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One Ham, Two People


Margo
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My husband received a whole ham from his place of employ as a Christmas bonus. There's just the two of us. We've thought about inviting the neighborhood to share the largesse, or calling the butcher to see if he'd cut it in half for us. We love ham, but honestly!

What would you do, between the first slices shared among friends (and given to them to take home in big foil packages) and the last, inevitable split pea soup?

How well does ham freeze, anyway?

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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Gourmet Cookbook's deviled ham, of course!

Whir in your food processer:

3 cups diced ham

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup chutney

I whirr everything but the ham together in the food processer, then add the diced ham in, and pulse it till it's spreadable. I like mine smooth, but not paste. That's the recipe right out of the book, or you could do like I do, use a whole stick of butter, a good dose of siriacha, and no chutney.

It makes a big ham go amazingly fast. I love it as a dip for crisp veggies, as a sandwich spread, on crackers with a bit of pickled relish, and it lasts a while in the fridge. It is my all time favorite way to use up a huge ham.

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When I cook a ham shank I like to shred or cube some of the meat for a very simple ham salad. I just add celery, a little minced red onion and a small amount of mayo and maybe a dab of dijon to taste and a crank of fresh pepper. Very satisfying all by itself or as an alternative to chicken or tuna salad. I also throw leftover shank meat into a black bean soup or chile. It's good with a hot mostarda, too, as it would be with chutney.

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My husband received a whole ham from his place of employ as a Christmas bonus. There's just the two of us. We've thought about ... calling the butcher to see if he'd cut it in half for us. We love ham, but honestly!

What would you do, .... ?

How well does ham freeze, anyway?

First thing is whether it is a raw/dried (like Parma) ham, or whether it is a cooked (boiled/roasted/hot-smoked) ham.

If its a cooked ham, then dividing into sensible sized portions, and then freezing makes sense.

Don't make the joints *too* small, otherwise they'll risk drying out in the freezer. Smaller bits have more surface in proportion to their volume/bulk/weight and so dry out faster.

The faster you freeze anything, the smaller the water crystals and the less damage to the food's texture.

Larger joints will freeze slower. So this is an argument for smaller pieces.

Hence my suggestion for "sensible sized" portions - whatever makes sense for you and your life!

BTW, the longer you keep it frozen, the more the ice crystals will tend to grow together, to the detriment of the ham. The colder the freezer stays (frost-free means it doesn't) the less ice crystal growth.

The best way of minimising freezer drying is vacuum packing.

However, if its a raw ham, you could think of hanging it somewhere reliably cool, airy and neither dry nor excessively damp. Protect from animals and insects, (ADDED: and sunlight,) grease the exposed flesh surface, and you should be able to cut off pieces, whenever you choose, for some months...

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Thanks so much for the ideas, and advice, and the link to the other thread.

Lilija and Katie, I was reminiscing yesterday about my mother putting leftover ham through a hand-cranked grinder for her ham salad and timbales. Deviled ham is a great idea.

Dougal, oh that it were a Parma-type ham. But it's not that kind of business he works for. We were joking before he received it, that he might be getting one of those canned ham products. So a bone-in Mackenzie (a regional producer) ham, not spiral-sliced, exceeded our cynical expectations.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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Chunks about the size of your first thumb joint stirred into your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe, or mixed into twice baked potatos, along with the cheese and scallions or what ever..., to make them a whole meal (with a salad and some wine). HTH! :biggrin:

ETA: no sooner had I finished this post and gone back to my inbox, I find this:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/P...9329&servings=6

(I hope that becomes a link... it sounds like a great recipe, except for the "processed cheeze food" and would probably house a good bit of your ham very nicely.)

Edited by judiu (log)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I have the nineteen forty version of "Joy Of Cooking"

they define eternity as two people and a ham.

I would totally make a butt load of cheese scalloped potatos with ham chunks.

keeps for days in the fridge and you can nuke it up without ruining it.

---------------------------------------

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Ham freezes well.

It's just me and when I get a hankering for ham, I cook the ham and then cut it up into portions. I keep a portion for the fridge and the rest go in the freezer to be taken out when the need or yen for ham arises. The bone, and the ham remnants stubbornly clinging to it, end up in the freezer to eventually become the start of a pot of Navy Bean soup.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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this is good it is not exact but I thought out the recipe I usually toss together and this is what I came up with

it is kind of a German Meat salad keeps well for about three days and good in a sandwich or crackers or just on top of lettuce

1 lb (may be doubled) of minced ham

1 minced sweet onion

3 sour pickles minced

a small handful of dried currents or raisins if they ar big chop them up

1/3 cup mayo mixed with 1/3 cup of sour cream and a big tbls of good German mustard

dash or two of vinegar

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

mix it up well

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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dockhl, that sounds fantastic. I'm all about Slovak and hearty at this time of year. And christine007, I love scalloped potatoes with ham.

