Antioxidant Rich Barbecue
Now I know you're wating to see my meat, but my friends over at SweetNicks host ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday each week and I wanted to contribute before it was too late.
The idea of ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday is to make a dish that contains at least one of the top antioxidant rich foods in your recipe. When SweetNicks first tapped me for this, I thought I'd never be able to contribute. I cook BBQ and usually that means large quanities of meat.
But here's a recipe for a great appetizer that I make for parties. Little did I know I was being healthy. Depending on how you make these rolls, you can have 2 or 3 of the top antioxidant rich foods in each mouthful.
Now before the barbeque purists chime in, I know that this recipe does not qualify as traditional barbecue. But why limit the use of the BBQ cooking methods to tradtional foods? That would be so boring. Variety is the spice of life!
Since this recipe is being linked from SweetNicks, to the non-BBQ'rs out there, don't be turned off by the suggested use of cooking these in a BBQ smoker, they can also be made in a conventional oven, just keep your temperature low.
Confetti Ham Rolls.
The ARF foods are listed in bold face.
1/4 cup or so dried cherries or dried cranberries or a mix of both.
A good bourbon - about 3 tablespoons
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup minced FRESH chives
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar. I like the brownulated (pourable) sugar that Domino makes
8 - 10 slices of cooked ham, each about 1/8" thick. I usually use Boar's head boiled ham and have the deli guy slice it thick for me
Cooking Instructions :
Put the dried fruit in a bowl and pour enough bourbon over them to just barely cover. Don't over do it. Let the fruit it sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes to plump them. Remove cherries or cranberries from the bowl and reserve the liquid. Chop the fruit and return to the bourbon. Mix in the cream cheese, pecans, chives and sugar until well combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the ham slices, leaving about 1/2" uncovered around the edges.
Roll up each slice snugly, jelly roll style from one of the wide sides and secure with toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining slices. Put the ham rolls in a cooler area of your smoker. Smoke for about 30 minutes at 225-230, just long enough to flavor the cheese and meat. Don't over cook or the cheese will melt and spill out. (You can do this in a conventional oven too, but they won't be as good.)
Cool the rolls briefly, remove the toothpicks and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Be careful because they will be a little soft. Refrigerate the rolls until the cheese gets firm, at least two hours or over night.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator. Remove the toothpicks from the rolls. Use a sharp knife and cut the rolls on the bias into 1/2" thick spirals. For best flavor, let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.
Maple, oak and cherry seem to be the best woods for smoking these rolls.
Sorry I don't have any pictures. The old camera was on the fritz at the time. I promise; next batch gets pictures.