Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Serves 8)
7 sliced pineapple rings
1/4 cup butter
1 Tablespoon water
1 cup brown sugar
6 to 8 maraschino cherries
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter with 1 tablespoon of water and add brown sugar. Stir well with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the caramel is smooth. Arrange pineapple rings evenly in the caramel. Place 1 maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
Alternatively, take butter, brown sugar and water and combine to melt in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly, this should take several minutes. (After sugar melts, don't stir.) Pour mixture into a 10 inch diameter stick-free cake pan with 2 inch high sides.
Make the cake: Sift flour and baking powder together. With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, add vanilla and then the eggs 1 at a time and mix until each is incorporated. Add buttermilk and then flour. Mix until incorporated.
Alternatively, in a small bowl or large measuring cup, measure the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Add half of the buttermilk-vanilla-egg mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture then half the flour. Repeat.
Pour the batter into the skillet over the caramel and pineapple rings. Place pan in the preheated oven and let cake bake for about 40 minutes. The cake should be nice and golden on top and puffed up slightly. Allow to cool slightly, (about 20 minutes), before inverting onto a cake plate.
Southern Potato Salad (Serves 6 to 8)
7 medium sized russet potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard
2 Tablespoons white or cider vinegar
1/2 cup of onion, minced
1 rib of celery, chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon pickle relish (optional)
Paprika to garnish (optional)
Rinse and scrub potatoes. Cut into chunks and place in a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil. Boil until tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes. Test by piercing with a sharp knife.
In a separate small bowl, make potato salad dressing by mixing together mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, onion, celery and pickle relish, if using.
Remove the potatoes from the hot water and place into a large serving bowl.
Add the onion, celery, salt, pepper and eggs and spoon dressing over the hot potatoes; toss until all the potatoes are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Sprinkle top lightly with paprika, if desired.
1 smoked, bone-in ham
2 oz bourbon
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 cup brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of allspice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove any packaging or netting from the ham. Trim away any excess fat, leaving about a 1/4-inch layer all over.
Line a baking sheet with several sheets of aluminum foil and place the ham, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Tightly cover the ham with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm (the consistency should be that of honey)
When the ham is ready, remove it from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Discard the foil. Use a sharp knife to score a 1-inch-wide diamond pattern over the entire ham.
Brush the ham with a quarter of the glaze and return it to the oven. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with another quarter of the glaze, and repeat every 15 minutes until all of the glaze has been used and a dark golden-brown crust has formed, about 55 to 60 minutes total. Let the ham rest 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.
Nikki Miller-Ka can be reached via her personal blog: Niksnacks.blogspot.com or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @nikkisnaks