I didn’t know what to make for dinner, but that’s EXACTLY why I created the Flavor Crash Course—to eliminate this problem! :)
See…I got home from my Christmas vacation in Nashville, and there was no food in my fridge.
Luckily, in the spirit of Christmas, the week before, I purchased a cured ham nugget (basically a mini version of a spiral ham, sans bone, for single people, like me. If I purchased an actual spiral ham, it would take me until next Christmas to eat it. Thus, the ham nugget. It’s about the size of one of those foam dodgeballs from elementary school. Don’t know what that is? Okay, hmmm….it’s the size of….of…..when you put all your fingertips together and make a sphere with your hands. About that big. Or small. Whatever.
Anyway, so I have a ham nugget.
And greens! That Heather harvested greens from one of her gardens today and brought me a bunch of stuff.
Just look how beautiful! There’s chard and kale and yellow pear tomatoes, and not pictured are a bunch of collards and these amazing cherry tomatoes that taste like candy, I swear.
So what’s for dinner?
Well, I looked around and saw greens and ham. Already, a perfect pairing of salty and bitter. If you take my Flavor Crash Course, you’ll learn how different flavors pair together. And, it just so happens, that one of the best ways to temper bitterness is to add salt!
Ham is both salty and umami (savory). Savory food is often rich, and needs other bright flavors to lighten it up. Things with piquancy or acidity help, and pungency can be nice, as well.
Here’s what I decided to do!
Dinner tonight is ghee and bacon fat with ham, onions, jalapeños, collards, chard, kale, tomatoes, with garlic, fenugreek, black cumin, and black mustard! HOLY SMOKES IT’S SO GOOD.
Take a look at the flavors in these ingredients:
- Ghee – umami, rich, buttery
- Bacon fat – umami, salty, rich, heaven
- Cured ham – umami, salty, smoky, slightly sweet
- Jalapeños – slightly sweet, piquant, spicy
- Collards – bitter, buttery
- Chard – bitter, earthy
- Kale – bitter, earthy
- Tomatoes – umami, sweet
- Onions – pungent, sweet
- Garlic – pungent, spicy
- Fenugreek – sweet, nutty, rich, toasted maple notes
- Black Cumin – herbaceous, nutty, peppery
- Black Mustard – pungent, earthy, hot
So much beautiful indulgent salty flavors from the bacon fat and ham, but totally balanced by the rich buttery ghee and bitter greens, as well as the sweet from the onions, tomatoes, and fenugreek. A little mild kick from the jalapeños, garlic, black cumin, and mustard.
I can’t tell you how wonderful this was. You’ll just to make it yourself. And by the way, if you’ve never tried fenugreek, you’re missing out! I decided to grow it this year, and even the leaves smell so delicious and yummy when I water them in the garden.
I hope you decide to make this recipe, and I also hope if you’ll check out the Flavor Crash Course!
- 3 TBSP grassfed ghee
- 1 TBSP bacon fat
- 1 large onion, diced
- ½ jalapeño, diced
- 8 oz, cubed cured ham
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tsp fenugreek seed, whole
- 1 tsp black cumin seed, whole (Nigella sativa)
- 1 tsp black or brown mustard, whole
- 6 cups fresh chopped bitter greens, such as collards, kale, and/or Swiss chard
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup purified water
- Heat 2 TBSP ghee and1 TBSP bacon fat in a large skillet on medium high heat.
- Add the diced onion and jalapeño, and cook for about 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add the cubed ham, and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
- Add another TBSP ghee in the center of the pan, and add garlic, fenugreek seeds, black cumin seeds, and mustard seeds into the ghee. For about 60 seconds, allow the seeds to fry in the oil. They should become very aromatic.
- After the seeds begin to pop, stir them into everything else, and add the bitter greens, tomatoes, and ¼ cup of water.
- Stir, reduce heat to low, and cover with a lid. Cook for 90 seconds covered, then stir, remove lid, and increase heat to medium to burn off any extra liquid.