Many people will celebrate Easter in a few weeks.
Those celebrations will include ham on the Sunday supper table, along with tossed salad, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli. Don't forget the gravy!
The Monday after means leftover ham, especially if the family has invested in a 12-pound spiral-sliced special. There are plenty of uses for thrifty home chefs.
"It's basic for me," said Michael Stamets, an assistant professor in Schenectady County Community College's School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism. "Scalloped potatoes and ham. It's the thing I think of my mother making when we had leftover ham at Easter."
Stamets said other quick options come to mind, for both breakfast and lunch. For the former, ham and eggs is tried and true. For the latter, split pea with ham soup - or the classic ham sandwich - are classics for afternoon sips and bites.
Stamets remembers another soup from his mother's kitchen - ham, cabbage and dumpling soup.
"You boil down the ham bone, add water and put in the cabbage, carrots and potatoes," Stamets said.
Dumplings complete the package.
Another project, Stamets said, combines pork and poultry. Ham is a component in Chicken Cordon Bleu.
If people use their imaginations, they can come up with bunches of other ways to slice and dice ham into great tastes. Here's a sample:
- Top a green salad - already full of tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, onions, carrots and chick peas - with sliced cheese, ham and turkey. You've just made a chef's salad.
- Finely chopped ham, onions and a little celery - mayonnaise is an option - means ham salad.
- Ham and potato chowder is another soup option.
- Put slices of ham in muffin tins and fill with beaten eggs for omelets in ham cups
- Bits on ham on crackers as appetizers
- Egg muffins with ham and vegetables
- Double play! Ham and corn soup is another consideration.
- Ham, broccoli and Swiss cheese can be baked into bread.
- Ham can be used to give ziti extra zing.
- Ham and eggs - great on a plate - can also be used for sandwiches.
- Ham adds extra flavor to bean soup.
- Diced ham can be used as an extra topping on pizza.
- Ham - plus vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower - can go into a casserole.
- Ham kabobs put ham, pineapple and melted cheese on a skewer.
- Jambalaya can include ham.
- Macaroni and cheese can also benefit from a ham assist.
- For leftovers, nothing wrong with serving Easter Sunday dinner on Monday: Warm up those potatoes and vegetables and set the table!