We love the idea of taking a special, sneak peek into the personal family narratives of the chefs who create such a public experience for the guests and staff of Crystal Bridges; so over the holiday season, we’ll be revealing important edible family secrets from the chefs and culinary experts at Crystal Bridges.
We end our holiday recipe series with Chef William McCormick’s country ham salad. McCormick, an eighth-generation Arkansan, grew up in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. He trained at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and working in Dallas, Boston, and Chicago before making his way back to Northwest Arkansas as the Executive Chef of Eleven, the restaurant at Crystal Bridges.
4 oz thinly sliced country ham or prosciutto
5 Pieces of halved artichokes – charred on a grill
2 ounces piccalilli
1 ounce encapsulated olive oil
Tie the fennel seeds in a cheesecloth and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the artichoke hearts and season with a pinch of salt. Add the diced carrot and celeriac and cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure they do not color.
Turn up the heat. Add the wine and garlic to the pan and cook until almost dry. Add the fennel seeds (tied in cloth), chicken stock and caster sugar to the pan. Turn down the heat and simmer the artichokes until they are just cooked through (up to 5 minutes) and the liquid is reduced – the artichokes are cooked when a sharp knife is inserted and there is no resistance. Add the white wine vinegar to the pan. Remove the cheesecloth containing the fennel seeds from the pan.
Cut vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix well, cover and leave in a cool place for 24 hours. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Blend cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander to a smooth paste with a little of the vinegar.
Put the rest of the vinegar into a saucepan with sugar and honey and bring to boil. Pour a little of the hot vinegar over blended spice paste, stir well and return to pan. Bring gently to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold in the vegetables.
Brush each piece of ham with a lemon-infused olive oil and arrange on a plate in a circle. Place artichokes around the plate on top of the ham. Artfully place the piccalilli near each artichoke so each bite contains some of each component.
Garnish with encapsulated olive oil and young, spicy mustard greens.