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Ham and Red-Eye Gravy

1/2 Stick unsalted butter; (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 lb Baked Virginia ham; cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/4 c Brewed coffee
1/2 c Boiling water
Hot pepper sauce to taste
Spoon bread or buttered cooked grits as an accompaniment if desired

In a large skillet heat the butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides and in it saute the ham in batches, turning it once, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until it is browned, and transfer it to a platter. Into the skillet pour the coffee and 1/2 cup boiling water and cook the mixture over high heat, scraping up the browned bits, for 2 minutes. Season the gravy with the hot pepper sauce and pepper and pour it over the ham slices. (If desired, strain the gravy before pouring it over the ham.) Serve ham and gravy with spoon bread or grits.

Yield: 4 servings

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