Ham, bacon, pork – all is super to have as a meal for the family and here is my favorite thing about it: the FDA forbids the use of any hormones, etc in pork. This makes it healthier than chicken or ground beef!
The first thing you may notice, is the simple fact that my ham is sliced. If you shop in the morning, before 9am, you can take a ham to the butcher counter and they will slice it for you! The smallest they can do would get you about 3 slices to the inch, for the whole ham. Then, they wrap it in a tray with plastic for you and you are all set to check out. This simply ROCKS (and I will tell you why…) If you get there after they have started cutting the raw meats, they will NOT slice the ham for you – they don’t want any possible contamination issues (understandable).
This can NOT be done in the deli department as there slicer isn’t heavy duty enough to make it through the bone.
When you get home, it is easy to break your ham into smaller portions and freeze for meals. One slice, like you see here – is PERFECT for one meal! You can grill it as a ham steak and cut apart to share on everyone’s plate or, do like I did and dice it.Save the pile that has the bones and fat — put in into a container in your freezer. When that container is full – wrap it in a cheesecloth and toss in the next pot of bean soup you want to make — AWESOME flavor and easy clean up.
This particular pile of diced ham is going into tonight’s dinner: Scalloped potatoes. I take a box of scalloped and a box of Au gratin, mix them together in the baking dish, add half of a diced onion and one slice of ham, diced. Bake and enjoy – super easy and great with a simple veggie like peas.
So let’s talk about what else you could do with the ham! We have already mentioned:
1) Grilled ham steak dinner
2) Bean or pea soup
3) Scalloped potatoes
4) Quiche. I have shared my quiche recipe before — HALF of one slice, diced, is enough for a whole quiche.
5) Ham pasta. Throw some diced ham into your mac N cheese dish along with some diced green onions.
6) Red beans and rice with diced ham (instead of smoked sausage)
7) Ham loaves. Throw a slice in your food processor to “chunk it” and mix with ground pork. We are having this for Christmas dinner so I will share it with you in a few weeks.
8) Breakfast! Ham and eggs.
9) Ham and Rice bake. (Recipe below)
10) Ham Salad – just grind it up of chop it and mix things in. Great on buns or croissants…I have a simple recipe below too.
I hope this gives you a few ideas – what is YOUR favorite way to eat ham?
Ham and Rice Bake
This easy ham and rice bake uses leftover baked ham, cooked rice, and mixed vegetables, baked with a buttered bread crumb topping.
2 cups cooked rice (can use the quick microwave rice)
2 cups diced cooked ham
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables, cooked, drained
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup soft bread crumbs, tossed with 2 tablespoons melted butter
Combine cooked rice, ham, vegetables, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and taste to add salt and pepper. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish or similar 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Spoon rice and ham mixture into the casserole and spread. Top evenly with buttered bread crumbs. Cook at 325° for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Turn the broiler on for about 2 to 3 minutes to brown bread crumbs more, if desired.
Serves 4 to 6.
This ham salad sandwich is a snap to mix up in the food processor, or mince the ham by hand and mix the ingredients together for delicious sandwiches or filled rolls.
2 cups diced ham
1 rib celery, cut up
1 onion slice, about 1/4-inch thick
6 to 8 tablespoons mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 tablespoons minced sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish
1 to 2 teaspoons sweet pickle juice, optional
1 hard-cooked egg, diced
In a food processor, combine the ham, celery, onion, and pickles or pickle relish. Pulse until minced; transfer to a bowl. Mix in mayonnaise until well-moistened, along with sweet pickle juice, if using. Add pepper, to taste, and stir in the diced hard-cooked egg. Arrange lettuce on rolls; fill with the ham salad. Serves 6.