Showing posts with label ham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ham. Show all posts

Monday, October 27, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese with Beet Greens and Ham

Classic comfort food with a colorful boost from beet greens and ham.

Last week on my FB page I posted a photo of the greens that were overwhelming me. My friends came to my rescue with great ideas that helped me come up with A Plan. I'm happy to report that there are no mustard greens left--except in leftovers that will be eaten at lunch. I also gave away lettuce, peppers and a kohlrabi to 3 neighbors, freeing space in my fridge for marked down milk and the box of #FreakyFruits that arrived from Melissa's Produce [more on that as I play with it--but I'll tell you that finger limes work nicely in a mustard greens kheema]. I'm feeling a lot better about using all the wonderful produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share.

Sometimes it is hard to be inspired  by the contents of the fridge, freezer, and pantry as a base for dinner. It's easier to grab something at the store than to remember to thaw a package of meat or a bag of pizza dough. It's easier to nuke a prepared entree than to boil noodles.  I know how I sound--because it's October, the month where sled hockey, marching band, and sewing converge to keep my family hopping in ways we are not during the other 11 months of the year. This too shall pass!

As the weeks speed by I find myself  craving comfort foods but lacking time to prepare them. As a result, sometimes for a weekend lunch we sit down to a homey baked mac 'n cheese casserole only because I finally had time to make what I'd been hankering. Cooking a few casseroles on the weekends provides leftovers for us to eat on the fly.

The inspiration for this mac and cheese came from the wonderful cookbook MELT (link to the authors' website). I first raved about this cookbook when I received a free copy and made Mac and Cheese in a Pumpkin last year. Then I made a Pasta Salad with Grilled Fruits and Goat Cheese in the spring. This book really gave me the tools to make macaroni and cheese. Now I've been schooled in the The Art of Macaroni and Cheese (Amazon affiliate link) enough to spread my wings and try a creation of my own, using the ingredients I've got on hand.

I had beet greens from our CSA farm share and I want my family to love them like I do [I'm really not content to hog them all to myself]. I had Manchego cheese left from the Swiss Chard tart and thought that the pink beet stems and ham cubes would be pretty. I'm not pink washing--I'd use beets to make the whole thing pink if I were going in that direction. I suspect you could leave out the ham or substitute sautéed mushroom chunks of chopped ripe olives if you are leaning in a vegetarian direction. [I'm feeding kids who have not yet developed a taste for olives or mushrooms so I stuck with ham.]

For other recipes using Beet Greens, please check out my Beet Recipe Collection here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grilled Goat Cheese, Fresh Fig, Speck and Honey Sandwiches

This grilled cheese sandwich is creamy, sweet, and salty all in one gooey bite. Fresh figs, honey, goat cheese and crispy ham make an irresistible combination. Got fresh figs?

This grilled cheese sandwich is creamy, sweet, and salty all in one gooey bite. Fresh figs, honey, goat cheese and crispy ham make an irresistible combination. Got fresh figs?

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I'm just a big ol' tease these days.  The other day I teased you with the idea of canning your own tomatoes to make Creamy Tomato Soup, even though tomatoes are just a twinkle in my garden's eye right now.  Today I'm going to tease you with fresh figs.

I had my first fresh figs from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share back in Virginia (link to their FB page).  Our farmers had a giant fig tree and shared the fruits with us lucky subscribers.  If you ever make have an opportunity to eat fresh figs I advise you to grab that opportunity with both hands.  I did, literally [technically one hand was holding a dog leash] and I'm so glad.  You will be too, when you see the variety of recipes I'll be sharing using fresh figs this coming summer (pizzas to chutney?).

This grilled cheese sandwich is creamy, sweet, and salty all in one gooey bite. Fresh figs, honey, goat cheese and crispy ham make an irresistible combination. Got fresh figs?

For my first of three grilled cheese sandwiches, I'm sharing a Grilled Goat Cheese and Honey sandwich with fresh figs and speck.  Next up will be a Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam.  Finally I'll share another vegetarian grilled cheese since my first one, My Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich was getting lonely. This one with Hummus, Guacamole, and Corn Salsa.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

(Leftover Ham Week) Ham and Broccoli Stem Quesadillas (Quick Take)

I can appreciate the head-scratching that a vegetarian would do upon seeing me wash the farm share broccoli, remove the cabbage white caterpillars that had been feasting on it, escort them outside--away from my garden but with a leaf so they won't starve--then head back inside to dice ham.

What can I say?  I love food, and currently have no medical reason prohibiting me from eating all of it.  Not all at once, of course.  And I love that my farm share doesn't use pesticides on the food my family and I eat.  I can escort a few bugs outside knowing that the food us critters are eating is safe.

I'm happy to say I've finally mailed in my check for this year's summer CSA.  I'd been meaning to for weeks, but now it's a done deal.  Let the countdown begin!  I don't know how we'll handle a large farm share with only 3 eaters, so expect a lot of posts about the 'putting up' of anything that I can put up.  Thanks to Tammy of Agrigirl I've got ideas for lettuces, but today, we're talking about broccoli stems.

You know I hate to waste Swiss chard stems, and broccoli stems are no different.  While living in Richmond I learned how to make a delicious black bean soup that called for diced broccoli stem, and ever since then haven't looked at them as an afterthought.
Note to self--make that soup and blog about it.

After I wrote up this post, I saw this post by Karen of Soup Addict about making an open faced quesadilla with a fried egg on top.  Next time, I'm totally trying that--ham and eggs and broccoli? Yum!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ham and Banana Pizza (No really, try this!)

Salty (even leftover!) ham is a nice match for sweet banana slices in this unusual pizza. Updated photos, same great recipe.

I am sure someone would think that this pizza falls into the category of Strange But Good.  Ham and banana seems like an unusual pairing to everyone that hears it.

Why is that?  Do the pineapple people have such a good PR machine that no one considers bananas for pizza?  You'd think as tropical fruits they'd all stick together.

I first had this combination on a pizza in Germany.  And I loved it.  I tried it initially because, hey, we were all trying the weird things on the menu.  Come to think of it, I first had corn on a pizza while in Germany.  That combination stuck with me, though, and whenever I have the happy coincidence of ham slices, just-about-to-be-over-ripe bananas, and red sauce I make a pizza.  The family tolerates it, but I love it just like I did the first time I tried it.  It's fast to throw together and tastes delicious.

Note:  if there's any of this pizza left over, pick off the bananas before refrigerating.  You do not want to see them on your pizza the next day.  Trust me.