sauce and toss again.

Assemble the sliders:

  • 8 slider rolls
  • grilled pork, prepared
  • kimchee slaw, tossed

Split slider rolls in half. Divide pork amongst rolls and top with the slaw.

Austrian Ham Salad

© Katherine Stetson

This is not an authentic recipe – in fact I’ve never seen a recipe for it.  The Austrians use peas and canned carrots in their filling. But we prefer something a little more piquant as shown below.

Serves six as an appetizer or two for an entrée:

  • 6 cups mesclun salad
  • 6 slices of ham (Virginia or Black Forest)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • ¼ diced roasted red pepper
  • ¼ chopped green olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon course ground Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • several grindings of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup Sherry Vinaigrette, or to taste
  • hard-boiled eggs, quartered, as garnish

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, paprika and horseradish and mix well.  Stir in the celery, pepper, olives, pickle, capers and ground pepper.

Lay a ham slice on a piece of wax paper and spoon some of the mixture onto the lower third of the slice.  Roll tightly and proceed with the rest of the ham.  Any leftover filling can be used to garnish the top of the finished salad.

Place mesclun in a bowl and toss gently with the vinaigrette and provolone shreds.  Divide the salad amongst the plates and lay the ham rolls on top.  Garnish with hard-boiled egg quarters and several grindings of pepper.

Pork Shashlik

© Katherine Stetson

A true Shashlik would marinate in kefir, a fermented milk, which is often difficult to locate.  Buttermilk is a very good substitute, however, and red wine can be used as well.

Serve Shashlik with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and grilled pita bread.

  • 2 pounds pork loin or butt
  • 3 onions
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Cut pork into 1 ½  – 2 inch cubes.  Slice onions.  Combine all ingredients in a heavy plastic bag and turn upside down several times to evenly distribute flavorings.  Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.

Prepare a charcoal fire.  Thread pork cubes onto skewers and grill until nicely roasted with an interior temperature of 160 degrees.  Allow meat to rest briefly, lightly covered prior to serving.

Slovensko-Americansko Sausage Turnovers

© Katherine Stetson

For 8-10 turnovers:

For the dough:

  • 2 ¼ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup iced water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound smoked sausage or Kielbasa, crumbled
  • ½ cup shredded Jack cheese

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine flour, salt and butter and pulse until mixture resembles course sand.  Add the egg, vinegar and iced water and continue to pulse until dough forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the bowl.  Pour contents onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly into a smooth ball.  Flatten dough and wrap in plastic wrap.  Allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Prepare the filling:

In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté onions until tender and lightly caramelized.  Add the sausage and mix well.  Remove mixture to a medium and cool complexly.  Combine meat mixture and cheese.

Assemble turnovers:

Preheat oven to 400.  Divide dough into two equal pieces.  Roll out dough to 1/8th inch thickness and cut out 6-inch circles (or other desired shape).  Place several spoons of filling into center of dough and fold over, crimping edges tightly.  Reseat turnover so that the seam is facing upward and brush lightly with egg wash.  Bake turnovers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 25 minutes or until nicely browned.  Cool briefly on a rack and serve immediately.


© Katherine Stetson

A Japanese version of Schnitzel!

For four cutlets:

  • 4 slices pork loin, about ½ inch thick, trimmed of fat
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs whisked with 2 tablespoons milk or water
  • sea salt
  • finely ground black pepper
  • Peanut oil or lard
  • Sōsu (sauce), to drizzle over cooked cutlets
  • Shredded cabbage, as garnish

Prepare a dredging station with a plate of flour, a shallow bowl of the eggs and a plate of breadcrumbs.

Put the peanut oil or lard in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to a depth of one inch and preheat to 350 degrees.

Season pork with sea salt and pepper on both sides.  Dredge in flour, dip in egg, and coat with the breadcrumbs.  Allow to rest in the breadcrumb plate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

When oil is heated, slide in the cutlets and cook until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Drain cutlets briefly on paper towels and slice.  Place on shredded cabbage and top with the Sōsu (sauce).

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.