Tag Archives: ham

Carnitas Cubano and Logo Reveal!

13 May
Carnitas Cubano

Carnitas Cubano

With an over-glut of carnitas on hand from recipe testing, I settled on whipping up some Cubano sammies, carnitas-style! No recipe really needed for this. Slather both sides of of two slices of bread with butter (I used Seattle Sourdough) and skillet grill one side of each. Spread mustard on grilled side, then layer carnitas or any other cooked pork, sliced ham, dill pickle slices, and Swiss cheese. Add the other grilled side face down on top, then press and grill until browned, using either a panini-style press or another heavy skillet on top. Oh my, decadent and finger-licking good!

And…

Here is the logo for my new taco food cart!

Austin Street Tacos Logo

Austin Street Tacos Logo

I’m still deciding on colors and what-not, but my temporary white sign really pops on the cart. One more inspection and permit to go, then I’m in business!

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Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

23 Apr
Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Spring has been on a springboard in my neck of the woods in terms of temperature. While it is now seasonably cool, we had a great stretch of really warm and sunny weather for the last week. With cooler weather, there is nothing better than a hot bowl of comforting soup. And with leftover ham and ham broth in the freezer, this meal was a snap!

After I took my photos, hubs and I both decided we wanted it creamier so I processed half of it in my Ninja then stirred it back in. This step is optional, and I didn’t even take another photo of it creamy that way as I can be lazy that way. Just like you can be lazy in making this soup as it’s that easy!

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup each chopped onion, celery, and carrots
4 ounces chopped ham
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups ham broth (you can sub in chicken or veggie broth)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
Small sprig of thyme
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (I used Stubb’s Hickory)
1/8 teaspoon smoked Paprika

The Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity

Saute the veggies in the oil until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Ham, Veggies, and Spices

Ham, Veggies, and Spices

Add the ham, garlic and spices and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

Ham Broth and Beans

Ham Broth and Beans

Pour in the ham broth and beans. Add the rest of the seasonings, and taste to adjust.

Simmering the Ham and Bean Soup

Simmering the Ham and Bean Soup

Simmer for about a half hour or more until ready to eat. Optional: Puree half the soup in a blender or processor and stir back in before serving.

Ta-Dah!

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

22 Nov
Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

We are in the stages of meltdown after a long, cold, and snowy week. Nothing on the scale of the Great Lake Effect snowstorm in New York, but we had enough snow, ice, and snow, thank you very much. What better way to soothe your cold bones than a nice, big bowl of creamy navy bean soup?

I’ve made huge batches of this soup before using a large ham bone, but this version is scaled down. To lend to the creamy factor, I roughly chopped all the veggies in my Ninja food processor. If you have good memory, I used to have a gray one. I now own a red one because the “dishwasher safe” base on my gray one warped from being washed on the bottom rack of the dishwasher, apparently too close to the heating element. I now hand wash my Ninja. I recommend the same if you own one.

I used homemade ham broth for this recipe, as my husband cooked up a large batch of it before our transition to our temporary home. If you don’t have any ham broth, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth will work just as well, although you may have to taste for the addition of salt.

Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

1 pound dried navy beans
1/2 medium onion
6-8 baby carrots
2 stalks celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt to taste, if needed
4 to 5 cups ham broth
1 to 2 cups diced cooked ham
About 1 cup diced tomatoes

Rinse and sort the dried navy beans, then soak overnight in a pot covered an inch over with water.  The next day, reserve 4 cups of the soaked navy beans, and freeze the rest of the beans in a resealable freezer bag for future use. Add the beans to a 3-quart crock pot.

Soaked Beans with the Holy Trinity2

Soaked Beans with the Holy Trinity2

Add the onion, carrots and celery to a food processor, and pulse several times until roughly chopped. (I had to do this in batches.) Scrape the veggies into the crock pot, then add the garlic, seasonings, ham broth, and ham. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.

Assembled Soup Ready to Cook

Assembled Soup Ready to Cook

About an hour before serving, remove about two cups of the beans and vegetables and puree until smooth in a food processor or blender, then return to the crock pot.

