Julia Child’s ham slices with pipérade

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Not long ago, I gave my mother a copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Since then, she has told me that with every recipe she tries, she likes Julia even more. Well, what is not to like about Julia?
This weekend, my husband and I went to visit my parents. As usual, they spoiled us rotten and my mom made this dish. It was so good. I loved it and just have to share it.

TRANCHES DE JAMBON EN PIPÉRADE [Ham Slices Baked with Tomatoes]
(Adapted slightly)

For 6 people
2 ½ to 3 lbs. of cooked ham, sliced ½ inch thick
3 Tb olive oil
A large frying pan
A shallow baking dish large enough to hold ham in one layer
Trim off excess fat, and dry the ham slices on paper towels. Heat the olive oil in the pan until it is almost smoking, then brown the ham lightly for a minute or two on each side. Remove from heat and arrange the ham in the baking dish.

1 cup sliced yellow onions
1 cup sliced green bell peppers
Lower heat, and stir the onions into the fat in the skillet. Cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Stir in the peppers and cook 5 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender but not browned.

2 lbs. firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced, and sliced (makes 3 cups of pulp)
2 cloves mashed garlic
⅛ tsp pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp sage or thyme
Spread the tomato pulp over the onions and peppers, add the garlic and seasonings. Cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes so the tomatoes will render their remaining juice. Then uncover and boil for several minutes, shaking the skillet, until the tomato juice has almost entirely evaporated. Top the browned ham with the vegetables.
(*) May be done in advance to this point.
2 to 3 Tb minced parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees . About 20 to 30 minutes before serving time, cover the baking dish and place it in the middle level of the oven and bake until the ham is heated through and tender when pierced with a fork. Baste with the juices in the dish and correct seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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Enjoy! Xxxx Natascha 🌹🌹🌹🌹

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