| April 11, 2012
In Kitchen Basics
Featured Recipe: Ham and Cheese Pasta Salad
Got ham? I know I do! Seems like no matter how hard I try to size it right for the number of people I’m serving at Easter dinner, that ham just multiplies. But leftover ham at Easter has become a favorite “problem” this year. I’m trying to see how many different ways I can serve it without it seeming “leftover” at all.
Basic ham sandwich – check. Salad topper –check. Bake potato addition- check. Fast pizza topper-check. Easy protein for stir-fry- check. Breakfast casserole – check. Omelet component- check.
Today’s recipe is a throw-back to the pasta salads that were so popular 20 plus years ago. And frankly, I don’t know why they ever went out of style. This recipe was originally printed in my 1997 cookbook, Desperation Dinners! (Workman Publishing) at more than twice the amount to serve a full six for dinner or 12 as a side. I’ve trimmed it back for a more manageable size, serving 2 for dinner or 4 as a side dish. Close your eyes when you take that first bite and you’ll swear you’ve bitten into a ham and cheese sandwich with mayo, Dijon and tomato on fluffy white bread. Mmmm, it’s amazing.
But here's a list of other alternatives for leftover ham, too.
Ham and Broccoli Pasta Toss
Fresh Egg Scramble with Ham and Cheese
Black-eye Pea Salad
If you’ve got ham (or even if you don’t*) you’ll want to whip up one of these this speedy and scrumptious dishes.
*Chopped ham is available in the prepared meat section of the grocery store. Or you can use deli ham, finely chopped.
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What you're saying..
I started reading Desperation Dinners along about the time I became a "stay-at-home" mom (what an oxymoron!) and needed both intellectual stimulation and something different - ANYTHING different - for dinner.
In those early days, I cooked strictly by the rule book, no deviations. But over the years, you two have given me the confidence to try rotini instead of penne, to substitute, experiment, become confident. Thank you!!
Honestly - - all three of my DD books are stained, tattered, splattered, and loved. I've given DD as gifts to new moms, to new wives, and to young friends just out of college. Can't think of a more practical, useful present.
I appreciate all the recipes, but really like the bulk-cooking ideas.
Thanks for everything!!
-- Karen Gamble of Raleigh, NC
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