Pureed Soup in my RED Ninja

Pureed Soup in my RED Ninja!

Now add the diced tomatoes and cook for the last hour until ready to serve. (I almost forgot this step and took my final photo before adding the tomatoes! I thawed, peeled and chopped some of my tomatoes from the freezer.) Mmmm, mmm, good!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Ham and Scalloped Au Gratin Potato Casserole

18 Jun
Ham and Scalloped Au Gratin Potato Casserole

Ham and Scalloped Au Gratin Potato Casserole

I volunteered to make ham and scalloped potato casserole to bring to a Father’s Day BBQ last weekend. Actually, my husband had volunteered to bake a ham, but by the time he informed me of this the hostess had already bought ribs for the event AND my husband had already defrosted the ham we stuck in the freezer last month when it went on sale.

We had about 12 people to feed. Armed with all those factoids, I decided a scalloped potato casserole would work, and then I could add some of the leftover ham that we ended up baking the day before Father’s Day instead.

I found a great recipe for this on one of my favorite foodie cook’s site, The Pioneer Woman. Gosh, I don’t even know how many gajilion recipes I’ve made of hers. She makes it look sooo easy and her food photography is great! She calls it Scalloped Potatoes, but with all the cheese it’s really Au Gratin too, so I added that to the title.

However, last time I made a dish with a ton of sliced potatoes (mind you we are feeding a crowd), it took me over 45 minutes to slice the potatoes, and even then, they were haphazardly sliced, at best. I’m terrible at slicing thin potatoes.

I decided to risk life and limb and invest in a food slicer (also known as a mandoline, and no, not the instrument kind.) They now come with hand guards and decided I could make the plunge and invest in one. And heck, it was less than 10 bucks! What was I waiting for???? Those horror stories of old of trips to the emergency room to re-attach a fingertip are long gone with this device.

My new love:

Food Slicer and Potatoes

Food Slicer and Potatoes

Story: I got the slicer all assembled and cut a potato in half (to have a flat surface to start with). I put it on the gadget and quickly ran it twice up and down to slice. Nothing. Nada. I was like… “Uggh, this thing doesn’t even work! And then I lifted it up, and two beautiful slices were laying underneath it on the cutting board. Really? I thought I would feel some resistance, something, anything! Nooop! That blade is so sharp it was like cutting through soft butter. I had 3 pounds of potatoes sliced perfect-thin in under 10-minutes! WOW! Happy me. ūüôā

The below recipe is how I made it as I didn’t have all the ingredients, but you can find the original recipe link below. And just use whatever cheese you have on hand. I used all my cheddar for another recipe earlier in the week, so ended up used store-bought grated Colby-Jack combined with some fresh-grated Gruyere cheese. Either way it came out great! I didn’t have much to bring home from the BBQ. Now on to the recipe.

Ham and Scalloped Au Gratin Potato Casserole)
Adapted from Ree Drumond, The Pioneer Woman, Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

3 pounds Russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
3 cups ham, diced
1/2 cup half-and-half (that is all I had, you can use more and reduce the milk for creamier potatoes)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup grated Colby Jack cheese (mixture of Colby and Monterey Jack)
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees then butter a large casserole dish. (Mine was 9 x 13 inches.) Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and cook for several minutes until they start to turn translucent. Add the ham and cook for another few minutes until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Sauteeing Ham and Onions

Sauteing Ham and Onions

Combine the half-and-half and milk in a microwave-safe container and cook in the microwave for about a minute, until no longer cold. Whisk in flour and black pepper until combined. Set aside.

Using a vegetable slicer (or a knife if you don’t own one), slice potatoes into 1/8-inch slices. Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture over that, then 1/3 of the cheese.

Scalloped Potatoes without Milk

Scalloped Potatoes without Milk ~ Sometimes I don’t follow directions exactly

Here is where I went astray. I forgot to pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over it until the end, but if you want you can pour on 1/3 of the milk mixture now. It didn’t seem to make a difference.

Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and pouring on the rest of the milk mixture (or in my case, all at once). Then grind a bunch more of black pepper over it. Cover the pan with foil and bake for an hour.

Peeking at Casserole

Peeking at Casserole ~ Yes I peeked at the casserole at the hour mark

Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes at least, or until bubbly and hot and the potatoes are tender. Check with a fork periodically for doneness.

p.s. (You can make this ahead of time and cook later. I cooked mine to the one hour mark, then brought it to the BBQ. About a half hour before ready to eat, I uncovered it, popped it in a preheated oven and baked until ready, about a half hour more.)

Casserole in Oven

Casserole in Oven ~ I had to check on that puppy! Baked beans underneath from other guest cooking

 

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

11 May
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

First off, Happy Mother’s Day! And, wow, what a hit this recipe was with the fam! They really liked this a lot. I had some fun on Pinterest yesterday and glommed together two different recipes for this one, among other tweaks. It was quite easy to make and I think this will be a new meal for the rotation.

I am dancing the happy dance, as it’s sunny today and we are slowly warming up to 80 degrees by Wednesday! Spring has finally arrived. I’m looking forward to sharing some new grilling and salad recipes to pull you through the warmer months ahead.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Cooked

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Cooked

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1/2 cooked rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 cups), shredded
1/4 pound thin sliced deli ham, chopped (I used Virginia Smoked)
5 thin slices Swiss cheese

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste

For the topping:
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish with oil. First layer the shredded chicken.

Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken

Then add a layer of ham.

Chopped Ham Layer

Chopped Ham Layer

Then a single layer of Swiss cheese. My husband ate the half slice that didn’t fit.

Swiss Cheese Layer

Swiss Cheese Layer

Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste, then pour in the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add in the mustard, Worcestershire, and Parmesan cheese and remove from heat. Stir until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are combined.

Dijon Sauce Layer

Dijon Sauce Layer

Pour the sauce over the casserole from one end to the other, lifting the slices of cheese as you go to get some of the sauce underneath.¬†This is a bit tricky, but don’t pour the hot sauce over your fingers, for gosh sakes!

Panko and Parsley Layer

Panko and Parsley Layer

Last, melt the butter in the microwave in a medium glass bowl. Stir in the Panko and seasoned bread crumbs, seasonings, and chopped parsley. Mix until well combined. Sprinkle it over the top of the casserole evenly.

Bake the casserole uncovered for 30 minutes until the topping is lightly browned hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with cooked broccoli, or perhaps a light green salad. Creamy and delicious!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.s. We have a family of Great Horned Owls in one of our downtown local parks! I made a visit to them today so though I’d share a photo of the owlet. Awwwww.

Great Horned Owlet

Great Horned Owlet

Turkey, Ham, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

1 Dec
Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo (with Okra!)

I’m always on the lookout for a new recipe that will help use up the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, and The Homesick Texan “brought it home” for me with this one! I told my husband I was going to make this, and he said, “I don’t like gumbo.” Well. I think he said that as a knee-jerk reaction to okra. He doesn’t like okra, ergo he doesn’t like gumbo. “I don’t plan on putting any okra in this one. It will have turkey, ham, and smoked sausage in it! Doesn’t that sound great?” Pretty much no reaction to that. He doesn’t like okra, ergo, he doesn’t like gumbo. I made it anyways. Plus, since I’m such a great gal, I bought some shrimp to add to it because he loves shrimp.

The Holy Trinity and Meats

The Holy Trinity and Meats

The day before I made this, hubby and I teamed together to make a huge pot of turkey broth from the carcass, recipe here: How to Make Homemade Turkey Broth. You can never have too much turkey or chicken stock on hand. You can substitute low-sodium store-bought, but why? The original recipe makes enough to serve 10 to 12, so I halved it as well as made other adaptions/tweaks (including adding about a cup of my homemade canned tomatoes). Feel free to experiment! And if you like okra, by all means add some of that too. Since I wasn’t going to add gumbo, I was also going to add some file powder to thicken it, but alas, the Pacific Northwest does not seem to know of its existence (I scoured four different stores!), so I had to substitute a little cornstarch for the thickener.

