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Joined by our passion for meat, beer, cards and meat, we created a compitition bbq team to partake in just that.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Farmer John Ham & Pea Pasta Salad

Farmer John Ham & Pea Pasta Salad

Part 3 in a series of "What to do with your left over Farmer John Ham".  You made a mouth watering ham for your holiday meat guests and there's some left over.  I first had this recipe when I was on my honeymoon in Jamaica and have been waiting to make it again ever since.  I have no idea why I waited so long.  All the unique flavors from the ingredients in this salad add complexity and create a near perfect dish.

Farmer John is a very popular pork processor / producer here in Southern California.  They are responsible for the very popular Dodger Dog as well as the succulent ham we devoured during our previous family dinner.  Naturally, there was some left over.  Time to put those left overs to use to make a tasty dish that goes great by itself or makes a meal as a side.

This recipe has a few ingredients but they are all pretty easy to find:
  • Left over ham slices
  • Purple Onion  - about 1/2 an onion
  • Celery - about 2 large stalks
  • Basil - about 10 fresh leaves
  • Olives - 1 can or about 1 cup
  • Mayo - about 1/2 cup
  • Frozen Peas - about 2 cups
  • Pasta - 1 lb
  • Salt and Pepper - to taste

Medium dice about 1/2 of a purple onion - I think the purple onion gives this salad some bite.  You can use a sweet onion if you want but I think purple is a perfect flavor match with the rest of the ingredients.





Slice up the stalks of celery into 1/8" thick slices.   These add color and crunch and some cool to offset the onion.

I used canned olive but pick out whatever flavor is your favorite.  The olives add some saltiness and color.  I quartered the olives.





 I used fresh basil and I think this is a key.  I used about 10 leaves and chiffon cut them as fine as I could.  The basil adds color and an incredible burst of fresh flavor that matches the rest of the flavors.







 



 I chose left over slices of the ham that were about 1" thick.  I tried to cube the ham into 1" cube pieces that were as evenly sized as possible - mostly for appearance purposes.







I used casarecce pasta but you can use any kind you want - bow tie or rotini are also popular choices.  Boil the pasta until it is al dente and let cool.
Mix all the ingredients together except for the frozen peas.  After all the ingredients are mixed well and you have added salt and pepper to taste, add the frozen peas.  The salad is ready to eat now but the flavors really start to melt together after a night of hanging out.

Why use frozen peas?  If you tried to use fresh peas they will break up and get mushy.  Frozen peas are sturdy enough to handle the mixing and stay whole making the appearance of the finished salad stunning.





Note:  Farmer John supplied me with the Half Ham used in this recipe.  All other ingredients were purchased for this recipe by me.  I might have had some in my fridge. 

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