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Nancy's Whole Ham Cooked In Rye Dough, And Dick's Worth-The-Wait Roast Lamb

How's this for a switch: rye on ham.

It used to be a vague childhood memory for Nancy Leson's husband, Mac. 

"When he was a little kid, his mother made this Polish ham baked in a rye crust. And he remembers his mom making it just this one time, and [he] forgot about it for the next 50 years," she says. "Well, he finally decided that he had to find it, went online and there it was." 

The Rye On Ham

Mac combined bits and pieces of the various recipes he found, and came up with his own rye-crusted roast ham, pictured above. He glazed the ham, then wrapped it in rye dough flavored with caraway seeds and molasses (here's one recipe). 

"The idea is to just to put them [the ham] in the crust to keep them nice and moist while they're roasting," says Nancy. "Just like a giant calzone is what it looked like." 

Here's Nancy's video of her son, Nate, cutting off the crust. What fun.

Now, that's a ham. Me — I've been enjoying lamb. 

Now, The Lamb

I'd been meaning to try Molly Stevens' Mechoui roast lamb from her stellar All About Roasting cookbook for quite a while now. I was lucky to find a reasonably reasonable lamb shoulder roast at the store. I hustled it home for its two-day sojourn in the fridge, naked but for a coating of garlic, spice butter and a smile. 

There are a number of steps involved and you have to prep several day in advance, but for me, it was well worth it. You should own Molly's cookbook, but just to whet your appetite, here's her Mechoui roast lamb recipe.

And speaking of fun, take a look at all the fun in store at our Food for Thought Happy Hourevent, which will be held on May 15 at the Palace Ballroom. Nancy and I hope to see you there.

“The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.

- Martina Navratilova

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.