A bit over a year ago, I published my EUREKA! moment for coming up with a ham salad spread that tasted as good as the one I recall from my college days.
One trick I’d learned was to chop the ham up really fine in a food processor fitted with the metal blade before combing with the other – usual suspects – ingredients; mayonnaise, relish or chopped pickles, a bit of mustard, a dab o’ Thousand Island and…
the secret ingredient? SUGAR!
Now, we’re back, and I believe that I have made the best! ham salad a nice bit besterer!
The secret ingredient, this time?
SMOKED BROWN SUGAR!
BUT! A little of this stuff goes a long way; I used only 1/2 teaspoon in this recipe, and it was perfect. Of course, I am also, now finding more and more uses for it, so…
Anyway, back to the ham salad.
I started with a small can (don’t hate, it was on sale and I had a coupon), but you could get yours fresh from the deli, or use leftovers from ham dinner, it’s all good.
•12 oz ham
•1/2 cup diced sweet onion
•1/2 cup diced celery tops (including leaves)
•2 tbsp pepper relish
•2 tbsp chop pickle
•3/4 cup mayonnaise
•1/8 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp smoked brown sugar
Note: yes, I used my own, home made relish and pickle that I put up last summer. If you’re not about to start canning, by all means just use 1/4 cup of your favorite relish(es).
Roughly cut the ham into chunks, then add to the bowl of your food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the ham is nicely chopped.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. You could, I guess, do the mixing in the processor, but I wanted my ham salad to have a bit of heft to it, with chunks of celery and onion and pickles.
Stir to combine well, then transfer to a covered container and try not to eat it for a couple of hours, the flavors will develop and ripen, and your ham salad sammich will be all that much besterer!
Go ahead, make yourself a batch this weekend.
You’ll thank yourself (and, mebbe me) come lunch time.