Ham steaks, Grits, Muenster Cheese - oh my.
Wohlner’s Own Ham Steaks - from our own smokehouse:
Mike thought Wohlner’s butchers could make better Ham Steaks in our smokehouse than he could buy from some big processor. So our crew did and let me tell you, they are better.
A grilled or pan seared ham steak makes a great dinner. It’s fast, convenient, delicious and so easy. Since the ham steaks are cured and fully cooked you only need to heat and eat, and a little color from the grill or pan only enhances the flavor.
For a basting and serving sauce try the recipe below:
Jan’s Ham Steak Sauce and Baste Recipe:
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (packed)
- 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar (or white)
- 1 heaping teaspoon of yellow mustard (Jan recommends Plochman brand Yellow Mustard !)
- While the grill is heating, mix sugar and vinegar in and a sauce pan and heat and stir just until the sugar dissolves (a couple minutes) or nuke in the microwavable container.
- Add mustard and stir.
- Grill ham slice over medium coals about 3 to 5 minutes per side to get some nice grill marks.
- Brush ham with glaze and cook 2 or 3 minutes more per side. By grilling the basted ham you add start to caramelize the sugars in the baste, which adds flavor, but be careful as the sugars in the baste can burn easily. (Note: Ham steaks are already fully cooked, so you’re just heating them and adding good grill flavor.)
Another option is to just heat in a skillet or oven to warm. Baste with some warm sauce toward the end of cooking. Or try the classic combo of Red Eye Gravy with Wohlner’s Ham Steaks - recipe below.
Super easy Red Eye Gravy:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup strong black coffee ( the leftover stuff from the morning is fine)
- Sear the ham steaks in a big skillet over medium heat to warm and add some timges/flecks of brown color for flavor to the ham steaks.
- Remove steaks from the pan and cover to keep warm, or set in a warm oven.
- Pour coffee into the skillet, over low heat, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits of flavor off the pan (called deglazing the pan.)
- Add butter and sugar (stir sugar into pan drippings)
- cook over low heat until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.
- Add coffee, stirring well; simmer 5 minutes
- Spoon gravy over the warm ham steaks. Serve with a side of grits (recipe below) and some green veggies.
Easy Cheesy Grits:
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups quick cooking or old-fashioned grits (not instant)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Muenster Cheese for the Deli, or Crystal Farms Cheddar from the Dairy Case
- In a large, heavy saucepan bring the water to a boil.
- Add a generous teaspoon of salt and the grits and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- When the grits thicken, add the milk, cream and butter and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer the saucepan and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the grits are tender, smooth and creamy.
- Taste and season the grits with the remaining salt and pepper. (If the grits seem too runny simply allow to cook a bit longer, uncovered and stirring frequently, until the desired consistency is reached.)
- Fold the shredded cheese into the grits, and keep covered and warm until ready to use.
Wohlner’s Canadian Bacon and Red Eye Gravy for Breakfast:
Try some fully cooked and cured Canadian Bacon from Wohlner’s smokehouse. We make it, we don’t buy it. Canadian Bacon is made from the very lean lowfat loin meat, not from the fatty belly. So if you’re looking to cut some fat and calories it’s a lean yet flavorful alternative.
Warm some slices of Wohlner’s Canadian Bacon, then make some Super-easy Red Eye Gravy. See Red Eye Gravy recipe above. A side of grits, some fruit, and you’ve some good eats, even great eats.
Muenster Cheese Fest:
Muenster Cheese is sort of the forgotten sister of great cheeses. Why that is I just don’t know, and I’m as guilty as anybody for forgetting about this sweetheart of cheeses.
Things that go well with Muenster Cheese:
- As an appetizer or snacking cheese Muenster is wonderful, especially on Ritz Crackers.
- It makes a fantastic Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- It’s a great cheeseburger cheese
- It makes a wonderful broiled tuna melt
- We provided a Muenster Mac and Cheese Recipe, below, easy
Not to be confused with the stronger flavored Munster which is aged, from Europe and, as you noticed, spelled differently (but since I make so many typos I thought I’d better point that out, er the spelling, not my typos.)
Eddie Muenster Mac and Cheese:
Muenster Cheese on Ritz Crackers is one of my favorite snacks. So when I saw Muenster on sale this week at Wohlner’s along with Skinner Elbow Macaroni I just had to post this recipe. Zesta Saltines are on sale and the classic thing to do is to top your Mac and Cheese casserole with crumbled cracker crumbs, but since Ritz crackers go so well with Muenster I say use Ritz on top. And buy extra cheese so you can enjoy crackers and cheese.
- 16 oz. Skinner Elbow Macaroni
- 5 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz. Muenster Cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup crumbled Ritz Crackers or Zesta Saltine (imo, go with the Ritz since they are the perfect cracker with Muenster!)
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of fully cooked (al dente as the Italians say, i.e., “to the tooth.”).
- Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl. Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave. Cover to keep warm.
- Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well. Stir in the warm cream and the Muenster until the cheese starts to melt. Mix in salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the mixture into a well buttered 2-quart casserole dish. In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix in the cracker crumbs. Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter. Sprinkle the cracker crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.
- Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Chicken with Mushrooms and Muenster Cheese Casserole:
If you’re like me then you’re always on the lookout for another great chicken recipe, and a great chicken casserole is even better. Extra points are awarded for cheese.
- About 2 to 2.5 pounds of chicken tenders (or 4 boneless chicken breasts)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 C. of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 6 Tbs. of butter
- 10 ounces of Swanson Chicken Broth
- 2 tsp. of lemon juice
- 6 oz. of sliced Muenster cheese
- 8 oz. of fresh mushrooms-thickly sliced
- Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Soak several hours or overnight in 3 beaten eggs.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll chicken pieces in bread crumbs.
- Sauté both the chicken and the sliced mushrooms in butter for 10-12 minutes.
- Place sautéed chicken and mushrooms in a buttered casserole dish.
- Pour chicken broth over chicken and mushrooms. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Cover with sliced Muenster cheese. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.
Wine Pairing - Milbrandt Vineyards Chardonnay : it’s on sale, it’s very good, it’s the right wine for this dish, and Mike reports that people who try it return for more. This is a newer balanced fruit/acidity style chardonnay; not the big buttery oaky style from the 1990’s. btw, it would be a wonderful wine with Muenster and crackers.
Tomato Soup with Elbow Macaroni:
One of my favorite lunches growing up, and it makes a pretty good dinner too
- Skinner Elbow Macaroni
- 1 can Campbells Tomato soup
- 1 can of milk
- Boil some macaroni according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile heat the soup according to the directions.
- Drain the macaroni when it is cooked.
- Place some cooked macaroni in a bowl and ladle tomato soup over the macaroni.
Campbell’s Tomato Soup and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
You get the idea. A perfect fall lunch, or a fast and pleasing dinner. And dipping the sandwich into the soup is sublime.
Never underestimate the value of Grilled Cheese and Campbell’s Tomato Soup as comfort food.