Tasso ham is lean and spicy cured pork shoulder. It’s a flavorful ingredient in Cajun cuisine, and not often found outside of Louisiana. Tasso is typically used to season dishes like soups, gumbo, grits, rice, and gravies, but any recipe that needs a rich peppery kick and depth of flavor can benefit. Versatile tasso ham can be left whole, chunked, sliced or diced. It’s fully cooked and ready-to-use and makes a great companion to our smoky andouille sausage.
Buy tasso ham and bring some flavor into your cooking! What will you make with tasso ham? Read on for ideas and recipes.
1. Must-Have for Classic Cajun Recipes
2. Stir Tasso Ham into Soup
Chowders, creamy vegetable soups, and bisques get a fiery boost from finely diced tasso added during the last half of cooking. Use large chunks to season soups in the same manner as smoked ham hock or Parmesan rind. Try this method with split pea, bean, lentil and barley soups, like the one @louisiana_woman made.
3. Gussy Up Your Grits and Polenta
Tasso gives soul food staple shrimp and grits its signature snappy punch. Spicy tasso is the perfect accompaniment to briny shellfish. Add some to shrimp, scallop, langoustine, clam and mussel dishes, or make the classic shrimp and grits with tasso like @kanin.cuisine. Try a bit of diced tasso in creamy Italian-style polenta too, as in our summer-friendly grits recipe with fresh corn (seen in the featured photo).
4. Add Flavor to Sautéed Greens
A little tasso lends a lot of flavor to sautéed or braised greens. Add a few chunks to the pot when braising kale, collards, chard, or dandelion greens for smoky depth. Diced tasso gives a delicious tang to sautéed vegetables like green beans, peas, okra and Brussels sprouts.
5. Tasso Ham + Eggs = Heaven
Savory egg dishes like omelets, frittatas and scrambles get a welcome hit of smoke and spice from a bit of tasso ham. For an extraordinary quiche add a bit of tasso to the custard then pour into a tasso-studded, buttery pâte brisée. Or top deviled eggs with spicy tasso, like @subtilittle on Instagram, did.
6. Make Bread Better
Highly-seasoned, spicy tasso is a wonderful add-in to bread and bread-based recipes. Chop it small then add to your favorite recipes for cornbread, drop biscuits, cheddar muffins or savory bread pudding. Or just put it between slices of bread, like @theatticonbroadway does in Long Beach, CA.
7. Add Zing to Finger Food
Finely diced tasso ham adds spirited, spicy flavor to normally tame hors d’oeuvres like corn fritters, arancini, potato croquettes, and hushpuppies.
What ideas do you have for cooking with tasso ham? Tell us in the comments!
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