Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


Cleaning up after the rabbit

Now that Easter is a colorful memory, chances are you have either leftover ham or leftover lamb and maybe a few raw or hard-cooked eggs, to remember it by. What to do, what to do? Here are ideas for you.

One of the wonderful characteristics of ham is that it almost doesn't matter whether you are cooking with it raw or cooked. So almost any recipe for raw ham can be used with leftover cooked ham by adding to the mix a bit of moisture such as wine, milk, orange juice, wine or water.


Ham Loaf with a Sweet-Tart Basting Sauce

A simple recipe that can be made with either pre-cooked or uncooked ham.

Loaf
1 pound grand ham
1 pound ground pork or bulk pork sausage
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs - beaten
1 cup milk

Basting Sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Loaf: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine ham, pork, cracker crumbs, beaten eggs and milk, and mix well with your hands. Shape into a loaf or into 4 small loaves and bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Basting Sauce: Combine cider vinegar, brown sugar and mustard in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Spoon some of the mixture over the loaf every 15 minutes while baking. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Pita Bread Sandwiches with Lamb

Can be made with either fresh or cooked lamb, ground.

1 1/2 pounds lean lamb, ground
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
pepper
2 cucumbers
1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 pocket breads (pita), cut in half crosswise

In a bowl combine lamb with garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Shape mixture into 8 equal oblong patties, about 1/4-inch thick. Place patties on a rack ion a broiler pan and broil until browned on each side, or cook in a heavy skillet on top of the range. While patties cook, peel cucumbers and thinly slice. Mix slices with yogurt, mint and lemon juice to make a cucumber salad. Tuck lamb patties into pocket bread halves, adding cucumber salad and salt to taste. Makes 4 servings.


Ham Hock & Peppercorn Pasta Soup

Freezes well if you're tired of ham.

2 large ham hocks, or the bone from a whole ham with some meat left on bone
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
7 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup dry white wine
3 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
3 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
12 peppercorns, crushed
4 parsley stems, finely chopped
3 quarts water
2 1/4 cups small pasta
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add celery and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add ham hocks and stir, allowing all the ingredients to blend. Add the wine, stirring to deglaze the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes. Cover it all with the stock, add the tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns and parsley. Simmer 45 minutes, or until ham is tender enough to fall off the bone. Remove ham hocks and, when cool enough to handle, separate the meat from the bones. Discard bones and return the meat to the soup pot. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook as long as package suggests. Season to taste. Makes 12 servings.


Egg & Ham Frittata with Asparagus

A good way to use the egg "blown" out of shells to be decorated for Easter.

1 pound fresh or cooked asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more
3 scallions
10 eggs
1/4 cup grated Fontina or Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Pepper, to taste
5 slices leftover baked ham

Preheat broiler. Trim asparagus; cut spears into 2-inch lengths. Place in a 10- or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet with olive oil, season with salt. Set over low heat, cover and cook 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, thinly slice white and green portions of scallions. Lightly beat eggs, then add scallions, salt and cheese, wine and pepper; stir to combine. Pour asparagus into egg mixture. Carefully layer ham slices over eggs so they float on top. As eggs cook, occasionally lift with rubber spatula to prevent sticking and to allow uncooked egg to run underneath. Cook 6 minutes, until bottom is set and top still runny. Place pan under broiler; broil 3 minutes, until frittata is completely set and golden on top. Makes 4 servings.

This kind of cleanup is a pleasure not a chore.

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