Home Cookin'

What do you do when you receive 25 pounds of ham? Make ham sandwiches? Make ham and bean soup? Save it for Easter dinner?

I was recently at my husband's grandmother's house when she received 25 pounds of ham. Everyone offered up their suggestions on how to prepare the ham for family meals. One day, we had baked ham, ham sandwiches for lunch, and beans with ham hocks to name just a few of the meals. Well, this got me to thinking, there have to be more recipes out there that use ham, that one could use should they have ham leftover from a family dinner, such as say, Easter.

As I sit here flipping through my notes from my Grandmother's cookbook, I'm finding quite a few recipes you could use ham in. For starters, there's ham salad spread, sliced ham for sandwiches, ham balls, and a myriad of casserole dishes using ham. I'm going to give you a couple of ideas here. I encourage you to email me if you need more or search the web for something that suites your tastes.

The first recipe I've come across is for ham salad. The basic ham salad recipe calls for l pound chopped ham (usually ground up in a food processor), 2 tablespoons of Miracle Whip or mayo, sweet pickle relish to taste, pimento for a dash of color, and a teaspoon of sugar (only added if you use Miracle Whip -- I usually taste it to see, then add more if needed). This spread can be stored in the fridge, in a sealed container, for a couple days, and when you want a sandwich just take it out and spread about a tablespoon or two on a slice of bread or toast, sprinkle with some shredded cheese and you have a sandwich. :)

Ham Salad or Spread

  • 1 pound chopped ham
  • 2 tablespoons Mircle Whip or mayo
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon pimento
  • 1 teaspoon sugar -- to taste

Combine ingredients together and store in a sealed container. Serve on bread.

  • Yields: about 2 pounds spread
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

A friend of mine, Colleen McCully, contributed her two cents ... I mean recipe! She uses about a half of a pound of chopped ham, a couple tablespoons of mayo or Miracle Whip (just enough so that you can form a ball out of the mixture) and about a half of a cup of grated cheese. She mixes the other ingredients into the ham. Then she places this on bread and toasts the outside lightly, just until the cheese starts to melt.

Colleen McCully's Ham Salad

  • 1/2 pound chopped ham
  • 2 tablespoons mayo or Miracle Whip
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese

Mix together until you can form a ball, place about a tablespoon on bread and toast bread on both sides or until cheese melts.

  • Yields: about 1/2 pound spread
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Another good variation on ham salad that can be used for parties uses 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of mayo, 2 cups ground ham, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion and 1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard. To make the spread, you blend all of the ingredients together. This can then be formed into a ball and coated with crushed almonds or nuts. Serve it on a platter with different types of crackers.

Ham Party Spread

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup real mayonnaise
  • 2 cups ground ham
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Blend all ingredients together. Serve with crackers or vegetables. You can also form into a ball and roll in crushed nuts. A good use for leftover ham or sandwich meat.

  • Yields: about 2 cups spread
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

If you have leftover ham on hand, you can make this breakfast casserole ahead to have ready when company comes. It takes 8 slices of bread with the crusts cut off and then cubed (though I personally would just leave the crusts on!), 2/3 of a pound of shredded cheese, 1 cup of ham, sausage or bacon (I say HAM!), 4 cups of milk, 8 eggs that are slightly beaten, a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of each of parsley flakes and onion flakes. In a 9x13-inch pan, layer the bread, cheese and meat -- in that order. Then, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the ingredients in a pan. Refrigerate the casserole overnight. Then, in the morning, bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. This is a great breakfast casserole for Easter morning.

Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole

  • 8 slices bread -- crusts cut off and cubed
  • 2/3 pound cheese -- shredded
  • 1 cup ham, sausage or bacon
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 eggs -- slightly beaten
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes

In a 9x13-inch baking dish, layer bread, cheese, and meat. Mix remaining ingredients together in bowl. Pour over layered meat, cheese, and bread. Refrigerate overnight. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees.

  • Yields: 8-10 servings
  • Preparation Time: 70 minutes, plus chilling time

Next, we have hamloaf. This is sort of like a meatloaf but made with ham, pork, and beef. First, you'll need 3 pounds of meat -- a mixture of ham, beef, and pork, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 3 eggs, 1 can of tomato soup, 2 cups of milk, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix everything in one bowl (I like to add a little chopped onion to the mix myself), saving half of the can of soup for the topping (or you can use 2 cans -- whichever works out best for you). Place the mixture in a greased baking dish. Then cover with the rest of the tomato soup and bake for 2 hours at 325 degrees. This is a good receipe to double or quadruple for large crowds.

Ham Loaf

  • 1 pound each ground ham, ground pork and ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or crackers
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2 cans of tomato soup
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients but 1/2 can of the soup (or a whole can depending on your taste) together. Place in a baking pan, then pour remaining soup over the top of the loaf. Bake for 2 hours at 325 degrees.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Finally, we come to my favorite recipe, Ham and Scalloped Potatoes. I have a couple different ways of doing this. The first one uses 4 cups of sliced potatoes, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 3/4 cup of milk, 1 cup of diced ham, 1 small onion that's been sliced, 1 tablespoon of margarine,and salt and pepper to taste. Simply blend the soup, milk, salt and pepper. In a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, alternate layers of ham, potatoes and onions. Dot the top with margarine. Pour the soup mixture over the top of the potatoes and ham. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes while covered. Then, uncover the pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 cups sliced potatoes
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 small onion -- sliced
  • 1 tablespoon margarine

Blend soup, milk and seasonings in a bowl. In a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, alternate layers of potatoes, ham and onions; then dot the top with margarine. Pour soup mixture over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, covered. Then uncover and cook for another 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

The next recipe I have for scalloped potatoes is a bit unusual but is really tasty! It requires 5 to 7 large potatoes, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 2 cups of diced ham, 1 can of cheddar cheese soup and 1 can of water. First, peel and dice the potatos (for extra vitamins just wash the potatoes before dicing them) then place them into a crockpot. Place the diced ham on top of the potatoes. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soups and water, then pour the mixture over the ham and potatoes in the crockpot. Cover the crockpot and cook on low 7 to 8 hours. Make sure you stir the mixture well before serving. This recipe is great to start in the morning before work and it will be ready to eat when you get home!

Crockpot Scalloped Ham and Potatoes

  • 5-7 large potatoes -- peeled and diced (or washed and diced)
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 can of water

Peel (or wash) and dice potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place in a crockpot. Place diced ham on top of potatoes.

In large mixing bowl, combine soups and water, pour mixture over ham and potatoes. Cover crock-pot and cook on low 7 to 8 hours. Stir well before serving.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus cooking time

Hash Browns with Diced Ham

Last, but not least, I have to mention my husbands favorite, Hash Browns with Diced Ham. Simply cook the potatoes until almost done and then just add some diced ham and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

And don't forget the good old ham and cheese omelette, great for just about any time of day.

I hope the next time you are stuck with a lot of leftover ham this helps you come up with some ideas for using it! :) Until next time!