Ham Ends=Good, Summer ends=Sad

All those egg yolks leftover from the meringues became fettucini.  I made a sauce with serrano ham, tomatoes and cream.  It was so salty and delicious with the ham it didn't even need cheese.  If you can buy serrano ham "ends" you will save a bunch of money, and they are the perfect size for cubing.   

1 cup diced ham--if yours isn't as fatty as mine you may need some olive oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 medium shallot, diced

1/4 cup dry vermouth

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup fresh basil leaves, whole

You will want to have your pasta ready to add to the sauce as the sauce nears completion.  Lift the pasta directly from the boiling water into the saucepan with the sauce.  I think I added about a lb. of fresh pasta to the above amount of sauce.   

Heat a large/wide saucepan over medium-hi heat.  Add the ham and cook until it renders its fat and becomes lightly browned.  At this point add the shallots and lower the heat slightly.  When the shallots are translucent and lightly browned, add the vermouth, scraping up any browned bits.  Then add the tomatoes and cover.  Shake pan occasionally.  When the tomatoes have burst and released their juices, add the heavy cream and cook until the cream is slightly thickened, stirring enough so things don't burn.  Add the fresh basil, then your pasta.  Allow the pasta to complete cooking in the sauce, then serve with freshly ground pepper. 

meat.jpg

I wish I could say that these beautiful tomatoes came from my garden.  Operation squirrel-proof is complete with bird netting over the top of the fence.  Any tomatoes remaining on the vine should be able to ripen in peace.  Prior to the bird netting, a squirrel did climb into the garden.  Unfortunately for him, I witnessed this and had a garden hose set on power wash.  In his panic, he was unable to climb out of the garden until he was thoroughly soaked.  It could have gone viral if Ian had only been ready with the camera.   

meat2.jpg

Ian, Sophie and I saw "The Way Way Back" last weekend.  It was strange to see Steve Carell playing a douchebag.   Apparently he is playing a murderer in his new film so maybe he is tapping into his dark side.  I grew to love the classic oversharer, Betty, played by Allison Janney.  I laughed, I cried, and like the perfect summer, wished it didn't have to end.  A must see, especially if you have a teenager.

I had a delicious breakfast panini this morning with banana/Nutella/marshmallow.  As I was eating this palate-shredding treat, I read in the Wall Street Journal that the French are now demanding softer baguettes.  What's next?  Chinese demanding sweet and sour chicken?  Italians insisting on canned parmesan? Instant coffee in Vienna?   Seriously, a doughy baguette--you might as well go Paleo. 

Ian's promotion party is coming up in a few weeks.  We are going to do a luau theme with kalua pig and cabbage, chicken long rice, spam musubi, lomi lomi salmon and poke if I can find some fish that won't break the bank.  I am going to get a big sheet cake from Costco so he can cut it with a sword.  Military life involves a lot of sacrifice.  It is really nice to have the ceremony and tradition to look forward to and remember fondly.

meat3.jpg