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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What To Do With Leftover Ham

I may be weird but I love leftovers.  Having leftovers in the fridge means anything from a nice lunch to a dinner I don't have to cook, to a dinner partly fixed.  We had the most lovely Easter dinner Sunday evening and of course, leftover ham.

The weather has been glorious lately and we have been eating outside on our deck as often as possible.  Our deck overlooks a field that slopes down to a small lake.  We can usually see my neighbor's horses, geese, the occasional ducks and hear plenty of frogs.  In the early evening as the sun goes down, the water just sparkles.  We linger a long time as no one wants to leave such a peaceful scene.

I have several recipes to share this week, including the carrot recipe I tried Sunday.  It was incredibly simple but everyone agreed it was excellent.  My sister provided the ham, which she served as is, no other additions.  I also stir fried some sugar snap peas and made coconut cupcakes with pineapple filling.  Pat also made sweet potato cornbread which is the most delectable concoction.  I wish my Dad was around to have a piece.  He was such a cornbread connoisseur and I wonder what he would have thought about adding things like broccoli and sweet potatoes to cornbread.  I think he would approve.

My sister left me with enough ham for two meals so I was excited.  Yesterday I poured over recipes until I found one that sounded good.  It was so good that my daughter asked if she could have the leftovers in a thermos for her lunch at school today.  It was not complicated and the additions of lemon juice and zest gave a twist to the flavor.  If you've got some leftover ham, try this.

Pasta and Ham in a Lemon Cream Sauce
2 cups chopped ham
2 cups frozen green peas
12 oz. bow tie or your favorite pasta
zest of one lemon, preferably Meyer
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup cream or half and half
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 shallots chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chicken broth
Bring water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta.  Cook pasta as you start the sauce.  Drain and set aside.  Saut√© shallots in a large skillet in melted butter over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken broth and let simmer a few minutes.  Add cream and milk, ham, cayenne pepper and peas.  Return to a simmer until peas are heated through.  Stir in cooked pasta and parmesan cheese, then the lemon zest and juice.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  (Remember the ham is pretty salty.)  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

If you would like the carrot recipe, check out on Wednesday.  I will publish it there this week.

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