Posts Tagged ‘ham’

Mini Ham & Cheddar Quiches

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Last weekend was my first weekend back on Weight Watchers, but we also had two parties to attend. To help mitigate some of the party point damage, I brought a couple of tasty treats that also happened to be healthy. This was the first.

These Ham & Cheese Quiches are meant to be made with pre-made phyllo dough cups, but our store was out, so I had to make my own from sheets of phylly dough. (Super easy, by the way: Thaw the phyllo dough completely, cut into small squares, press four single squares into each cup of a mini-muffin pan sprayed with non-stick spray.) I’m writing the recipe out below with phyllo cups, but if you can’t find them don’t worry. Just follow those quick steps above.

quiche

Mini Ham & Cheddar Quiches
Adapted from Weight Watchers Comfort Classics (makes 15 quiche)

  • 1 ounce ham, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1 box frozen pre-made phyllo dough cups (15 count), frozen
  • 2 egg whites plus one whole egg
  • 2 tablespoons fat free half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Sprinkle the ham and cheese evenly into each pastry shell. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour evenly into the prepared quiche cups.

3. Bake until the pastry shells are lightly crisped and the filling is set, about 12 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.

Note: These were very tasty little bites. I’ll probably make them again sometime, but the possiblities for fillings are pretty much endless. I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with them (especially since we bought WAY too much phyllo dough, and I have plenty leftover just hanging out in my freezer).

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

When I was in college, Bennigan’s was one of our frequent dinner spots. For one, there was a Bennigan’s in each of the malls where we shopped the most. For another, we were all pretty broke, and the food was relatively cheap.

There were also these Monte Cristo sandwiches.

monte cristo

Our friend Sarah swore they were delicious, but Leah and I were hard to convince. The sandwich itself is basic turkey, ham, and cheese on white bread. The special part is that it’s battered and fried, then dusted with powdered sugar. Bennigan’s serves the sandwich with a sauce made of raspberry preserves.

For the longest time, it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to eat. I couldn’t quite place it, but it just sounded all wrong. Too many flavors going on. Raspberry jam  and a turkey sandwich? I was definitely not on board. (It didn’t help that Sarah had tried to recreate this “treat” in our school cafeteria with some collection of french toast, turkey, and generic grape jelly). Finally, somehow, she convinced us to try it, and we had to admit we were wrong. It’s delicious.

It really is.

I use pancake mix for the batter, and deep fry a turkey, ham, and cheese sandwich, like I said. We use good quality raspberry preserves for the dipping sauce. The sandwich is a great blend of salty and sweet, which I enjoy. One thing I never seem to remember is that half a sandwich is really enough for anyone, so we always end up with too many. The recipe below tastes exactly like the Bennigan’s original. With it being deep-fried, I certainly wouldn’t recommend this as an all-the-time thing, but it’s grate for a treat, and definitely worth the trouble.

Deep Fried Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Serves 4

  • 4 slices of white sandwich bread (you want the slices that are a bit longer than your standard wonder bread square–more rectangle shaped)
  • 4 oz deli turkey, sliced thin
  • 4 oz deli ham, sliced thin
  • 4 slices medium cheddar cheese
  • Vegetable Oil, for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves, for dipping
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup pancake batter, prepared according to package directions (I use a Just-Add-Water mix, and it works just fine)

1. Heat your cooking oil in a deep fryer or heavy bottomed pot. When the surface starts to shimmer, add a couple of drops of the pancake batter. If it bubbles and starts to brown at the edges, the oil is ready–if it sinks to the bottom, wait a few minutes longer and try again.

2. While the oil is heating, assemble the sandwiches. I made each sandwich with 2 ounces of turkey, 2 ounces of ham, and 2 slices of cheese. You want to assemble the sandwiches so that the cheese  is closest to the bread slices, which will help the sandwich stay together when you fry it. Cut each sandwich in half along a diagonal.

3. Dip each sandwich half in the prepared pancake batter, turning to coat. It will be thick–that’s okay. Carefully drop each sandwich into the deep fryer or prepared oil to fry.  Sandwiches will float as they fry, and take about 6 or 7 minutes to fry completely. Be sure to turn them once about halfway through, so that both sides get golden brown and crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and sprinkle the hot sandwiches with powdered sugar. Serve with warmed raspberry preserves on the side for dipping.

Smoky Ham and Bean Soup

Friday, April 10th, 2009

You know what’s funny? I like ham, but I love all the delicious things you can make with leftover ham. Like the one and only casserole I grew up with, ham and rice casserole. Or like the subject of this post, ham and bean soup.

I know it doesn’t sound flashy. It probably doesn’t even sound good. All you have is my word, but I promise you, it’s tasty. Very tasty. As soon as we decided to make ham for Fake Easter, I had visions of the ham bone, simmering away in my crockpot. And my visions came true. With real Easter coming up this weekend, you might very well get your hands on a ham bone of your very own. If you’re lucky enough to be “stuck” with a leftover ham, here’s what to do.

img_1851

Smokey Ham and Northern Bean Soup

  • 1 pound of leftover ham, diced
  • 1 large ham bone, leftover from a roasted ham (if you can’t get one of these, you can skip it, but do try–it really adds to the flavor)
  • 1 quart chicken stock, ham stock, or prepared ham soup base (I used chicken stock)
  • 1 large can of northern beans, partially drained (I poured out about half the liquid)
  • 2 small cans Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup V8 vegetable juice
  • salt & pepper to taste (you probably won’t need much salt, so go easy on it)

Combine ingredients in large crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Honestly, you could eat it as soon as it’s heated through, but the longer it simmers, the better it’s going to taste. If you don’t want to use a crockpot, this can be done on the stove over low heat. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and stir frequently. The starchy beans will get scorched and stick to the bottom of the pot if you don’t.