Tag Archives: ham

Green Eggs & Ham Deviled Eggs

 

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A few weeks ago I was asked to organize snacks at my school’s literacy night. Wanting to carry the theme of books and reading into the food portion of the event, I decided that each food we served would be derived from a favorite childhood book featuring food. It all started out as a vague idea and ended up being a lot of fun for children and adults alike.

Some books had easy pairings but when I came to the Doctor Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham, I found myself pausing. First, I was looking for bite-sized food that could be made ahead of time which ruled out the majority of the Seuss themed dishes I found on the Internet. Then I also wanted to be able to incorporate both title components into a single dish. And finally, there was the issue of making the dish green.

Deviled eggs have always been one of my favorite appetizers and whenever I make them they disappear in minutes. Plus unlike scrambled eggs and the like they are portable and can be made ahead of time. So I took to my old stand by recipe and tweaked it a bit to include bits of minced ham and green food coloring. The food coloring is definitely optional but this version of my classic dish is a keeper.

 

GREEN EGGS & HAM DEVILED EGGS

12 eggs, hardboiled, cooled, peeled & sliced in half

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2  tablespoon dried Coleman’s mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sweet curry powder

1/4 cup minced cooked ham

Green food coloring (optional)

Parsley sprigs and paprika to garnish

  • Using a small spoon, carefully remove the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the yolks in a small bowl and move the whites to a serving platter.
  • Using a fork, mash the yolks to form a thick paste.
  • Stir in the mayonnaise, dried mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and curry powder, mixing until the mixture is smooth and lump free.
  • Stir in the ham, mixing until the meat is evenly distributed.
  • If you are using the food coloring, add one drop at a time, stirring well between each addition, until you have achieved your desired color.
  • Scoop the filling into the egg whites.
  • Sprinkle with paprika and top with a sprig of parsley.

Yields: 24 servings.

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Zucchini & Goat Cheese Quiche

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This time of year gardens and markets are bursting with zucchini, providing cooks with so many options. These green squashes are so versatile–your dishes can be sweet or savory; it can be eaten raw or cooked; you can bake, steam or saute the squash. The options are endless and here is yet another use for zucchini: quiche.

Quiche is a favorite summer time (or any time of year for that matter) dinner dish for me. It can be eaten hot, warm or cold meaning you can bake it in the morning and not have to turn on the oven come dinner time. And a quiche can be filled with just about any ingredient–including zucchini. This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and combines thinly sliced zucchini with diced ham and tangy goat cheese. The results are light, flavorful and make for a perfect light dinner. Pair it with a green salad and a cool glass of white wine and dinner is served.

ZUCCHINI & GOAT CHEESE QUICHE

12 ounces zucchini, very thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 ounces lower-sodium ham, diced
2 ounces plain firm goat cheese, crumbled
2 thyme sprigs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • Prepare the crust according to the recipe. Roll the dough and press it into a deep dish pie plate.
  • Prick the crust all over with a fork then place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the crust. Place a layer of pie weights, beans or rice over the top of the parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Bake the for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool slightly.
  • Place the zucchini in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 15 minutes or until liquid is released.
  • Drain the zucchini in a colander, squeezing a handful at a time to remove liquid, and pat dry.
  • Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, milk, thyme, pepper, eggs  and flour in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
  • Sprinkle the ham and goat cheese evenly over bottom of prepared crust then arrange the zucchini over the cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture over zucchini, top with the thyme sprigs and sprinkle with the paprika.
  • Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until egg is set.
  • Let the quiche stand for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Serves 8

Croque Monsieur, Madame & Provencal

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

One sandwich served three different ways. Its a staple of French bistros and makes for the perfect snack, lunch or light dinner. Its a go-to dish that pleases just about everyone. And as such, it has become my own go-to dish to make at home as well as a reliable dish to order from restaurant menus. What it is? It’s a Croque Monsieur–or Madame or Provencal–if you like.

The concept is simple, take good quality ham and cheese, layer it on bread that has been brushed with bechamel sauce and grill it. Add a slice of tomato to make it Provencal or top it with a sunny side up to turn it into a Madam. It’s a sandwich that is meant to be eaten with a knife and fork and tastes perfect when washed down with a cool glass of Rose wine. Its so easy and so good. So go ahead and make yourself one tonight.

CROQUE MONSIEUR (or MADAME or PROVENCAL) 

To make the bechamel sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup whole milk

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 bay leaf

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, then add the ground nutmeg and bay leaf.
  • Increase the temperature to high and  whisking constantly, boil until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

For the sandwiches:

4 slices white sandwich bread

4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham

4 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

2 slices tomato (optional)

2 eggs, cooked sunny side up (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Spread the bread slices with the bechamel sauce, making sure to extend the sauce all of the way to the edges.
  • Place two slices of bread, bechamel side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Top with the ham and half of the cheese. Add the tomato, if using.
  • Top with the remaining slices of bread, bechamel side up, then top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake the sandwiches until the cheese is brown and bubbling, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If you are making Croque Madams, cook the eggs in a hot skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray.
  • When the sandwiches are toasted, slide the eggs on top of the sandwiches and serve immediately.

Serves 2

 

Ham, Cheese & Asparagus Filled Crepes

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I love this dish. It can be the ultimate leftover meal–if as I do, you have pre-cooked ham and a stash of pre-made crepes sitting in your fridge or freezer–or you can make it completely from scratch. Made with leftovers it is the ideal “Fast Friday” dinner; not so much if you make all of the components from scratch at dinner time, but it is delicious just the same.

