Kitchen Focus

I'm keeping this short and sweet for you this month. It's all about ham leftovers and what to do with them. Rather than talk at length, I'm just going to dive into the recipes ... here are three of my favorites:

Ham Casserole with Asparagus and Cheddar Cheese

  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crumbled marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups herb seasoned stuffing mix
  • 2 cups diced cooked ham
  • 2 cups cut asparagus spears, cooked and drained
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a saucepan, combine the cream of celery soup, milk, onion, marjoram, and rosemary; heat over medium heat just to boiling. Add the cheese; stir until the mixture is smooth and the cheese is melted.

In a lightly buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole, layer 1/3 of the dry stuffing mix; top with half of the ham, half of the asparagus, and half of the cheese sauce.

Repeat the layers. Mix the remaining 1/3 of the stuffing mix with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter; sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings

Creole Soufflé

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 eggs, divided
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimiento
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ham, ground

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the flour, stirring until smooth; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk; add salt and pepper.

Cook until the sauce is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add a small amount (about 1/3 cup) of the hot sauce to the egg yolks, stirring quickly to blend; return the egg yolk mixture to the sauce in the pan. Add the pimiento and ham; stir gently.

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir about 1/2 cup of the whites into the ham mixture. Gently fold the ham mixture into the remaining whites. Turn the mixture into an ungreased 2-quart sauté dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until firm.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

Ham and Potato Hash

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked, and diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely diced cooked ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crumbled thyme

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium low to medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well. Cook the hash until well browned, stirring frequently.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
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