All the various spreads and salads, great ideas.

Re. the ham-eternity connection. I was thinking Mark Twain. But I just Googled, and here I found that indeed it was Ms. Parker, and Mr. Clemens said that "nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs."

Edited by Margo (log)

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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Gourmet Cookbook's deviled ham, of course! 

Whir in your food processer:

3 cups diced ham

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup chutney

I whirr everything but the ham together in the food processer, then add the diced ham in, and pulse it till it's spreadable.  I like mine smooth, but not paste.  That's the recipe right out of the book, or you could do like I do, use a whole stick of butter, a good dose of siriacha, and no chutney.

It makes a big ham go amazingly fast.  I love it as a dip for crisp veggies, as a sandwich spread, on crackers with a bit of pickled relish, and it lasts a while in the fridge.  It is my all time favorite way to use up a huge ham.

I'm sure this is beyond delicious. But the idea of butter and ham in a cold spread is not appealing to me. I guess it's better if I don't know sometimes. But a half cup butter to 3 cups of ham is almost cookie dough. Ham cookie dough. I guess it's not that much different than using mayo. Just startles my senses.

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Gourmet Cookbook's deviled ham, of course! 

Whir in your food processer:

3 cups diced ham

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup chutney

I whirr everything but the ham together in the food processer, then add the diced ham in, and pulse it till it's spreadable.  I like mine smooth, but not paste.  That's the recipe right out of the book, or you could do like I do, use a whole stick of butter, a good dose of siriacha, and no chutney.

It makes a big ham go amazingly fast.  I love it as a dip for crisp veggies, as a sandwich spread, on crackers with a bit of pickled relish, and it lasts a while in the fridge.  It is my all time favorite way to use up a huge ham.

I'm sure this is beyond delicious. But the idea of butter and ham in a cold spread is not appealing to me. I guess it's better if I don't know sometimes. But a half cup butter to 3 cups of ham is almost cookie dough. Ham cookie dough. I guess it's not that much different than using mayo. Just startles my senses.

OK, K8memphis; you're a baker; what would it take to create a short biscuit dough from the above recipe? Maybe some selfrising flour and baking powder? Now I'm getting curious... :raz:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Gourmet Cookbook's deviled ham, of course! 

Whir in your food processer:

3 cups diced ham

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup chutney

I whirr everything but the ham together in the food processer, then add the diced ham in, and pulse it till it's spreadable.  I like mine smooth, but not paste.  That's the recipe right out of the book, or you could do like I do, use a whole stick of butter, a good dose of siriacha, and no chutney.

It makes a big ham go amazingly fast.  I love it as a dip for crisp veggies, as a sandwich spread, on crackers with a bit of pickled relish, and it lasts a while in the fridge.  It is my all time favorite way to use up a huge ham.

I'm sure this is beyond delicious. But the idea of butter and ham in a cold spread is not appealing to me. I guess it's better if I don't know sometimes. But a half cup butter to 3 cups of ham is almost cookie dough. Ham cookie dough. I guess it's not that much different than using mayo. Just startles my senses.

OK, K8memphis; you're a baker; what would it take to create a short biscuit dough from the above recipe? Maybe some selfrising flour and baking powder? Now I'm getting curious... :raz:

This is getting quite tasty sounding. I think just the self-rising flour will do it. Tell yah what, we could not go wrong making walnut size rounds and deep frying them. Ooh died & gone to heaven good. We could call it putting the pig in hush puppies. Hush piggies? Raucous piglettes? With a little dipping souce of honey mustard and bourbon or rum or something. Or we could flatten them a tid and bake them. There's a reason I stay on a sugar free low carb diet. :laugh: Needs clove or mace or both.

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Gourmet Cookbook's deviled ham, of course! 

Whir in your food processer:

3 cups diced ham

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup chutney

I whirr everything but the ham together in the food processer, then add the diced ham in, and pulse it till it's spreadable.  I like mine smooth, but not paste.  That's the recipe right out of the book, or you could do like I do, use a whole stick of butter, a good dose of siriacha, and no chutney.

It makes a big ham go amazingly fast.  I love it as a dip for crisp veggies, as a sandwich spread, on crackers with a bit of pickled relish, and it lasts a while in the fridge.  It is my all time favorite way to use up a huge ham.

