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Ham Steaks and Asparagus

I got around to making my “Easter” dinner today. I had purchased ham steaks from the local Publix and asparagus from Fresh Market (Possibly the prettiest grocery store in the world). I called and asked my mom what she used for the marinade when she makes ham steaks. Her answer: a simple concoction of apricot preserves, honey, nutmeg, cloves, and soy sauce. Well, I forgot to get the soy sauce and the cloves as I wandered up and down the aisles of Publix the other day. So, I used two spoonfuls of apricot, a few squeezes of honey, and poured in a bunch of nutmeg and cinnamon. I don’t really think this is the type of mixture that calls for exact measurements. Oven turned to 350 and I probably put the ham steak in for about 10 minutes. (Other perk of this recipe is that you can’t buy just one ham steak, so I now have ham that I’m going to cook tomorrow with some scrambled eggs). This turned out fabulously well and I could have eaten another ham steak, but held back.

But my “experiment” was really asparagus. I’ve only ever eaten asparagus at Applebee’s. I didn’t even really know how it was prepared. So, I googled and came up with this recipe from Simply Recipes. I didn’t follow the rules exactly as stated here. I had forgotten to buy lemon zest and I just forgot to add the salt and pepper. One tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese were good enough for me! For those of you interested in the health side, nutritiondata.com pegs four asparagus spears at 13 calories. Now I probably added about 150 calories with the olive oil and cheese, but this is still a relatively nutritious side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
  • 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest – freshly grated lemon rind
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

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