This is a really nice addition to your Sunday brunch or for this season, Thanksgiving day breakfast. We had a slice with some salad for a nice, light supper, and as a side with a bowl of Creamy Mushroom-Pumpkin Soup with Sherry. I think if might be good with gravy, as in biscuits and gravy…just a thought! My sister-by-marriage was visiting us for a few days and she introduced me to a Spanish-language blog she visits. Since I want to learn Spanish, I perused the recipe list and there were some very interesting sounding recipes. And by interesting, I mean delicious sounding treats. One of those recipes was for a Pastel de Jamon, which for all the world looked like a quick bread with cheese and ham in it. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea? This is the result of combining a little bit from three different recipes. It turned out surprisingly well.
This goes together pretty quickly. Sauté the onion until it’s softened, toss in the thyme and cook briefly, just to release the oil. Remove the pan from the burner and add the diced ham. The ham was cold, so the residual heat in the pan warms the ham and the cold ham cools the onion mixture…win-win! The dry ingredients go together in a bowl and the wet ingredients go together in another bowl, which I whisked together. I dumped the flour mixture on top of the wet mixture, then the ham and finally the shredded and grated cheese. Just gently fold the whole thing together, but don’t over-mix. The batter will be pretty stiff. Butter the pan really, really well. The loaf stuck to the pan, so I didn’t use enough butter. Next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I think I’ll line the pan with either foil or parchment, and then butter it. Also, I used a glass pan, so I would lower the heat to 325°F. I think the final loaf would probably stick less, too. I’ll keep you posted.
I used a combination of Swiss cheese and Parmesan. I want to try substituting sharp cheddar for half the Swiss. I think the flavor would be even more interesting. And by interesting, I mean delicious! I think a couple of tablespoons of minced chives added to the flour mixture, would add both nice color and flavor. As soon as the loaf cooled, I wrapped it in foil and tossed it in the fridge.
It was good warm, fresh out of the oven, but it was even better, toasted, the next morning. The flavors had melded and blended.
Pastel de Jamon (Ham and Cheese Quick Bread)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 smallish onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 pound diced smoky ham (I use a little more than 1/2 lb)
- 4 ounces butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss or Gruyère cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter and flour an 8X4-inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder and spices; set aside.
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and onion. Sauté until the onion is softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the fresh thyme. Remove from the flame; add the ham and stir until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, beat (or whisk vigorously) the butter and the eggs until well combined. Beat in the milk until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the flour mixture, all at once, into the egg/butter mixture. Dump the onion/ham mixture on and then the shredded cheese on top. Using a spatula, fold the mixture together until you have a homogeneous batter. Do not over-mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes, then unmold onto a rack and cool to room temperature.
NOTE: I have the deli slice the ham into a 1/4-inch thick slice; one slice is about 1/2 pound. I cut the ham into 1/4-inch dice. I found the bread stuck to the pan a bit. Therefore, I think lining the pan with foil or parchment might work well.
Pastel de Jamon (Ham and Cheese Quick Bread Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
A couple of slices with a nice, little salad makes for a tasty mid-week supper. For breakfast, a slice popped into the toaster oven was delicious; it was moist on the inside and just a tad crispy on the outside. Pass the cafe con leche. Life is good.