Tag Archives: ham

Shredded Hash Brown Cups

I have never been a huge fan of the traditional quiche. They never tasted as good as they looked to me for the work you had put into them. Strata’s are just so much easier, no crust needed! However I found a recipe for a quiche with the crust being shredded hash browns; it piqued my interest. I bought the ingredients a few weeks ago and never got around making it. Having an extra-long weekend and the weather at the beginning being pretty sucky I had time to play a little. The quiche was pretty successful. My guys and I had a few critiques that we think would make it better. This happens more often than not, they are very opinionated.

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This morning sitting at the island drinking my tea with my husband and his coffee; I asked what would he like for breakfast. He said something with egg in it. Big help he is! I had some leftover hash browns to use up and have always wanted to make hash brown egg cups. I saw them on the cover of a magazine a few months ago. So I looked up the basics from the magazine and got out what I hand on hand and what was close enough to get by with. They used prosciutto which I did not have; I had bacon and ham on hand. I usually try to make a dish the way I find it and then change it to our taste but sometimes I have to use what I have on hand; actually that happens more often than not They were delicious we liked the ham better than the bacon.  Before we ate my husband asks me if I took a picture of them. After we ate he asked if I was going to blog about them, I was thinking about it, he said you totally should.

A good friend of ours went to the Azores a month or so ago and brought me back some sweet paprika that he enjoyed while there. This was my first opportunity to try some, it was excellent.

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While my guys had definite opinions for the quiche the egg cups were a huge hit. The only comment was when can you make these again?

When cooking I really don’t measure anything, so I will give you my best guesstimates for the cups. As you can tell I didn’t have enough hash browns to fill all of the cups.  Use what you have on hand!

Frozen shredded hash browns–thawed and squeezed of all their water use enough to fill 12 cup muffin tin about 1/2 full. (this part is very important if you want them to release from the tin)

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped

½ tsp sweet paprika

mix all the above in  bowl to combine, you want to make sure the potatoes are seasoned

Bacon Prosciutto or ham or any combination works

(12 cups is 6 slices of bacon)

12 room temperature eggs (take out of the fridge at the start and that should be fine)

Chives for garnish

Spray your tin well. Add hash brown mixture, the bottom matters more than the sides, but you want an indent so the meat and egg fit in. Spray the hash browns and bake at 375’ for about 30 minutes. take out of the oven and place the meat you are using in the center. If bacon slice in half and then half again; crisscross them. They can hang over a little. Crack an egg in a small bowl and then carefully transfer them to the each tin. Bake for 10-15 minutes, I watched them because I wanted the whites cooked but the yolk runny. There is a fine line so cook to how you like your eggs. Scrape around the edges to release.

Ham & Asparagus Soup

Who doesn’t need to use up some of the leftover ham from Easter?  I swear the weather this weekend also helped dictate what I ended up making.  It has been rainy, raw and just plain chilly, kind of like a fall day.  It also helps that one of my favorite soups is creamy ham and asparagus.  It is so satisfying, it is simple to make and warms you from the inside out.   I also make this when I have leftover asparagus; I guess pretty much any excuse works for me.

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I do know many people who are not soup people, I don’t get that at all, and I kind of feel bad for them? Maybe they have never had a good tasting soup?  Maybe when they were little soup was their meatloaf & peas (two of my childhood nightmares) I do like peas now but I still refuse to eat meatloaf.  I love meatballs but no loaf.  It’s a mental thing I know. That must be it!  On the other spectrum  I have had a few people come up to me at work while I was re-heating my yummy soup for lunch and really want to make homemade soups but have had terrible luck so have given up; which is really sad.  I have had a soup class and hope to again – I will help and or convert as many as will let me.

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Passing it on – My son was looking around the kitchen to see if we had any canned soups.  I convinced him that he could make a delicious tomato soup, fairly easily and would taste a million times better than anything he could get from a can.  I got out all the ingredients and while sitting at the island working; I guided him through the process.  He wanted to make the soup all on his own, that’s my boy!

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If you have some things to use up in the fridge and a little time I believe soup is a great way to feed yourself and your family.

Creamy Ham & Asparagus

1 ½ Cup fresh asparagus

2-3 carrot, julienned

2-3 tablespoons butter

2-3 small white or 1 large onion, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons butter (equal to your butter)

2 cups milk

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup fully cooked ham, cut into bite size pieces

Salt and Pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Trim asparagus and place in a saucepan, cover with water and cook till just crisp-tender.  Drain and set aside

In a heavy saucepan, sauté carrots in butter for 3-5 minutes; add onions and garlic and sauté a couple of minutes longer or until tender.

Stir in flour; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes, add broth, ham and reserved asparagus.

Reduce heat and simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Slight variation – You can also add a couple of potatoes if you wanted a little heartier soup, you could also add your favorite herb to change it up a bit.  If you add raw potato, cut them up small and simmer long enough to cook them probably 20-30 minutes.  Increase the chicken stock for a lighter soup or a little more milk.  if you wanted a really creamy soup, substitue 1 cup of half and half for 1 of the cups of milk – BUT do not boil the soup once you add the half and half. You can let it simmer to heat through but do not let it boil.