Turkey, Ham, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
Adapted from Turkey Gumbo, The Homesick Texan

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 large rib celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/8 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more if you like spicy
5 cups turkey broth or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup sliced smoked sausage (1/2 of a horseshoe link)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)
1/2 cup frozen okra, microwaved for 3 minutes (optional)
Cooked rice, for serving
2 green onions, green part only, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron dutch oven or cast iron skillet, add the oil and flour and whisk well to combine. (You are making a roux here, the easy way!) Place in the oven for an hour and a half, whisking every 20 minutes or so.

Caramel-Colored Roux

Caramel-Colored Roux

Meanwhile, you can prep your veggies, chop up the turkey meat, and brown the sliced sausage and diced ham in a skillet sprayed with a little oil. Set aside.

When the roux is done (it should be a nice caramel brown), carefully remove it from the oven. If you have a cast iron dutch oven, you can continue cooking the gumbo in it. If you don’t (like me), transfer the roux to a regular dutch oven and place on the stove burner over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, red peppers, and garlic, stirring constantly for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Sauteing the Veggies in Roux

Sauteing the Veggies in Roux

Now add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, Worcestershire, Mrs. Dash (or salt), black pepper,  cayenne pepper, and mix well. Gradually add the turkey broth, stirring constantly. Add the turkey, ham, smoked sausage, bay leaves, and sugar, bring to a low simmer, and cook for about an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
Turkey Sausage Ham Gumbo

Turkey Sausage Ham Gumbo Simmering ~ No Shrimp Yet!

During this time you can cook your rice. In the last 10 minutes or so, add the shrimp (if using) until cooked through. Last, add the cornstarch mixture to the pot (or file powder if you have it), stirring to combine. Simmer for a few more minutes, turn the heat off, cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. Serve over the cooked rice and garnish with green onions. (Pssst, I added some cooked okra to my bowl!)
My daughter really liked this, and my husband went back for seconds and looked me square in the face and said, “This had a nice blend of flavors, the perfect spice amount, and the shrimp really added to it, Thank You.” (except you don’t want to know what he said when I forced him to try a spoonful of mine with the okra in it… lol!)
Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Navy Bean Soup with Ham

3 Nov
Navy Bean Soup with Ham and Cornbread

Navy Bean Soup with Ham and Cornbread

This can be a delicious vegetarian meal, and it pretty darn nearly was. (Which is not a bad thing, really.) While prepping the soup, I didn’t even notice there was no ham in any of the photos. It was only after I got the soup in the crock pot that I realized I forgot it. AND, when I looked in the freezer for the bag of ham chunks, I found it was dark turkey meat instead. I rummaged around some more and came up with two small chunks.

Soaked Navy Beans

Soaked Navy Beans

Now I am all for a meatless soup, but I just love ham in my navy bean soup. I added the small amount of ham, and drove to the store later for a ham steak. My husband suggested adding some Italian sausage we had instead, but that did not sound appealing at all. So ham steak it was! I ended up with a pretty largish ham steak, but I wanted a good quality one and this was the smallest one and it was made fairly local, in Pendleton, Oregon! Now I have a half of ham steak in the freezer for a future use.

Navy Bean Soup Ingredients

Navy Bean Soup Ingredients ~ Minus the Ham

Navy Bean Soup with Ham

1 pound dried navy beans
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
2 bay leaves
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, to taste
Lots of ground black pepper, to taste
6 to 7 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 pint jar of tomatoes, drained and diced, or 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes

Veggies, Spices, and Beans Ready for Broth and Ham

Veggies, Spices, and Beans Ready for Broth and Ham

Ham Steak

The Missing Ham

Rinse the beans then cover with at least an inch of water, and soak overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans again and add to a large crock pot (slow cooker). Prep all the vegetables, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the tomatoes) to the pot. The acid in the tomatoes will prevent the beans from softening properly if you add them at the beginning.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. In the last hour or so, add the tomatoes. Remove the bay leaves. To make a thicker soup, you can smash some of the beans against the side of the pot, or remove some from the soup and puree in a blender. We served this with Skillet Cornbread. A delicious, filling soup for a chilly fall evening!

