Pasta with Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in 2015 on a wonderful site called Natasha’s Palace.  It’s worth a visit there to see all of the great and unusual recipes she has.  The original recipe is here:

https://nataschaspalace.co/2015/05/28/pear-goat-cheese-and-cured-ham-pasta/

My daughters and I love this dish, especially if I can use some flavorful Honey Baked Ham leftovers.

Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese Pasta

¾ cup bowtie pasta
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Tblsp. garlic, minced
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced
One cup chopped cooked ham
1 tsp. oregano
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. butter
4 oz. goat cheese

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente, drain

In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion slices, sprinkle with salt/pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent but not brown.

Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Add pear slices and ham and cook until heated.  Stir in oregano and salt/pepper to taste.  Stir in butter and drained pasta.  Add goat cheese in small lumps and stir gently until cheese has melted.

Serve hot.

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Baked Ham, Beans and Dumplings

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After 3 major snowfalls in one week, we were more than ready for something hearty, warm and comforting for supper.  I used ingredients and techniques from a couple of my favorite recipes to make this dish which my two daughters and I loved.

BAKED HAM, BEANS AND DUMPLINGS

2-½ cups (home-cooked or two 10 oz cans) Great Northern beans, drained lightly
½ cup cooked ham, cubed
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup milk
1 packet (small envelope) Goya ham seasoning (optional but adds really nice flavor)
Dash of pepper
10 oz can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 Tblsp. Shortening (Crisco)
½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Greased 9 inch baking dish

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Place drained beans and ham in the bottom of a greased 9-inch baking dish.

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In a small bowl or food processor, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, ham seasoning and pepper.

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Whisk in undiluted cream of mushroom soup.

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Pour soup mixture over beans and ham in baking dish.

Prepare dumplings:
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in shortening and stir in milk.  Drop mixture by measuring tablespoon in small dollops on top of mixture in baking dish.

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Bake in preheated 400 degree F oven for approximately 20-25 minutes until dumplings are done and very light brown on top.

4-6 servings

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Refrigerated leftovers are good warmed uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  The dumplings will be crispy on top but still delicious.

Ham Salad Wraps

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A few weeks ago when I posted a tuna wrap recipe, one of my blogger friends said she didn’t like tuna but wondered how something like deviled ham would work.  That reminded me of a great ham salad recipe I found on Kelli’s Retro Kitchen and I put this wrap together using some good flavored leftover ham.  I really enjoyed this lunch dish and thank both Susan and Kelli for the inspiration.

HAM SALAD WRAPS

  • 1-½ cups diced ham (leftover Honey Baked Ham)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tblsp. cream cheese
  • 1-½ Tblsp. chopped pickle (used my homemade sweet/sour pickles)
  • Scant ¼ tsp each garlic powder, cumin and smoked paprika

Pulse everything in food processor for slightly chunky consistency – don’t make puree.

  • 4 burrito flour wraps (8 inches dia.)
  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 long cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly*

*Place cucumber slices in a bowl and cover with water.  Stir in about 2 Tblsp. white vinegar and ½ tsp. granulated sugar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
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To assemble the wraps:

Heat wraps in microwave for 8-10 seconds and place a wrap on each of four plates.  Place a piece of lettuce on each wrap and spread ¼ of the ham salad down the center.  Top with cucumber slices ….

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…..and fold down each wrap at the top and bottom.
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Roll from one side and place seam-side down on plate.

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Cut each wrap on the diagonal into three portions.

Serve with additional cucumber slices.

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4 servings

Ham Hash Supper

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This is an adaptation of a recipe my daughter sent me in 2006.  I changed it to make a smaller casserole and to use convenience foods like dried onions, pimientos and garlic in a jar so the meal could be put together quickly.  It makes  a very tasty and filling plateful of food.   Really good with leftover baked ham.

HAM HASH SUPPER

  • 16 oz. frozen hash browns, thawed
  • 1 cup cooked ham, chopped
  • 2 Tblsp. minced dried onions
  • 1 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 Tblsp. spicy brown mustard

In a 9-inch casserole dish, combine hash browns, ham, dried onions, pimiento and garlic.

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In a two-cup measure place cream cheese cubes, milk and mustard.  Microwave on high for two minutes until cheese is softened.  Whisk until smooth.

