Tag Archives: Ham

Ham Casserole

Ham Casserole 005

Here is another simple-to-make casserole that is filling, and has a few options.

Ham Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (about 10-12 oz.) diced (leftover) ham
  • 8 oz cooked noodles or macaroni (cook as label directs, drain)
  • 5 oz. frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper(optional)
  • 2 cups milk
  • poppyseeds for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix together in a large bowl the ham, noodles and peas.
  • In saucepan cook the onion in the butter. When onion is soft, add flour, salt and both peppers. Stir to cook roux. Do not brown.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and add the milk. Return to heat and cook over medium heat until thickened.
  • Pour over ingredients in bowl, Stir together to mix well. Pour into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Sprinkle generously with poppyseeds.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. If made ahead and refrigerated, bake for 45 minutes.

First, while the ham can be leftover from another meal, I find that I can buy ham steak and generally get a couple good recipes from the steak. I try to get steaks that are about 1/4 inch thick so that the diced chunks are a good size.

Second, I have marked the cayenne pepper as optional. I really like a good shot of it in this recipe; I will use almost 1/4 teaspoon. But that might be a bit much for some people, or children, so you might want to reduce or eliminate that heat.

Finally, I added the word large to the description of the bowl in the second step of the directions. I started with too small of a bowl, and had to change midway to my large 4 quart bowl. What with the ham, noodles and peas, you need to have enough space to mix it all before putting it in the cooking pan.

When I first pulled this recipe out, I got nervous because it requires making a roux, and I have never done that. I stirred a lot of things for Marlys,- soups and rissoto, but she always made the roux. I do remember her saying a couple things about making a roux; first, the amount of flour is equal to the amount of fat, and second, you have to make certain that the flour is cooked. I must say, I was successful, and the whole operation was easier than I thought. I just didn’t rush the cooking of the flour, or the thickening of the milk.

I used Farfalle pasta- that is what I had- and the bow-ties ended up sticking up in the air so they got slightly over-cooked because they were not down in the sauce. I guess that is why the ingredients say to use noodles or macaroni; they probably lay down better.

Ham Casserole 007

Baked Eggs

In my post about Christmas in Seattle, I mention that we had Baked Eggs for breakfast at Serious Biscuit. I have been experimenting with making them myself, and I think I have a good recipe now.

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I think one of the interesting things about the baked egg dish is that it has all of the capabilities that you find in an omelet but the eggs are not dried out and hard cooked; the eggs of a baked egg dish are more like poached eggs; the yolk is still separate and is cooked soft. And the flavoring of the dish can be anything you like with your eggs; I will be using a small amount of meat and cheese. At different times, I have used both diced ham, and crumbled bacon as my meat. I have used both scallions and yellow onion at different times. And I have used both straight shredded cheddar cheese, and a mix of cheeses with success. Again, your imagination is the limit to what you can do.

Perhaps the most difficult issue with this recipe is finding the right oven-safe dishes to use. They need to be about 10 ounce capacity for 2 eggs plus toppings. I have some small Corning casserole dishes that I like to use because they have a detachable handle I can use to move them into and out of the oven. I also have another set of Corning dishes with handles that work. Some people have ramekins that are large enough, but my largest ramekin is only 8 ounces.

So here is your base, starting recipe.

Baked Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 oz. ham, diced
  • 1 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 oz. green onion, diced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven is heating, prepare the eggs and topping.

Break the 2 eggs into a small dish ready to use.

Chop and dice the topping meat, cheese and onion into a second small dish; mix the topping so it is ready to use.

When the oven is at heat, place the butter in the cooking dish and let it melt in the oven and warm the cooking dish. When it is melted, empty the eggs into the cooking dish, and then empty the toppings on top of the eggs.

Bake the eggs for 8 minutes.

I find that I need to let my eggs cool for about 5 minutes before I try to eat them; they are hot! But they are so enjoyable with the soft yellow yolks all in one piece, and the white also seems to be fluffier than any fried cooking style.

Zucchini Hash and Eggs

My neighbor Jill Swain gave me the idea for this recipe; she stopped over the other day and I gave her a zucchini and asked if she had any recipes for it. She first mentioned Zucchini Bread which we already have. Then she suggested zucchini with eggs; she said “Breakfast for supper is also good”.

zucchini hash 005

I talked it over with daughter Mindy and decided that we should keep the eggs separate from the hash until after we have cooked them. That way, you can fix your eggs however you like them. We also started calling the fixings a “hash”; I had to look that word up, and it originally meant any combination of chopped foods The idea of a hash has changed over time. More modernly, the idea of a hash has come to imply an inclusion of chopped meat with the other ingredients. This recipe is right on the edge of those definitions since it allows you to include bacon, or ham- any of the breakfast meats. But to be a zucchini hash, it has to include chopped zucchini.

The reason we decided to separate the eggs from the hash while cooking is so people that like runny eggs can still have those on top of the hash, and let them ooze down through the hash. Also the separation allows you to make an omelet with the hash inside. If you want to stir scrambled eggs into the hash, you can also do that.