8 hours cooking/baking

Since my daughter is home from Japan for a short visit we had friends and family over this weekend.  I took Friday off from work and cooked up a storm.  I spent 8 hours making dishes and desserts enough to feed anywhere from 10 to 20 people.  Since we had family from as far away as Virginia to a few that live right up the road I decided to just have an open house. Come as early as you want and leave as late as you want. Lunch would be served at 1 and dinner at 6 and whoever was here in between would not go hungry. At my house no one ever goes hungry!

 

White Chocolate Craisin and Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

White Chocolate Craisin and Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Chicken Rice Soup

Lunch Menu: 4 Bean Chili, Corn Bread and Pulled Pork with Cole Slaw Sandwiches, Clam Chowder and Cookies

Dinner Menu: Ham, homemade beans, Macaroni & Cheese, Chicken Soup and Texas Sheet Cake

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When I know I need to feed this many people; I need to be very organized.  Thursday night I did all my grocery shopping so I could wake up in the morning and get going.  I envy the well-stocked kitchen & pantry on these types of occasions.  I have a large and a medium sized crockpot but could have used 2-3 more.  I have 2 large pots but could have used 4-5 more.  Unfortunately if I buy anymore cookware, dishes, glasses or utensils; my son will pitch a fit.  You see he does the majority of the dishes in the house and is running out of places to store all my treasures.  I kind of see what he means but I can’t help myself I need and use every item I bring home.  I have been using my class as an excuse to why a new sauté pan shows up or why I have a new Le Creuset in the cupboard. On occasion I do take inventory and clean out my stash, don’t tell Alex it’s just to make room for more.

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Make this cake – Trust me it is delicious and easy!!!

I got this recipe from a friend, I am not sure why it is called this but I really really like it.

Texas Sheet Cake

Add to Sauce Pan

1 Stick of Butter

½ Cup Vegetable Oil

4 TBS Cocoa

1 Cup Water

Boil the above in a pan for 2-3 minutes

Sift together

2 Cups Flour

2 Cups Sugar

Pour over chocolate sauce and mix well

Add to the above

½ Cup Buttermilk

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

Mix well and pour into greased jelly roll pan

Cook at 400’ for 20 minutes

Frosting to be added to hot cake

Add to Sauce Pan (you can use the same one; I cleaned mine when the cake was in the oven)

1 Stick Butter

1/3 Cup Buttermilk

4 TBS Cocoa

Bring to a boil

Add the following

1 Box of Confectioner’s Sugar (roughly 2 ¾ Cup)

½ tsp Salt

1 tsp Vanilla

¾ Cup Chopped Walnuts (I added after so I could make ½ sheet without – work fast as the frosting hardens quickly)

Once cooled – slice into whatever size pieces you would like and store in airtight container – they don’t stick too bad so you can stack

Chicken Cordon Bleu

A few months ago my son requested chicken cordon bleu.  I have mentioned that sometimes I get myself in trouble when I ask what the fam wants for meals.  However I have made it a few times now; and it is not hard at all.  Last week while at work; I was cleaning out some old emails and came across the recipe ( I sent it to a friend and told her to try it).  While at lunch I picked up a few of the things that I knew I didn’t have on hand and I made it for dinner that night. My mother has been staying with us for a few weeks now, she kind of chuckled when I told her what I was making; apparently not everyone whips up such a dish on a school night.  It was awesome; the white wine sauce is just insanely delicious though I did make it slightly less fattening than the recipe called for that I found online, you wouldn’t know it from how quickly the plates were cleared though.

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I almost always have boneless skinless chicken breast in the freezer, but it being a weeknight I bought thin cut breast at the store.  Sometimes I don’t want to deal with defrosting meat quickly.  I also rarely have Swiss cheese on hand so I grabbed some of that as well.  Everything else I had on hand.

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

6 slices of Swiss cheese

6 slices of Ham

3 TBS flour

1 Tsp Paprika

3 Tbs butter (it wanted only butter; but that is a little too much love)

3 Tbs Olive Oil

¾ Cup white wine

1 Tbs chicken base (or 1 tsp chicken bouillon/granules)

1 Tbs corn starch

1 Cup milk (I used 1%)

If you need to make sure to pound the breast so they are not too thick (you need to be able to roll them) place a piece of ham and cheese on each breast, they should not overhang the breast.  Fold the chicken over the filling and secure with a toothpick or two (I used skewers that I clipped shorter but still longer than a regular toothpick) Mix the flour and paprika in a pie plate or similar, coat the chicken and put aside until all pieces are coated.

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook the chicken until browned on all sides; add the wine and chicken base, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or so until the chicken is done.

Remove the toothpicks; transfer the chicken to a platter.  Mix the cornstarch with the milk in a small bowl (I used my 2 cup measuring cup), whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, pour the liquid gold over the chicken and serve.

I loved the sauce so much I have actually used it on pork chops – it works try it!!!  If you are looking for something a little special to make for dinner – give this a try you will look like a rock star with minimal effort!