Hat's Off to Ham

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ham Salad: 

4 1/2-inch-thick slices pineapple, cored

4 ounces country ham, diced

9 green olives stuffed with pimentos

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tablespoon minced freeze-dried pineapples

1/4 tablespoon ground ginger

1/4 tablespoon lemon zest

Salt and ground black pepper

Spicy Pickle Cherry Salad:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

3 cups white vinegar

1/4 cup salt

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

20 green beans

9 maraschino cherries, minced

Ground black pepper

Olive oil, for frying

2 slices maple-cured ham, cut on the diagonal to create a triangle-esque shape

4 dried pineapple rings

12 whole maraschino cherries


Special equipment:
1 1/2-to-2-inch wide by 2-inch deep ring mold and 4-inch wooden skewers
  1. For the ham salad: Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Grill the pineapple slices so there are hatch marks on each side. Transfer the pineapple to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the fridge to cool. 
  3. In a food processor, pulse the ham until coarsely chopped and transfer to a medium bowl. Chop the green olives in the food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer the olives to the ham and add the mayo, freeze-dried pineapple, ginger and lemon zest. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. For the spicy pickle cherry salad: In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Saute until slightly translucent. Add the vinegar, salt, cayenne, pepper flakes and garlic and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the green beans, minced maraschino cherries and a pinch of black pepper. Let steep for 5 minutes, and then let cool. 
  5. Fill a deep skillet 1/4-inch deep with oil and heat over medium heat to 350 degrees F. Fry the ham slices until they become slightly browned and starts to curl up at the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. 
  6. Assemble the skewers with pieces of ham, dried pineapple rings and 3 whole cherries. 
  7. Cut the grilled pineapple ring using the ring mold. Place the pineapple in the bottom of the mold and top with ham salad to fill halfway. Layer the spicy pickle cherry salad on the ham salad. Remove the mold and top with a skewer.