Ham is the main event for most Easter feasts. The challenge is what to do with all of the leftovers. There are omelets, frittatas and baked eggs. There are ham sandwiches, ham salad and chef’s salad. There are casseroles, pasta dishes and even eggs benedict. To me, the best part about having an Easter ham is all the possibilities for future meals.
I’ve gathered a list of favorites from the office peeps. Some old, some new, and some out-of-this-world good. (If you make no other recipe, try the ham and cheese pastry puffs.)
1. Ham Salad: Nothing is easier to make than this sandwich spread. Trim fat from ham slices. Chop ham in food processor. Add mayonnaise and pickle relish to taste. Enjoy between two slices of bread. Done.
2. Deviled Ham: You can make a fancy ham salad by taking 4 cups coarsely chopped ham and adding 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 6 tablespoons softened butter, 1/4 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons dry white wine, 1 finely chopped celery rib, 2 finely chopped green onions, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper. Cover and chill for up to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before enjoying with crackers or rustic bread. Makes about 4 cups.
3. Ham, Cheese and Apple Sandwiches: Turn broiler on high. Melt 4 tablespoons butter. Slice 8 ounces of Gruyere or cheddar cheese. Core and slice 1 apple. Brush butter onto 1 side of 8 bread slices. Slather other side with Dijon mustard to taste. Assemble 4 ham, cheese and apple sandwiches so that buttered sides of bread face out. Put on rimmed baking sheet. Toast 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
4. Judy’s Warm Ham and Cheese Rolls: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split 24 (2-inch) potato rolls in half. Combine 8 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons grated onion, 2 tablespoons each Dijon mustard and poppy seeds and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan; cook, stirring, over low heat until butter melts. Brush butter mixture evenly over both cut sides of rolls. Place ham slices and Gruyere cheese slices on bottom halves of rolls. Top with other roll halves. Place sandwiches together on large piece of foil, wrap tightly and seal edges. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese melts. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
5. Ham and Cheese Pastry Puffs: Place 1 (17.3-ounce) package of frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator to defrost for 30 minutes. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder; 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and ground cloves; 1 teaspoon each dried thyme, ground allspice and ground cinnamon; 2 teaspoons black pepper; 1 tablespoon chili powder; and fine sea salt to taste. Set aside. Unfold puff pastry and cut into 5-inch squares. Lay slices of ham and Gruyere cheese in the center of each pastry square. Sprinkle with spice mix. Fold opposite corners of each pastry square to make a pouch and press to seal. (Pierce with a toothpick to increase likelihood they stay sealed.) Transfer to baking sheet. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water to create egg wash. Brush pastry evenly with egg wash. Sprinkle with more spice mix. Bake 12 to 14 minutes. Remove, let cool for 10 minutes. Makes 8 pastries.