Honey Roasted Ham Hock


2 small ham hocks
1 large onion, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled
1 leek, trimmed
1 celery stalk, trimmed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 thyme sprig
6 white peppercorns


2½ tbsp English mustard
2½ tbsp French mustard
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup raw brown sugar
handful of cloves
handful of rosemary needles


  1. Rinse the ham hocks well under cold running water. Chop the vegetables roughly and put them into a large pan with the ham hocks. Add the garlic, thyme, and peppercorns and pour in enough cold water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then skim off any scum from the surface. Simmer, covered, for 3 to 5 hours until the hocks are very tender and the bone should slide easily out of the meat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Let the hocks cool slightly in the liquid until you can handle them, then remove and peel off the skin, leaving the fat on. Score the fat in a crisscross pattern. (Save the stock as this makes a great base for pea and ham soup.)
  3. For the glaze, mix together the mustards, honey, and raw brown sugar. Spread the mixture over the ham hocks and stud with the cloves and rosemary needles. Place in a large roasting pan and roast in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the glaze caramelizes. Let rest for 5 minutes or so after roasting.
  4. Carve the ham hocks and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Recipes of Jason Atherton

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Customer: “Have you got Asparagus?”

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Customer: “Waiter! There is a fly in my soup.”

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8 Nutrients to Protect the Aging Brain

Brain health is the second most important component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle according to a 2014 AARP study. As people age they can experience a range of cognitive issues from decreased critical thinking to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In the March issue of Food Technology published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), contributing editor Linda Milo Ohr writes about eight nutrients that may help keep your brain in good shape.

  1. Cocoa Flavanols: Cocoa flavanols have been linked to improved circulation and heart health, and preliminary research shows a possible connection to memory improvement as well. A study showed cocoa flavanols may improve the function of a specific part of the brain called the dentate gyrus, which is associated with age-related memory (Brickman, 2014).
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids have long been shown to contribute to good heart health are now playing a role in cognitive health as well. A study on mice found that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation appeared to result in better object recognition memory, spatial and localizatory memory (memories that can be consciously recalled such as facts and knowledge), and adverse response retention (Cutuli, 2014). Foods rich in omega-3s include salmon, flaxseed oil, and chia seeds.
  3. Phosphatidylserine and Phosphatidic Acid: Two pilot studies showed that a combination of phosphatidylserine and phosphatidic acid can help benefit memory, mood, and cognitive function in the elderly (Lonza, 2014).
  4. Walnuts: A diet supplemented with walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset, or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in mice (Muthaiyah, 2014).
  5. Citicoline: Citicoline is a natural substance found in the body’s cells and helps in the development of brain tissue, which helps regulate memory and cognitive function, enhances communication between neurons, and protects neural structures from free radical damage. Clinical trials have shown citicoline supplements may help maintain normal cognitive function with aging and protect the brain from free radical damage. (Kyowa Hakko USA).
  6. Choline: Choline, which is associated with liver health and women’s health, also helps with the communication systems for cells within the brain and the rest of the body. Choline may also support the brain during aging and help prevent changes in brain chemistry that result in cognitive decline and failure. A major source of choline in the diet are eggs.
  7. Magnesium: Magnesium supplements are often recommended for those who experienced serious concussions. Magnesium-rich foods include avocado, soy beans, bananas and dark chocolate.
  8. Blueberries: Blueberries are known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity because they boast a high concentration of anthocyanins, a flavonoid that enhances the health-promoting quality of foods. Moderate blueberry consumption could offer neurocognitive benefits such as increased neural signaling in the brain centers.

Read the full article at Institute of Food Technologists :

Protecting the Aging Brain . . . .