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Pour sauce over ingredients in casserole and mix together.
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Cover and bake @ 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.  Remove cover for the last 10 minutes to allow the top to brown.
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I served some fresh cherry tomatoes with mine.  4-6 servings

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Note:  Dish can be made ahead and refrigerated.  Bake for one hour @ 350 degrees F.

Ham and Apple Pudding

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If you have some ham left over from New Year’s, you might enjoy this dish that was inspired by one I had seen in an old cookbook.  I changed it a lot to make a light luncheon entrée that my daughters and I enjoyed.

HAM AND APPLE PUDDING

  • 2 cups bread cubes
  • 1 cup cubed, cooked ham
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 2 cups tart apple slices
  • 1 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
  • ¼  tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tblsp. prepared mustard
  • 2 Tblsp. dried minced onions
  • Thin white sauce (Recipe below)
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 Tblsp. butter

THIN WHITE SAUCE
2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ cup cold milk
¾ cup hot milk
1 packet Goya ham seasoning (optional)*
Salt/pepper if not using Goya ham seasoning

*Goya ham seasoning is an easy way to add some extra delicious ham flavor to any dish.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Oil a 9-inch casserole dish

In the bottom of the casserole dish place the bread cubes…

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…topped with the ham cubes.

In a medium skillet over medium low heat, melt the butter and add the apple slices.  Cook, turning frequently for 5 minutes.  Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard, and onions.  Continue to cook and stir for another 3 minutes until apples are fork tender.  Place this mixture on top of the layer of ham.
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Make the thin white sauce:
In a small pan, whisk together the flour and cold milk until smooth.  Add the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat until mixture starts to boil.  Continue to cook and whisk for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in ham seasoning or salt/pepper to taste.  Pour the sauce over the mixture in the casserole.

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In a small skillet melt 1 Tblsp. butter, add crumbs and toss to coat.  Sprinkle buttered crumbs on top of casserole.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown.  Serve immediately.

4 servings

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Cabbage, Noodles and Ham


This is a nice supper dish to make with leftover ham.  The recipe is adapted considerably from one in a cookbook called Quick Dishes for the Woman in a Hurry.

CABBAGE, NOODLES AND HAM

  • 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Grinding of black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 2 cups dry egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9×9 pan.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat; add onion and saute until soft.  Add cabbage and cook until tender, turning periodically.  A small amount of oil may be added if mixture starts to stick to the pan.  The time will depend on the type of cabbage – cook until it is tender.  Stir in the salt and pepper, the ham, and  the drained noodles.

Pour into buttered 9×9 baking dish.

In a small skillet, melt the butter and toss the crumbs lightly.  Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the noodle mixture.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until crumbs are light brown.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

4-6 servings

I have a note in my recipe binder, “First made July, 1994.  Excellent.  Adding ham was my idea.  David and I both loved it.”

Hash Brown and Ham Bake

I got this recipe from a newspaper clipping back in 2001.  I have a note in my recipe binder:  “First made with leftover Christmas ham – very good”. Please note that the total baking/resting time is one hour.

HASH BROWN AND HAM BAKE

  • 3 cups frozen shredded potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • grating of black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme

Preheat oven to 410 degrees F

Thaw potatoes between layers of paper towels to dry.

Press potatoes into bottom and sides of ungreased 9″ pie plate and drizzle with butter.  Bake @ 410 degrees F for 25 minutes.  Remove to rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F

In the baked potato shell, distribute ham over bottom of shell, then cheese, and then red pepper.

In a small bowl mix together the beaten eggs, milk, salt, pepper and thyme.  Pour this mixture over the ingredients in the potato shell.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until set.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield:  4-6 servings

Creamy Ham Tetrazzini

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We had a delicious Honey Baked Spiral Ham for Easter and by the time I sent home slices with each family, I just had scraps to work with for tonight’s supper.  I turned to one of my favorite dishes, Creamy Ham Tetrazzini – easy to make, very tasty and very satisfying.

CREAMY HAM TETRAZZINI

  • 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper (green, red or yellow)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz. dry spaghetti or fettuccine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a large oven–proof skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add onion, sweet pepper and garlic – cook over medium low heat until vegetables are softened but not browned.  Sprinkle with salt.

