FaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa Tis’ the Season!!

[ 0 ] December 1, 2007 |

FaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa Tis’ the Season!!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa!! This is definitely the season for food, food and more food. And most importantly, the food is inspired by so many of the December holidays/celebrations, which is the tastiest treat of all. In efforts to celebrate the holiday season with recipes and more, I bring to you A Few of My Favorite Things….Enjoy!

“Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Baked Glazed Ham with Golden Brown Sugar”

1 (12-pound) shankless skinless smoked cured ham
Whole cloves (used to stud ham)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup prepared mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Score top of ham into diamonds and stud center of each diamond with a clove. Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours. In a bowl mix the sugar, mustard and vinegar and spread glaze evenly over ham. Bake for another 35 minutes. Transfer ham to a platter and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

“Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels,
Sweet Potato Latkes & fresh parseley leaves”

1/2 medium yellow onion
1/2 pound Yukon gold potato, (about 1 large)
1/2 pound sweet potato, (about 1 medium)
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
Pinch cayenne
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil
4 tsp. light sour cream
4 tsp. horseradish
2 or 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Put a wire rack on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Grate the onion on a box grater into a large bowl. Grate both potatoes into the same bowl, grating down the length of the potato to get long strands. Toss the potatoes with the onions as you work to keep them from discoloring. (*Johnna’s tip: Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the potatoes to keep them from discoloring) Put potato mixture in a clean dish towel and wring out excess liquid. Toss the latke mixture with the flour, salt, and cayenne. Stir in the egg.

Heat a 1/4-inch oil in a large cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, spoon about 1/4 cup of the latke mixture into the skillet, pressing lightly to form 3-inch pancakes. Take care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook, turning once, until just golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the rack in the oven while you cook the remaining batter. Serve the latkes topped with a small dollop of sour cream and horseradish. Garnish with a parsley leaf. Serve it up or lower the heat in the oven and place in there to keep warm til ready to serve.

“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
Yogurt for Dipping and Lamb for Grilling”

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless leg or shoulder of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes with some fat attached 6 warm pita breads, for serving Yogurt Dipping Sauce (Recipe Below)

In a large bowl, combine the onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, mint, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and olive oil. Add the lamb to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Soak 8 to 10 bamboo skewers in warm water for about 1 hour before assembling the kabobs.

Preheat the grill to high, and lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. Thread the lamb onto the soaked skewers and place on the grill, turning to evenly cook, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Drizzle the pitas with sauce, then wrap the pita around the meat on the skewer, fold over and twist the skewer off the meat. Eat til your hearts content.

Yogurt Dipping Sauce: 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1/2 cup sour cream 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (to taste) 1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves 1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate to chill. Dip and eat!

*Johnna’s Tip: Use this yogurt sauce recipe for other favorites i.e. french fries.

“When the dog bitesWhen the bee stingsWhen I’m feeling sadI simply remember my favorite thingsAND Then I Don’t Feel So Bad!!”

Category: holiday cooking

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Leave a Reply