I love homemade crepes and when I make them, I usually make a double batch then stash the extra in the freezer for quick meals (like this one). If your crepes are frozen, simply let them defrost in the refrigerator during the day and then they will be ready for assembly once dinner time rolls around. And the ham? My family is a fan of spiral cut hams but even the smallest ones out there produce a lot of meat for a family of three. My solution is to enjoy a meal or two with the meat then cut it off the bone and freeze it for later use. Again, it is perfect for this meal.

To make this extra special, and decadent, top with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Now that is good.

HAM, CHEESE & ASPARAGUS STUFFED CREPES

1 bunch asparagus

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

8 crepes

16 slices pre-cooked ham

8 thin slices Gruyere cheese

  • Trim the asparagus and steam until just tender crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the ham and saute until warmed through. Remove the ham from the skillet but do not clean it.

To assemble the crepes:

  • Lay one crepe on a flat surface and place a slice of cheese in its center.
  • Top with two slices of ham and then three or four spears of asparagus.
  • Fold the bottom quarter of the crepe up towards the center then fold the sides in. You want to form an envelope with its top kept open.
  • Move the filled crepe to a plate and place seam side down.
  • Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling.

To cook the crepes:

  • Melt the remaining butter in the skillet.
  • Working in two batches, place the crepes seam side down in the melted butter and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Carefully turn the crepes over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Serves 4

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
This soup from Cuisine at Home is the perfect cold weather, end of the week meal. It essentially takes leftovers, pre-cooked chicken, ham and rice and turns them into a flavorful and satisfying soup in minutes. Yes minutes, because this isn’t a soup that takes hours of slow cooking. If you plan your weekly menu carefully, come Friday you will have all of the ingredients you need for this soup pre-cooked and ready to go. It truly doesn’t get any easier than that!
CHICKEN & WILD RICE SOUP
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup pre-cooked ham, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons dry sherry
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 cup whole milk
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • Melt the butter in a large soup pot set over medium high heat.
  • Add the ham to the pot, stir to coat and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the onion, carrots and celery to the ham. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  • Stir in the flour until it coats the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Deglaze the pot with the sherry, scraping up any browned bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the broth, cooked rice, chicken and thyme.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Add the milk and scallions to the soup and cook until heated through.
  • Adjust the seasonings if necessary and serve.
Serves 4

Ham & Cheddar Apple Muffins

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Chances are, if you are baking up a ham for dinner today, you will find yourself with quite a bit of leftover meat.  How about using some in these sweet and savory muffins?  Ham and cheese are a natural pairing but when you add some apples you have the perfect trifecta.  There are many types of ham out there but this recipe works best with a spiral cut honey ham since its sweetness is the perfect contrast for the sharpness of the Cheddar cheese.  If you find yourself with a boiled ham, increase its sweetness by tossing the ham in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar before adding it to the batter.

HAM & CHEDDAR APPLE MUFFINS

3 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup plain yogurt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup diced cooked ham

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 medium apple, shredded (I prefer Macintosh)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cooled

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and eggs.
  • Fold the yogurt mixture into the flour until just combined.
  • Add in the ham, cheese and apples and fold until just combined.
  • Gently stir in the melted butter.
  • Evenly divide the batter amongst the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes then allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool an additional 10  minutes before serving.  These muffins are best served warm.

Yields:  12 muffins

Hot Plate Cooking ****Ham & Cheese Risotto w/ Asparagus****

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We lucked out and were able to move into our house a lot sooner than we had initially expected. As such, this is my final “Hot Plate Cooking” post. As much as I’ve enjoyed them, I have to say I’m relieved. So what did I make for my final hotel room meal? One of my favorite standbys for when I am short on time, or in this case space………..risotto of course!

I had some ham leftover from an earlier dinner and had planned on adding that to my risotto with a bit of parmesan cheese. But then I saw the asparagus. I love asparagus and will eat it whenever the opportunity arises. Of course, living in Albania it was impossible to find it fresh and I quickly discovered that the frozen or jarred versions are just not the same. So, with the exception of a blissful spring week in Budapest where I savored complete meals out of nothing by asparagus, I put my cravings on hold for two and a half years. Until now. So when I saw the asparagus sitting in the produce case of Carrefour, I knew I had to buy it. I think it is always good but it also pairs perfectly with the ham and cheese, resulting in a wonderful early spring (I can hope, can’t I) meal. Yum….and here’s to now having a real kitchen again!

 

HAM & CHEESE RISOTTO w/ ASPARAGUS

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, minced

1 ½ cups risotto rice

1 cup cooked ham, cut into cubes

1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces and lightly steamed

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • Meanwhile, heat the vegetable broth and white wine in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Adjust the heat to keep the broth mixture at a low simmer. Or, if you are short on burner space the way I am, heat the broth and wine mixture into a microwave safe bowl for 5 minutes or until hot.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the shallot and sauté until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the rice to the onions and stir to combine.  Add one ladle of the broth to the pot and stir well.  Stirring occasionally, continue cooking the rice until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding additional broth.
  • Repeat this process until the rice is al dente.  You may not need to use all of the broth.
  • Add the ham and asparagus with the last of your broth. Fold gently to combine.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

Serves:  4

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