In a two-cup glass measure, place 1-1/4 cups chicken broth and the cream cheese, cut into small cubes.  Heat in the microwave (or over low heat in a small saucepan) until broth is hot and cheese is melted.  Whisk mixture until smooth and pour into the skillet with the vegetables.  Add the chopped ham and grate black pepper over the top.  Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered  in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

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While the ham mixture is baking, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente.  Serve the ham mixture over the cooked, drained spaghetti or fettuccine.  Makes 6 servings.

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The better flavored the ham is, the better this dish will be.

Crispy Corn Muffins

My oldest daughter mentioned she would like to have some old-fashioned green beans, potatoes and ham for supper.  I thought this might be a good time to make some Crispy Corn Muffins to sop up the “pot likker.”

I used one pound of green beans with stems removed and broken, one medium onion cut into quarters, 6 small red new potatoes, halved, and a cup of cooked ham.   Put everything in a big pot, covered with water and cooked on medium heat about an hour until the vegetables were tender.

Added some salt and pepper to taste and the entree was finished.

The corn muffins were an invention of mine back in the early 1980s when my teenage daughter kept pestering me to make corn muffins crispier.  This technique satisfied her and she makes them this way now for her own family.

CRISPY CORN MUFFINS

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tblsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tblsp. additional cornmeal for muffin tins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Oil cups of a 12-cup muffin tin.  In each cup place 1/2 tsp. of cornmeal, then pick up the tin and rotate to cover the bottom and up the sides of the cups.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the egg, then add the sugar, oil and milk, whisking until smooth.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of cornmeal, the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to the egg mixture and stir just until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed.  Divide among the 12 prepared cups in the muffin tins.

Bake @ 400 degrees F for 15 minutes until tops are just starting to brown.

Remove muffin tin from oven and immediately with a knife loosen around the edges of each muffin, then use a tablespoon to move the hot muffins to a baking sheet.  Return the muffins to the oven to bake for an additional 5 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

Remove muffins to wire rack to cool slightly.  Best when eaten while still warm. 

This wasn’t my southern husband’s favorite version of cornbread, but the rest of us loved it.

Hodgenville Ham Pudding

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This is our family’s favorite way of using up leftover baked ham.  It comes from a favorite cookbook, “What’s Cooking in Kentucky”.  This is a typical 1950s era luncheon dish, probably served with a gelatin salad of some kind and a super-rich dessert.

The cookbook says that when President Dwight Eisenhower visited the birthplace of Lincoln at Hodgenville, Kentucky, the Women’s Club served lunch to the visitors.  President Eisenhower asked for a second helping of this pudding and the recipe, saying he was an amateur chef and wanted to add it to his collection.

Hodgenville Ham Pudding

  • 1-1/2 cups of buttery cracker crumbs (such as Ritz or Town house) – divided
  • 1 cup grated cheese – divided (I like cheddar)
  • 1 cup finely chopped ham – divided
  • 2 Tblsp. diced pimiento – divided
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced – divided
  • 1-1/2 cups white sauce (recipe follows) – divided

White Sauce

  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups milk

In medium saucepan, combine flour, salt and pepper.  Whisk in cold milk until smooth, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to bubble.  Continue stirring for 2 minutes and then remove from heat.

Butter a 9x9x2 baking dish.

In bottom of baking dish place 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs.  Moisten with 1/2 cup white sauce.  Add 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1/2 cup diced ham, 1 Tlbsp. diced pimiento, and one diced hard-boiled egg.

Add another 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup white sauce, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1/2 cup diced ham, 1 Tblsp. diced pimiento, and one diced hard-boiled egg.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs on top of casserole.

Bake @ 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes until bubbly hot and crusty.

Makes 6 servings.

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This dish can be made ahead for baking later in the day.  Add 10 minutes or so more baking time to compensate for the food coming straight from the refrigerator.

The cookbook, “What’s Cooking in Kentucky” by  Irene Hayes (my version is the Revised Edition 1979) is probably the most used cookbook I own – and I have a lot of cookbooks.  The recipes are down-home, country style, contributed by women from all over Kentucky, and the timing was perfect for me when I got the book for my birthday in 1982.  We had just moved to the country and I had lots of good produce coming into the kitchen every day, sometimes with my husband carrying it in a wheelbarrow!  I notice the book is still available online and it would be a nice addition to anyone’s collection.