Monday, January 21, 2008

Deviled Ham (Page 496)

  • Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 -- 11pm
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: C

Mmmmm... spreadable ham. This one came off the list generated by the random number generator. (Aside: this is exactly why I use said list. Would I ever have picked spreadable ham on my own? Probably not until the very last month of my project.) I made some deviled ham sandwiches and brought them when I went to meet Matty in Indianapolis for dinner last week. Well, what can I say. I love ham -- like most pork products, it tastes great. This deviled ham was made with the addition of butter, mustard, and chutney, all of which I also love. But then it all gets pureed together (directions: blend until smooth). This is where the recipe goes horribly awry. Pureed ham? Seriously? Deviled ham is always spreadable ham (the stuff you mix in varies depending on the recipe, but the spreadableness does not). So maybe the recipe didn't go awry but the whole concept of deviled ham is just flawed to begin with. I don't want my ham to be smushy and spreadable. If, instead of making this deviled ham, I had just taken some bread, put a little butter on it, a few slices of ham, some mustard and chutney and made myself a sandwich like that it would have been delightful. Yet, with the exact same ingredients, my deviled ham sandwich was just not very good (two pieces of bread with ham-flavored mush in between. I'm sure you can imagine). Why puree the innards of your sandwich? Why would you want to do that?

There are two perspectives on grading this. One is that my sandwich would have been vastly better had I not executed this recipe at all and rather just put the deviled ham ingredients between some bread. That suggests it should get an extremely low grade (D maybe, or F?). The other perspective (and this is offered up by Matty) is that as far as deviled hams go, this recipe is much better than most. Deviled ham is inherently gross, but if you were forced to make it, you would probably want to make this recipe. So he suggested a grade of B+ (although, notably, after eating a half a sandwich made with this he had no interest in eating any more...). So the compromise: C. It's not a compromise really. This is the grade it should get according to my usual scheme. To land in the B range it has to be something that I enjoyed eating, which wasn't particularly the case here. But to land in the D or F range it has to be something that I wouldn't eat past a bite or two. I did eat my deviled ham sandwich. Truth be told, I had more than one (there was a lot of deviled ham and it seemed sad to throw away all that once-yummy ham!). So I'll give it a C. But unless someone is forcing you at gunpoint to produce some deviled ham, I wouldn't recommend this recipe.

Lucky for you, this recipe isn't online.


Laura said...

Yummy! What a sad, sad thing to do do pork! Hope the random number generator picks something better next time!

mike hill said...

Once again you leave me depressed with your artificially high grades. Teena, this isn't about comparing it to the magical deviled ham in the world of forms. This is about what you thought of the recipe using your tried and true grading scale of "God, I love it more than life itself" to "I couldn't eat any of it". I don't recall ever hearing "well, as far as garbage goes, it was slightly less nasty. Not on the scale!

Teena said...

Well, Mike, I ate it (on several occasions no less). So I couldn't very well give it an F. The grade of F is reserved for things that go down the garbage disposal!

Laura: Yeah, I too am hoping that the random generator gives me some better options in the future!