I'm sure this is beyond delicious. But the idea of butter and ham in a cold spread is not appealing to me. I guess it's better if I don't know sometimes. But a half cup butter to 3 cups of ham is almost cookie dough. Ham cookie dough. I guess it's not that much different than using mayo. Just startles my senses.

OK, K8memphis; you're a baker; what would it take to create a short biscuit dough from the above recipe? Maybe some selfrising flour and baking powder? Now I'm getting curious... :raz:

This is getting quite tasty sounding. I think just the self-rising flour will do it. Tell yah what, we could not go wrong making walnut size rounds and deep frying them. Ooh died & gone to heaven good. We could call it putting the pig in hush puppies. Hush piggies? Raucous piglettes? With a little dipping souce of honey mustard and bourbon or rum or something. Or we could flatten them a tid and bake them. There's a reason I stay on a sugar free low carb diet. :laugh: Needs clove or mace or both.

You people alarm me! I love it... :wub:

That sounds like it's getting close to the infamous Bisquick sausage balls, kinda tarted up. I'm totally interested. I think next time I have spare ham laying around, I'm gonna tinker around... Because I think along with deep frying, it needs cheese. Sharp yellow cheddar, then just a hint of nutmeg would take it home.

Edit to add: The butter makes the ham so smooth and spreadable, it's not overpowering, it's just not as wet or sloppy as mayo would be, in this situation. It doesn't make it heavy (or else, I have a high butter threshhold...could be that too) Mayo would make it "ham salad" which is good in its own right.

Edited by Lilija (log)
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Dorothy Parker eh? they were quoting her then. gotcha.

Oh my God you could totally make the anit pasta salad they sell at the deli.

get you some good italian dressing, some chunks of different cheeses, all the kinds of olives you like, artichoke hearts, marinated peppers, add some chopped onion, etc,

I could live on that!

serve with Trisquicts and quote Homer Simpson

"Eating now, go away."

---------------------------------------

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Gourmet Cookbook's deviled ham, of course! 

Whir in your food processer:

3 cups diced ham

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup chutney

I whirr everything but the ham together in the food processer, then add the diced ham in, and pulse it till it's spreadable.  I like mine smooth, but not paste.  That's the recipe right out of the book, or you could do like I do, use a whole stick of butter, a good dose of siriacha, and no chutney.

It makes a big ham go amazingly fast.  I love it as a dip for crisp veggies, as a sandwich spread, on crackers with a bit of pickled relish, and it lasts a while in the fridge.  It is my all time favorite way to use up a huge ham.

I'm sure this is beyond delicious. But the idea of butter and ham in a cold spread is not appealing to me. I guess it's better if I don't know sometimes. But a half cup butter to 3 cups of ham is almost cookie dough. Ham cookie dough. I guess it's not that much different than using mayo. Just startles my senses.

OK, K8memphis; you're a baker; what would it take to create a short biscuit dough from the above recipe? Maybe some selfrising flour and baking powder? Now I'm getting curious... :raz:

This is getting quite tasty sounding. I think just the self-rising flour will do it. Tell yah what, we could not go wrong making walnut size rounds and deep frying them. Ooh died & gone to heaven good. We could call it putting the pig in hush puppies. Hush piggies? Raucous piglettes? With a little dipping souce of honey mustard and bourbon or rum or something. Or we could flatten them a tid and bake them. There's a reason I stay on a sugar free low carb diet. :laugh: Needs clove or mace or both.

Squeeling Piglets?

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Wow, to me two people and a ham is more like paradise! Ever since we got this Basque ham I've been reveling in adding ham to just about anything.

Yesterday I made this Cèpe and Walnut Cream Tart, and the delicious walnut base has ham ground into it. That's the sort of thing that you can easily do when you have a ham living with you, use it as an invisible flavoring ingredient.

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Wow, to me two people and a ham is more like paradise!  Ever since we got this Basque ham I've been reveling in adding ham to just about anything.

Yesterday I made this Cèpe and Walnut Cream Tart, and the delicious walnut base has ham ground into it.  That's the sort of thing that you can easily do when you have a ham living with you, use it as an invisible flavoring ingredient.

Oh, Abra, and if I were living with that stunning ham, I'd be in paradise, too. Your life in France blog has me rapt.

I love the idea of ham as a secret flavoring agent: ours will do for that, nicely. And I am bowled over by the developing ham pastry recipe. K8memphis, you are hard-core!

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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