Got leftover ham?
Cat Campbell/For The Madera Tribune
Leftover ham is great in a kettle of greens, turnips and butter beans, served over corn bread.
Many of us end up with leftover ham from a big Easter dinner. Some people decide to package and freeze it, perhaps for future sandwiches or ham and egg breakfasts. Some give guests care packages to take the extra food home.
All of that is fine, of course, but if you are looking for a few other ideas that use up leftover ham, here are some from my recipe files.
I hope you all had a nice holiday, and even if you do not celebrate Easter, I still hope you had a nice Spring day.
It is switching back and forth from hot to cold in the foothills where I live. One day, we had the A/C on and were complaining about the heat, and the very next day we had rain so cold, it sometimes turned into hail and we had the wood stove going. Got snow just above our elevation. Seems weird, but it is typical this time of year.
Stay warm or stay cool, depending on the weather, and above all, stay safe.
Ham, butter beans and turnips
The beans are also known as large dried limas. This recipe is great for leftover bone-in ham. I like a lot of beans, but you can adjust recipe according to your taste.
1 meaty ham bone, or about 2 pounds leftover ham, in large chunks
1 to 2 bunches fresh turnips, with greens (can also buy them separately, with greens in bags)
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1 to 2 packages (16-oz. ea.) large, dry lima beans
Salt, to taste (ham might be salty)
Prepared corn bread
1. Place ham chunks (or leave on bone) in a large kettle, with at least 4 quarts water. It’s okay if the ham sticks up a little bit. Add chopped onion to kettle; cover and simmer about 1 hour, or up to 2, if desired.
2. While ham is cooking, peel turnips. Leave whole if very small, or cut into halves or fourths, depending on what size you have. Wash and clean greens, discarding any old, tough portions. You may want to cut them in half lengthwise, discarding the stems, if they look tough.
3. Wash and sort dry lima beans. After ham has cooked at least an hour, add limas to kettle. While they cook, check to make sure there is enough water.
4. In a separate pot, cook turnips until tender but not mushy; drain. In another pot, you may wish to either steam the greens or boil them. Note: The turnips and greens can be added to the kettle directly, but it is hard to time it all just right, so the beans, turnips and greens are done at the same time.
5. While waiting for the beans to get done, make your favorite cornbread recipe. Just before cornbread is ready, add your cooked turnips and greens to the kettle. Season all to taste with salt (if necessary). There should not be too much water, but enough broth so you can ladle some over the cornbread.
6. When ready to serve, place a piece of cornbread in a soup or chili-type bowl. Remove ham and cut into large chunks, unless it has already fallen apart. Add some ham, beans, turnips, greens and broth to the cornbread in each dish.
Scalloped potatoes and ham
1/3 cup butter
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 cups milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 pounds white potatoes, sliced about 1/8-inch thick (I prefer to peel them)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked ham, diced
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, cook butter and onion until onion pieces are tender. Add thyme and flour and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Turn heat to low and add milk a little bit at a time, whisking between each addition. The mixture will thicken, but as you continue adding and whisking, it will smooth out. Stir in chicken broth, salt and pepper, then bring to a boil and allow to boil 1 minute.
4. Place into the prepared baking pan, 1/3 of the potatoes, topped with 1/3 of the ham and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat layers, ending with the sauce on the top.
5. Bake, covered, for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 to 35 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Add the shredded cheese during the last 15 minutes, if using. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
Ham and corn chowder
3 slices raw bacon, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced potato
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon thyme
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups corn, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups diced ham
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
Cooked, crumbled bacon and chopped green onions for garnish, optional
1. Add bacon and onion to a soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook until onion is translucent. Add potato, red pepper, thyme, pepper and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 8 minutes.
2. Add corn and ham. Simmer an additional 7 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.
3. Stir together milk and flour. Add into the ham mixture and bring to a boil while stirring. Let boil 2 minutes. Adjust flour and milk to make a thicker or thinner chowder, if you prefer.
4. Garnish with crumbled bacon and green onions, if desired. Makes 6 servings.
Ham loaf with pineapple and brown sugar glaze
2 pounds ground ham
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
2/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar (regular white granulated)
1 teaspoon mustard
8 ounces crushed pineapple, with juice
1. In a large bowl, mix ground ham, ground pork, eggs, mustard, ketchup, finely chopped onion, graham cracker crumbs and milk together until ingredients are mixed well.
2. In a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan, shape meat mixture into a loaf, using your hands.
3. Sprinkle with at least 1 teaspoon of paprika over the top of the loaf.
4. Preheat oven to 350 and bake the ham loaf, covered, for 30 minutes.
5. In a pan over medium-high heat, combine all glaze ingredients. Stir often until mixture boils and boil for 1 minute.
6. Pour glaze over ham loaf and return to oven to bake, uncovered, for an additional hour. Baste with glaze 2 to 3 times over the hour.
7. Use a digital meat thermometer. The dish is done baking when the center of the ham loaf reaches 160F. Cover with foil once the outside of the ham loaf has reached a golden-brown color if it needs to continue baking. Makes 10 servings.
Stuffed baked potatoes
Gently rolling a cooked potato with your hands before cutting it in half helps to break up the flesh and makes it easier to scoop out.
4 large Russet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup freshly chopped chives
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (any kind), divided
6 slices crispy bacon, crumbled, divided
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup lightly steamed broccoli, cubed
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400. Prick potatoes all over with a fork or sharp knife and wrap tightly in foil. Bake until soft, about 1 hour.
2. Unwrap potatoes and cut each one in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out flesh from each potato into a medium bowl, then add butter, sour cream, chives, green onions, half the cheese, half the bacon, and all the ham and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Spoon filling back into each potato half, mounding it on top as much as needed. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven until melted, about 5 minutes. Top with remaining bacon before serving. Serves 4 to 8 people, depending on if they want 1 or 2 potato halves.