Navy Bean Soup with Ham and Cornbread

Navy Bean Soup with Ham and Cornbread

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Hash Brown, Ham, and Cheese Spinach Casserole ~ Light Version!

6 Mar
Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole, Plated and Ready to Eat!

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole, Plated and Ready to Eat!

Now this is a yummy comfort food dish that doesn’t have to be laden with a gazillion calories if you don’t let it. This is probably one of the most common dishes brought to a potluck in the South. Most likely a funeral or some kind of “event.” I don’t say that in a bad way,¬† either. It’s just a dish you can bring, no matter the occasion. I’ve had so many variations of this over my lifetime, (and usually just potatoes, ham, and cheese) and to me it’s all goooood! This lightened up version is fairly easy to make aside from a little chopping and a rather abundant use of bowls. The hardest part was trying to make this flavorful without all the fat. I spent more time scouring Pinterest and the internet looking for a hash brown and ham casserole that didn’t have a “cream of” soup in it or too much¬† butter and cheese than I did actually preparing it. I finally settled on mashing the best parts together of several recipes, and this is what I came up with. The result? Both daughter and husband went back for huge second helpings, leaving me with a very small portion to take to work for lunch the next day. It was so small I had to make a snack run to the store later for some rice cakes to help fill in before dinner. Of course, you can double this recipe and make plenty, but I only had a half a bag of hash browns in the freezer to start. This recipe would feed four if the fam wasn’t so starving. Or perhaps they really liked it,¬† huh?

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole ~¬†¬† This is my mom’s vintage bakeware, don’t you just love it??

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole

12 ounces of frozen, shredded  hash browns
2 tablespoons butter, or substitute
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Table Blend or salt, to taste
1/2 cup lowfat milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups chopped, diced ham
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 6-ounce bag spinach
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter, or substitute
Chopped green onion parts, for garnish

Ham, Red Pepper, Cheese, and Hash Browns

Ham, Red Pepper, Cheese, Onions, and Hash Browns all ready for mixin’

Bowls! You need lots of bowls for this dish, sorry. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and chop all your veggies and shred your cheese. Once that’s done, add the hash browns to a large bowl with the butter. Microwave for a minute or two until the hash browns are somewhat thawed and the butter is melted. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it and sprinkle Mrs. Dash or salt on to taste and mix again. In a bowl or glass measuring cup, add the milk, sour cream, and mustard and whisk to combine then stir into the hash browns. Now add all the chopped ham, veggies and cheese and combine.¬† Last, add the chopped spinach to another bowl, sprinkle with a little water and lemon¬† juice, then microwave for one to two minutes until wilted. Stir that in with the potato mixture. Now spray a small casserole dish (or large one if you doubled!) with some oil, spread the mixture evenly into the dish, then pop in oven for 45 minutes. Pull it out, sprinkle the buttered Panko bread crumbs over the casserole and put back in and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Take out and let rest until it stops bubbling. Serve on plates with chopped green onion for garnish. This will be hot, creamy, and oh so good for your belly.

Hash Brown, Ham and Spinach Casserole 3

I just had to show you one more picture of my mother’s vintage casserole dish. I don’t cook in it that often but it’s the perfect size for this scaled-down version of the casserole. It’s probably 7 by 5 or so? Never measured it!

Baked Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders ~ A Party Hit!

