Monday, June 13, 2011

Leftover ham recipes - 5 easy ways to cook leftover ham

Leftover ham recipes - 5 easy ways to cook leftover ham
By: Chef Cristian Feher
Tampa Bay Personal Chef Services

You sauntered through the refrigerated meat section and came across a deal that was too good to pass up, which is usually the way most people acquire a 10lb ham. Or maybe you have leftover holiday ham from a family get together. The point is that you would never waste such tasty, succulent meat. But you still have 8Lbs left and can't even fit anything else into your cluttered fridge. That's why I'm going to give you five ways to rescue that ham and give it new life.

Ham and Split Pea Soup:
One of my favorite soups. It's as good as it is easy to prepare. Soup pot. 1 pound of diced ham. 1 diced onion. 1 pound dried split peas. Cover with chicken stock or water just enough to cover the ingredients. Cook until the split peas disapear and you end up with a nice green liquid, you may need to add water if too much has evaporated (if you only see dry split peas and ham). Season with salt and pepper. Take the soup off the heat and let stand until it cools down a bit, it will thicken during the cool down.

Deviled Ham:
I must confess that Underwood canned deviled ham is one of my secret passions. But this recipe is almost as good. You will need a food processor. Add enough diced ham to fill up about 3/4 of your food processor (about 1 lb on my food processor). Add 1/2 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/2 chopped onion, 2 Tbsp of hot sauce or more if you like it spicy (you can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper), 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Combine all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. This mixture will make amazing sandwiches, but I prefer to cook spaghetti pasta, drain it, and mix it with a cup or two of deviled ham and heat it together in a skillet with a little olive oil, fresh Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil leaves. Pure heaven.

Glory, glory, ham united sandwich:
I made this sandwich while watching soccer at a friend's house and it still remains his favorite sandwich to date. Get some fresh, crusty Italian of French bread and layer the following from bottom to top: A tonne of sliced ham, mayo mixed with crushed garlic and parsley, thick slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, sliced ripe tomatoes, roasted peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil, and basil leaves. You can eat it cold, or roast it in the oven open faced until the mozzarella gets warm. One bite and you'll be making inappropriate humming sounds.

Penne Alfredo w/ Ham and Peas:
A great pasta dish if you don't mind the calories, fat and carbs. But it's all about the taste, right? The Alfredo, or more accurately - cream sauce, is made by frying up a diced onion with three bay leaves, salt and some pepper until the onion becomes translucent. I like to add fresh tarragon to my cream sauce. Add 2 to 3 cups of heavy cream and bring it to a simmer. Once it simmers you will thicken it with a roux - a roux is a flour mixed with vegetable oil so that it becomes the consistency of tooth paste. Take a whisk and whisk in a little roux at a time into the cream sauce. Once it has thickened enough, cook out the sauce at low heat for 10 more minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper, set aside. Cook you pasta, chop your ham and get your peas ready. In a non-stick skillet heat up the ham and peas until hot, then add the cooked pasta of choice and cream sauce. Toss, heat, mix, serve, enjoy, then go for a 5k run to burn it off.  

Breakfast Pizza:
If you looked at this title and said, "Ewww.." you probably hate laughter, happiness and money. Stop reading this and go for a walk in traffic. The rest of you are in for a treat. Get some store-bought pizza dough, roll it and flatten it into the shape of a pizza. Sprinkle it with plenty of chopped ham, cover with a lot of soggy scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and shredded cheese of choice. Bake until the crust is cooked and enjoy by dipping in ranch dressing or BBQ sauce. Good morning, indeed.

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