Ham Viennese with Rice

When I was a teenager, my dad did the majority of the cooking after he took an early retirement.  As it can easily happen, he got into a bit of a rut at one point and wasn’t really offering too many new dishes for dinner.  But, he got a little too comfortable with one particular meat…ham!  I think for about 6 months we had ham steak for dinner once a week.  Now, my mom, sister and I weren’t huge fans of ham to begin with, but we didn’t hate it either.  After 6 months though, we all hated ham…except my dad. lol  He’s a simple guy, and ham is a simple meat…he can also eat the same thing every day if he likes it.  lol  My dad cracks me up!!! :o)  We finally said he was not allowed to make ham steak for dinner for at least a year!  He got the message, but I don’t think my sister has made a ham steak ever, as an adult.  It was pretty traumatic!!

My sister was more traumatized than I was though, and I enjoy a good ham steak from time to time.  But one of the most delicious ways to use a plain ole’ ham steak, is in Ham Viennese.  I have no idea where the name came from, or even the recipe, maybe Vienna?  I’m just guessing.  The only way I know of this recipe though, is from my mom and dad.  It’s definitely more an adult dish, because as a kid I hated it when my parents made it, but now…all I can say is yummy!!!!

It’s super easy to make, and usually provides enough for left overs.  There’s not much work to it, and only takes as long as rice to make.  So, it’s a quick one too…always a nice thing on a week night.  Or in my situation, with a possibly irritated baby who doesn’t want to sit, but wants to walk with someone holding onto him.

So, this recipe begins by putting your water on to boil for the rice.  Then start chopping up your onion, celery and ham steak.  This recipe was originally used with leftover ham, so if you ever have any it’s great for that, but I typically just buy a ham steak.  The recipe calls for one cup of onion and two cups of celery.  I usually just pull off two stalks of celery and chop up half of a large onion.  I never have two cups of celery, probably closer to one, and I have never felt like I’m missing out.

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After you get everything chopped up your water is probably boiling, if not before you’re done chopping, and you can put in your three cups of rice to start cooking.  Again, three cups of rice is not mandatory, you are free to make as much rice as you want…I give you my blessing to make less.  You’re welcome!

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I made two cups myself, and it was more than enough.  I plan on making a yummy rice pudding with the leftovers.  I love rice pudding!  If you need a good recipe for it, then take a look at James Beard cookbook.

While your rice is cooking melt 1 1/2 Tbs. of butter in a large saucepan, and put the cut up ham in the melted butter.  Let it cook for a few minutes and then put the celery and onion in with the ham.  Saute the celery and onion until the vegetables are tender crisp.

When your veggies are tender but still have a little crunch left to them, then pour in one can of cream of chicken soup, a dry white wine, dry ground mustard and dill weed.  Cook everything until it is heated through.

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Now, I know that this is not the prettiest looking meal at this point, but trust me, the next ingredient will bring it all together.  As with most things cream will make a dish…even sour cream!  After everything is heated through, add 3/4 cup of sour cream.  The recipe also calls for 1/3 cup of pimientos, but I usually just eye ball it and put in however much I’m feeling at the time.

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Once you put in the sour cream you only want to continue cooking long enough to let the sour cream warm up.  No one wants a cold bite of a hot dish.  It only takes about 30 seconds to warm up the sour cream and pimientos.  When everything is cooked, get as much rice as you want on your plate, and then spoon the ham viennese on top.

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I know it’s still not the most amazing looking meal, but give it a chance.  You will be really surprised at how much flavor it has.  My husband and I both enjoy this every time.  Some times there are no leftovers afterwards.  It’s definitely a 10 in our book!!!

Ham Viennese with Rice

  • 3 c. hot, cooked rice
  • 12 oz. fully cooked ham, cubed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 c. thinly sliced celery
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 Tbsp. dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. dill weed
  • 3/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. sliced pimientos

While rice is cooking, in a large saute pan, saute ham in butter about 2 minutes.  Add onions and celery.  Continue cooking until vegetables are tender crisp.  Stir in soup, wine, mustard and dill weed.  heat thoroughly.  Add sour cream and pimientos.  Heat, but do not boil.  Serve over rice, and enjoy!

Look at how short this recipe is!!!!!  It’s so simple.  Make this meal!!!!! :o)

 

 

 

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Cinnamon Raisin Bread…Like the store, or not?

So, I am a huge fan of finding recipes on Pinterest.  It is the main reason I’m slightly addicted to trying new recipes.  They’re so easy to find, and there are thousands at my fingertips.  A few weeks ago I found a recipe for cinnamon raisin bread,  and I was so excited.  You can find the recipe at Spiced, One dash at a time.

I love the cinnamon raisin bread that you can get in the store, but it’s more money than I typically want to spend when I’m grocery shopping.  And I thought if I could make my own, I’d be able to have it at a fraction of the price.  It took a few weeks, but I finally got a chance to make it.  With two small kids and a house to take care of it’s a lot harder than you would think to squeeze in a little bread baking. So, my kitchen wasn’t looking too bad when I started making my bread…shockingly.  And yes…that is not too bad for us.kitchen2

And, this bread did not cause a huge mess afterwards…which is always nice.  The messiest part was rolling the dough out to get the cinnamon/sugar mixture onto it.  I’m getting a little ahead of myself though.  As fraulein Maria would say in the Sound of Music,” Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start…”.  Of course I sang that in my head.  Did you?!

I began by reading my recipe, and following it’s directions.  I combined the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the appropriate measurements, and mixed them together with the bread hook attachment for my stand mixer.