6 Feb
Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

I was invited to a very good friend’s house for Super Bowl Sunday, and she said I didn’t have to bring anything except myself and daughter (hubby was out of town), and that there would be plenty of food. I accepted, with reservations in my mind. You see, I’d been seeing these fantastic ham and cheese sliders posted on Pinterest for quite awhile, and I was really hankering to make them. I called her the next day and asked if I could go ahead and make them for the Super Bowl party. She of course said it was OK, but warned me it really wasn’t necessary. Well! I am so glad I did make them! They were a fantastic hit, and I’m chagrined I made half of them with just turkey and Swiss cheese and mayo. The issue is we had a few picky kid eaters at the house, but two of the three tried the ham ones with the Dijon/Worcestershire/Onion sauce and ended up loving them! So I ended up with some turkey ones left to bring home, but my daughter took those for school lunch the next couple of days, so it worked out. The original recipe for this came from King’s Hawaiian website, recipe here. My adaptation was to use fresh onion instead of dried, less butter and deli meat (a pound per 12 rolls is a bit overkill on the meat, but certainly feel free to add that amount if you want).¬† A lot of the recipes on Pinterest use poppy seeds instead of sesame. Poppy seeds are very expensive, did you know that?

These are a cinch to make and can be easily halved per the original recipe. But a double batch will fly off the plate!¬† So why not bookmark this page for a great party/potluck idea? I’m just adding the recipe below for the Ham and Swiss sliders, since the Turkey and Swiss just didn’t do it for me.

Pan of Ham and Swiss and Turkey and Swiss Sliders

Pan of Ham and Swiss and Turkey and Swiss Sliders

Baked Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders

2 12-packs King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound thinly sliced deli ham
Sliced swiss cheese to fit, about 10-12 slices
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large bread knife, cut the entire block of rolls in half, keeping the tops and bottoms intact. Lay the bottom halves in a 9 x 13 baking pan (the two fit perfectly!). In a small bowl, microwave the butter, onion, Dijon, and Worcestershire for two minutes, covered. Bowl and steam will be HOT! Carefully uncover and spread half the mixture on the bottom of the rolls. Layer the ham and cheese, then add the tops of the rolls. Mix the sesame seeds into the rest of the butter mixture, then spread the rest of it on top of the rolls. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more. Separate sandwiches with a sharp knife. Serve hot to your hungry guests immediately!

Edit: I forgot I to tell you I sprayed the baking pan lightly with oil to prevent sticking!

Lentil, Barley, and Ham Bone Soup

13 Oct
Lentil, Barley, and Ham Bone Soup

Lentil, Barley, and Ham Bone Soup

Yes, I do make a LOT of soup in the fall. It’s such a comfort food to me. I was going through my pantry and came across some red and brown lentils I forgot I had, as well as some pearl barley. I instantly knew I’d be making soup out of them. I then rummaged through the freezer and came across beef rib bones to make beef broth, and I discovered my husband had frozen the ham hock from our last ham. Bingo. Lentil, Barley and Ham Bone Soup. Unfortunately I was all out of homemade broth of any kind, and beef broth takes all day to make. So I did have to substitute low-sodium boxed beef broth I had in the cupboard, but I also decided to make the beef broth from the bones in the freezer. The recipe is here: Homemade Beef Broth.

So my kitchen has been busy today! I made the soup in the crockpot since my large soup pot was being used. I did get to put some of the homemade broth in at the end, because I had overestimated the quantity of lentils and barley to use, and after a few hours my soup was thick enough to stand a spoon up in! I’ve adjusted the recipe below to use less lentils and barley. OH! And I got to use two of my cute little frozen herb cubes I wrote about in my last blog.¬† I was tickled pink when I put them in the skillet to saut√© the veggies. I’m easily amused.

Crockpot of Soup

Crockpot of Soup

Lentil, Barley, and Ham Bone Soup

1 frozen basil cube (sub with 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped basil)
1 frozen tarragon cube (sub with 1 teaspoon olive oil and chopped tarragon)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks sliced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
6 to 7 cups beef broth, low sodium or homemade
1 ham bone
Additional chopped ham, if you have some
3/4 cup lentils, any kind
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes, with liquid

Sauté the veggies in oil for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic and seasonings. Cook for a few more minutes.  Transfer the veggies to a large crockpot.  Now add the rest of the ingredients except the tomatoes. Heat on high for a couple of hours, then add the tomatoes. Turn down to low and cook for a few more hours or until ready to eat. I plan on making a skillet of cornbread to serve with this.

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