Tucked away, 'Beautiful Garden' restaurant 12 years strong by word of mouth — Recipes

This weeK’s Recipes are from — “What Can I Bring?” Cookbook by Elisabeth Hieskell, Southern food for any occasion life serves up. 

COLA-BROWN SUGAR HAM

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 12-ounce can cola soft drink

1/2 cup spicy brown mustard

3 Tablespoons orange zest

1/4 cup fresh juice (from 4 oranges)

1 15- to 18-pound fully cooked bone-in spiral-cut ham

Preheat over to 275 degrees. Stir together the brown sugar, cola soft drink, mustard, orange zest and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium-low. Cook stirring occasionally until sugar melts, about 10 minutes.

Place the ham on a heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined, large rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow roasting pan. Brush the ham with 1 1/3 cups of brown sugar mixture. Bake the ham 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with 1/3 cup brown sugar mixture. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Notes: Lots of basting is the key to a ham that is magazine-cover worthy. As soon as the ham comes out of the oven, baste with the syrup from the bottom of the pan for a dark, lacquered finish.

“What Can I Bring?” Cookbook by Elisabeth Hieskell

MINT JULEP FRUIT SALAD

1 1/2 cups packed fresh mint leaves

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 Tablespoons bourbon, (1.5 ounces)

4 cups chopped seedless watermelon

2 cups chopped fresh strawberries

2 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh raspberries

Garnish: Fresh mint

Bring the mint, sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 20 minutes. Pour through fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing the solids to release the liquid. Discard the solids. Stir together the bourbon and 1/2 cup of the mint syrup in a small bowl. Store the remaining syrup in an airtight container in refrigerator up to two weeks. Toss together the watermelon, strawberries, peaches, blueberries and raspberries in a large bowl until combined. Pour the bourbon mixture over fruit. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Garnish if desired.

“What Can I Bring?” Cookbook by Elisabeth Hieskell

BACON JAM

16 ounces smoked bacon chopped

6 cups chopped yellow onions

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is just crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and drain on a plate lined with paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in Dutch oven. Add the onions to hot drippings, cook over medium stirring occasionally until the onion is lightly caramelized, about 12 minutes. Stir in the cooked bacon, vinegar, brown sugar, water and mustard seeds. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and cook stirring occasionally, until the mixture is the consistency of jam, 1 to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, cool about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container up to a week in the refrigerator.

“What Can I Bring?” Cookbook by Elisabeth Hieskell

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