Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011

Ham, ham, ham. I hosted Easter dinner on Sunday, and we had a wonderful day. However, we still have some left over ham in the fridge; do you? Can you believe it … I didn’t have any new recipes to try this week calling for ham! However, I do have two tried and true recipes using ham—I included them both at the end here.

We did try a few new recipes this week, but of the ones for dinner, only the soup was a keeper. One recipe hit the recycle bin. It wasn’t terrible, but everyone at the table needed to add something to make it better (Parmesan by the spoonful, Frank’s hot sauce, pepper). It was edible, and I even had the leftovers for lunch one day, but definitely not a keeper. I did try a new cookie recipe, and I will certainly be making them again! I was inspired by Mrs. Field’s cookies sent to us for Easter from a friend. It was a variety box full of all kinds, and I fell in love with the cinnamon sugar ones! They were a little different from snickerdoodles, and I immediately went on the hunt for a similar recipe. I found one, made a batch, and have included that recipe here. The recipe calls for a low cooking temperature but lengthens the time, and I think that contributed to the soft texture. I hope you like them!

New Recipes

Unstuffed Pepper Soup
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Tried and True Recipes
Hurry Up Ham
Ham & Swiss Quiche

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients
* 1 pounds ground beef
* 2 large green peppers, chopped
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
* 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
* 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
* 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
* 1-1/2 cups cooked rice

Directions

1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan cook the beef, green peppers and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
2. Stir in the broth, soup, tomatoes and mushrooms. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice and heat through.

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
* 3 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Combine the 3 tablespoons white sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Blend dark brown sugar and white sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed. Add butter and blend until grainy. Add eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until light and fluffy.
4. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Add to sugar mixture, mixing at low speed just long enough to combine.
5. Roll dough into 1inch balls, then roll each ball into cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Remove from sheets and let cool on racks.

Hurry Up Ham

Ingredients
* 5 to 6 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
* 3 tbsp of butter or margarine
* 1 cup milk (2%, whole, cream, whatever you have on hand.  You can even use skim, but the sauce may clump)
* 1 1/2 cups julienned fully cooked ham
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1. Cook noodles according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer or until thickened.

3. Add the cheese, mix until smooth.

4. Add the ham, onions, salt and pepper; cook, uncovered, until heated through.

5. Drain noodles; add to ham mixture. Toss to coat; heat through.

Ham & Swiss Quiche

Ingredients
* 10 oz shredded Swiss cheese
* 1 ½ cup ham, diced
* 1 ½ cups of milk
* 4 eggs, beaten
* 1 tbsp flour
* 1/8 tsp salt
* Freshly ground pepper, to taste
* Few dashes of cayenne pepper, to taste
* Crust – of your choice (frozen, homemade, etc)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Adjust rack to lower third of the oven.
2. Prepare the crust.
3. Put half the Swiss cheese on the crust. Follow with the ham.
4. Mix the milk and eggs thoroughly. Add a small amount of this to the flour to make a paste. After making the paste, add this back to the rest of the egg/milk mixture.
5. Add the seasonings to the liquid. Pour this over the ham and cheese.
6. Sprinkle the remaining half of the cheese on the top of the quiche.
7. Bake at 375 for about 45-55 minutes, until the center is set. Remove and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Notes
You can bake this for 30 minutes, and then remove and cool completely, and refrigerate over night. The next day, bring the quiche back to room temperature, preheat the oven, and then finish cooking the quiche for 25-30 additional minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then serve.