Fleur de Lolly: Try some different ways to use leftover holiday ham
If you baked a ham for Christmas, and you’re already tired of ham sandwiches, these recipes will solve that dilemma.
SOUTHWESTERN HAM AND BROCCOLI CHOWDER
This recipe evolved from refrigerator and pantry items. Instead of dicing all the potatoes, I grated two and diced one. That gave the chowder a really different texture. And seriously, how can you go wrong with cream and cheese? The subtle Southwestern spices were just enough to taste but were not overwhelming.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium jalapeño, diced (remove membranes and seeds if you want a milder flavor)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups cooked, diced ham
3 cups broccoli florets (you can use frozen, just thaw first)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
Chopped cilantro for garnishing if desired
In a large Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, add butter and olive oil. Add next six ingredients and, stirring frequently, allow vegetables to soften about 8 to 10 minutes.
Gradually add broth and allow to come to a gentle simmer. Add ham, broccoli and seasonings. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, milk and half and half. Slowly stir into the chowder mixture and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly for five minutes and allow mixture to thicken. Add cheese 1/4 cup at a time, continually stirring, until melted and blended.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
HAM AND MUSHROOM POT PIE
I’ve made more chicken pot pies in my lifetime than I could possibly count. For a change, this version features ham. I didn’t want the usual vegetables like peas and carrots that you’d typically associate with a chicken pot pie. So instead, this recipe has fresh mushrooms and onions, along with spinach and Gruyere cheese. You can lighten up the recipe by using a “healthy request” soup and low-fat sour cream.
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped (your choice on which type mushroom you prefer)
2 cups diced ham
8 oz. fresh spinach
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (or Swiss)
Pie crust for top and bottom (packaged or homemade)
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
In a large skillet heat butter or olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring, until onions become clear and mushrooms soften.
Next, add in the cubed ham and let the mixture cook until ham begins to brown, another 5 minutes or so. Add a few handfuls of spinach at a time, allowing to wilt before adding more. When all the spinach has wilted and cooked down, turn off heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, thyme, nutmeg and pepper. Add to the ham and vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
The cheese is added next, and stirred into the hot mixture and allowed to melt.
Taste the filling at this point. The ham and cheese (along with the soup) will have salt. You probably won’t need to add any additional salt to the filling. That’s your call!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place one of the pie crusts into a pie plate. Press crust down into the dish and add filling.
Add the top crust and either make a beautiful decorative border for the edges, or do like I do and press the edges together with a fork to seal. I call this version “Rustic” which definitely sounds better than “I don’t have the patience to make a gorgeous decorative border.”
Using a pastry brush, coat the entire top of pie crust with the egg wash you mixed up earlier. Cut a few slits in the top crust with a knife.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. If crust begins to brown too much cover the edges with foil. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. She won the Duke Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and firstname.lastname@example.org.