NANA’S HAM SALAD
Norman & Janet Van Aken © 2015
Once again we reached into the Family Album for this recipe. Our grandmother came to live with us from her lifelong home in New York City when I was about 10. She arrived to our small, nearly out in the country town … not knowing how to drive a car nor the many midwestern cultural differences we grew up with. But Lord could she inspire us to learn a whole lot of things that were mere specters to me before she came into our lives. One thing she brought from her New York City kitchen was an old-fashioned meat grinder. With it she made a few of her stock in trade dishes. Ham Salad was one of the ones my two sisters and I loved.
Note: Nana did not add jalapeños but … like families and succeeding generations… we change and … hopefully… flower.
Yield: 2 1/4 Cups
2 Cups of baked ham, coarsely chopped or ground
1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon mayo
2 Tablespoons Creole mustard
6 scallions, trimmed of the greens if you prefer… and cut crosswise into small rings
1/2-1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 Tablespoon bottled horseradish
4 Tablespoons prepared favorite Pickle Relish
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Tabasco or other Hot Sauce as desired
Pulse the ham briefly in a food processor. It works fine. Be careful not to turn it into a paste though.
Mix all of the above together. Chill a few hours or overnight covered.
When almost ready to serve it take it out of the fridge to take off a bit of the chill.
Serve on crackers or toasts.