That all said, it is difficult to write a recipe for the hash; if you are adding meat into your hash, it has to be sauted first. However if you are not using bacon, you might need to add a Tablespoon of oil in which to saute the ingredients. I will give you ideas, but you must feel free to do everything your own way. Add ingredients, delete ingredients, just have fun.

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Zucchini Hash with Eggs

Jill Swain, Mindy Crary

Per Serving:

  • 1 Tablespoon of oil unless you are using bacon or sausage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped breakfast meat e.g. bacon or ham or sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green pepper – Japapeno or Bell or …
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 or 2 cooked eggs – cooked as you like them

Saute the meat and vegetable ingredients; combine with the cooked eggs.

I used jalapeno pepper for one ingredient, and I like my eggs with runny yolks. To cook my eggs, I break them into the fry pan, add a little water to make steam, and put a lid on the pan. I have a clear lid, and I let the eggs cook until the glair around the yolk has turned white; at this point, the covering over the yolks has also started to turn white. Perfect eggs for me; the whites are not tough, and the yolks are still runny.

Mulligatawny Soup

I received this recipe from my sister Rachael after telling her about the Mexican Soup I make and we use to have almost every lunch. I found this soup quite different from most Mulligatawny, and asked Corbin’s Grille for permission to publish the recipe on the WidowerRecipes web site. If you are in the northern Utah area, you might stop in at the Corbin’s Grille and try their cooking.

The notes in the recipe are by Rachael.

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This recipe is published here with the permission of Jake Garn, Owner/Operator of Corbin’s Grille.

Mulligatawny

  • © 2007 Corbin’s Grille, LLC
  • All Rights Reserved. Copies and all other uses besides private in-home use strictly prohibited.
  • Corbin’s Grille
  • 748 W. Heritage Park Blvd.
  • Layton, Utah 84041
  • Corbin’s Grille’s web site

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Carrots 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Celery 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Onions 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Leeks sliced 1/4″
  • 3 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoons Curry powder (note: Madras)
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 oz White wine
  • 5 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy cream
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked rice (note: risotto also very good- drain & rinse)
  • 1/2 Cup Diced ham
  • 1/2 Cup Diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 Cup Corn (note: frozen)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot sauce (note: Cholula)

Directions

Cook carrots, celery, onions and leeks in bacon grease and butter over medium heat until soft. Add curry powder and cook for an additional minute. Stir in flour and cook slowly for 3-4 minutes.

Add white wine and chicken stock. Reduce heat to simmer and whisk continuously until thick. Add rice, ham, chicken, corn and hot sauce. Stir in heavy cream and adjust seasonings and thickness.

I have reviewed several other recipes for Mulligatawny and find they are missing ingredients that are in this recipe. The most obvious examples are the leek, the bacon grease, the wine, the ham, the corn and the hot sauce. While these make a more complex recipe, I liked the results and think you will, too.

At first pass, I thought the soup would be difficult to bring together because of all the ingredients. The hard places for me would be the meats, and the bacon grease; my chicken and ham are frozen in 8 ounce pieces and so I would have to defrost pieces and cut them, and then determine how to use the rest. And, I separate my bacon into packages of 4 pieces each as soon as I get it home, and then cook it in the microwave on paper towels, so I don’t have bacon grease in the freezer. My sister suggested buying the meat at the deli section of the grocery store and asking for them to cut 4 ounces as a thick slab. For the bacon grease, I fried a package of bacon and used that grease; it was probably 2-3 Tablespoons. I used the bacon elsewhere, but I wonder if maybe I could have just crumbled it right into the soup.

If you have not worked with Leek before, then the rule is to separate the leaves and wash them several times to get all the sand and mud off them. Swish them around in a sink of water, changing the water two or three times as the mud settles out.

My other area of desiring to experiment is with the rice; the recipe calls for cooked rice, but we see in the Mexican Soup recipe that the rice is put into the soup and cooks as the soup simmers for an hour. I wonder if something similar could be done here; for example, cook the rice in some of the chicken stock on the side. Most white rices (Arborio, white) cook up at a ratio of 1 to 3; i.e., 1 cup of rice grains makes 3 cups of prepared rice. (For brown rice, the ratio is 1 to 2.5.) So, using white rice, you would need ½ cup / 3 or 1/6 cup of rice grain as a starting point. If my math is correct, this is 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of rice grain. I need to test this idea. Rachael says that she always has a pot of cooked rice in her refrigerator, but I don’t and am looking for a way to not make extra cooked rice. If I learn something, I may update these comments at some future date.

Risotto rice is different in that it is cooked with flavorings, but I would think most of those are lost in the soup, so I don’t know if that makes a difference.

According to Rachael, the amount of hot sauce to add also seems to be very personal. Her friend only uses ½ teaspoon, while Rachael uses 2 teaspoons; I feel it could even use more and would probably try a full Tablespoon next time. And, I bought the Cholula hot sauce just for the soup, but I think you could use your own favorite brand. I did find the Madras curry to be hotter than what I had been buying as a curry powder; it seems to be more true to the tastes of India.

I think with these hints and suggestions, you should be ready to try this wonderful, hearty soup.