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Next I added the milk, which the instructions said to warm slightly.  I wasn’t sure if I needed to do this on the stove or not, so I opted for the microwave.  I figured if it had been an important enough detail to specify, then it would have been in the directions.  And since it wasn’t I went for the quicker way.  I only microwaved the 1 cup of milk for 20 seconds…it was the perfect amount of time.  My microwave seems to have a small sun in it though, so depending on your microwave you may need to go longer…or shorter.  With the milk, I was supposed to add 1 egg, 4 Tbs. (Tablespoon) of softened butter and 1/2 cup of raisins.

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I started mixing it together, and it was looking good.  The instructions say to stir it on low speed for 2-3 minutes.  The reason for the time is because, at least in my case, the flour on the edge of the bowl just kind of hung out on the edge until the sticky moist parts of the forming dough grabbed it and pulled it into the fold.  After all of the edges were dough free I turned up the speed and mixed it a little longer.  Before moving onto the next step of the directions though, if you make this recipe, I would recommend making sure all of the flour at the bottom of the bowl was mixed into the dough, because mine was not!!  But, after I got it ALL mixed together, this was the beautiful dough that was left…

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It was a little, ok…a lot, on the sticky side.  But it came out pretty easily and went straight into my greased…with butter…bowl.

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At this point, it went into my oven…my warm, dry place…covered, for 90 minutes, per the instructions from the recipe.  My much need 90 minute nap made the rising time go by very quickly.  FYI, I don’t normally take naps during the day, but with my oldest son being sick for a week with a temp the last three days, and my almost one year old getting sick the night before making sleeping, well, what sleep…I needed my nap!!  I digress…my 90 minutes was over and my dough had doubled and was gorgeous!!

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I prepared my egg wash, with one egg and 2 tsp (teaspoon) of milk.  And I floured my counter top.  Now…my BIG tip here, when you think you have enough flour spread out on your counter…add some more.  And then add a little more again!  You can never have too much flour if you want to make sure it doesn’t stick to your surface.  If only I had used this tip when making mine.  Oh well.  And by the way, that plastic cup in my picture didn’t photobomb me, it’s my rolling pin.  Fancy, huh?!  I think I know what needs to go on my Christmas wish list!  Any ways…I took my plastic cup, floured it, and plopped my dough onto the insufficient amount of floured surface, ha.  And this is what it looked like, covered in the egg wash, rolled out and then covered with the 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 Tbs cinnamon.

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The next step is to do a pretty tight rolling of the dough to make a log.  I wasn’t capable of making a tight log with my dough seeing as how my husband got home with our sick boys at that moment and my youngest, who is without doubt a mama’s boy, had to have me at that moment.  So, I rolled my dough holding my almost one year old.  It was definitely interesting…and remember my counter was not sufficiently floured.  I have no idea how I got it rolled at all.  All I can say is…”I am woman, hear me roar!” Lol!!  My log of dough was not quite perfect, shocking, but I was able to pinch the edges and pick it up…the baby had to cry at this point, because two hands were definitely a necessity!

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Like I said…not too pretty.  But as my Mother-in-law says, “It ain’t nothin but a thang”…we from Georgia (think southern drawl when saying Georgia!) lol.  I put my not-so-perfect dough back in my oven…not turned on, by the way, and let it sit for 60 minutes.

After those 60 minutes, I took the bread out of my oven, and turned the oven on to 350 degrees.  It’s very important to take your bread out of the oven, if that’s where you’re letting it rise, so you know how long it’s really baking for.  I almost skipped this step…eeeekkkkk!!  I put some more egg wash on the top of the loaf, and when the oven was pre-heated, I put the bread in the oven for 39 minutes.  The recipe says 38-40 minutes.  The time just depends on your oven.  I also took the tip the recipe suggested of checking on it 25 minutes in and tenting the bread because the top was browning pretty quickly.

My bread was ready, and looking pretty good.  I was pleased with it, when I took it out of the oven to cool.

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Not the best picture in the world, but it still looks pretty!  After cooling a bit, I took it out of the pan…a little tricky…being a loaf pan, but it came out intact…Success!  A small victory dance ensued!

When it cooled a bit, I cut a piece and tried it.  The question, Is it as good as the bread I can get at the store?  The answer, No.  That being said…it was still very tasty, although a tad crumbly.  And, it definitely fell apart when I toasted it in my toaster this morning.  The pieces I was able to fish out and butter, were really good.  I may just have to use my oven to toast it from now on.

My overall opinion of this recipe and the bread is really good.  It was super easy to make, the instructions were easy to follow, and the bread tastes really good.  If you try this recipe, let me know what you think of it, and of my first blog of an actual recipe!  I hope you enjoyed it!!

In the beginning…

Hi everyone!!!  I have entered the wonderful world of blogging, that everyone and their sister (my sister blogs too, Lauren Jeffrey ) seems to be a part of.  I have thought about doing this for a while now, and I’m excited to finally be taking the plunge!!  I hope anyone reading my blog finds it fun, and useful.

I’m a stay at home mom and have been for several years now.  I love being a SAHM, but I have started to feel like I have no other role in life than to be a mommy and wife, especially after my second son was born recently.  So, this blog is my way of opening myself up to life outside of mommy-hood, and doing something I really enjoy…cooking/baking!

With this blog I want to put out there a food blog that doesn’t look like a team of people is cleaning up every dish and counter top I mess up when I’m making dinner, or baking for fun.  I’m not an amazing photographer, so I’ll do my best with pictures of my dishes.  And, unlike my amazing sister, I’m not a writer…but I will do my best with my prose and try not to embarrass myself too much. By the way, I just had to look up how to spell embarrass!! lol :o)  But I hope to keep it as real as possible without disturbing anyone.  With two young kids my kitchen is generally a mess, and you’ll see the circus I live in.