Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Save the Ham!




I go grocery shopping about every two weeks and more times then not I pick up a pound of sliced ham from the deli. I am not one to let expiration dates dictate whether food is still edible but deli meat is an exception. With any other food I would throw it in the freezer but for some reason I don't and won't do that with the ham. Not sure why and I think I'm sounding crazy. But for that reason I have two wonderful recipes to use up that short-lived deli ham or regular ham for that matter.


Ham and Cheese Frittata

Oil, enough for a thin coat in pan
3 cups shredded or southern hashbrowns, frozen
Ham, chopped
6-10 eggs, beaten (I use one carton of egg substitute)
Swiss, sharp cheddar, gouda, fontina or your favorite cheese about 1-1/2 cups shredded

In an oven-proof skillet heat oil and add hashbrowns. Make an even layer across the pan flipping after about 6-8 minutes. Spread out to form a crust and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Lay ham over potatoes and then pour eggs over that and season as desired. Cook over medium heat on the stove. With a spatula run it around the outside of the eggs after they have set to allow unset egg to flow to the outside (kind of what you would do with an omlet). After the outside is pretty well set, stick skillet into a 375 degree oven to allow the center to set. This will depend on the how far the frittata was cooked on the stove so just watch and give the skillet a jiggle. If the center does not jiggle pull out your skillet and top the frittata with cheese. Put back in the oven to melt the cheese which will not take long. Cut into wedges and enjoy. Tastes great the next day too!


Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Ham slices
Potatoes, sliced
2-3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
onion powder, ground mustard (optional)
2-1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded Colby, Sharp cheddar, or Gouda (these work really well)
additional milk and cheese

Depending on the amount of potatoes you use this will all vary slightly. Usually I make either a 9x13 pyrex dish or regular dutch oven size amount. Layer potatoes on the bottom and top with the ham in the middle. Then make a roux. Take a medium saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted sprinkle the flour and seasonings into the butter. Using a whisk mix together and allow to cook for a few minutes. Mixture will bubble and stir around occasionally. Turn heat up to medium high and pour in milk. Stir constantly until thickens. Reduce heat and continue stirring constantly until desired thickeness is reached. Added shredded cheese. This is really good with tortilla chips in case you get the munchies not that I would know what that is like. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and ham. It may look like its not saucy enough so I add milk around the edges just so the bottom of the dish is covered. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender. Additional cheese can be put on top at the end of baked until melted. More great leftovers. This is one of my top five favorite meals.


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