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Making the most from that holiday ham

PHOTO VIA UNSPLASH These three recipes offer a new way to make the most of your left over Easter ham beyond just sandwiches.

According to the calendar, Easter is over. However, the holiday lives on in my refrigerator. The 7-pound half ham was just too much for two. Can anyone else relate? Thank goodness we like ham and that there are so many delicious dishes to be made from it.

Besides ham and eggs, ham sandwiches or ham dinner reheats, I suggest a big plate of pasta tossed with ham and peas in a rich and creamy Parmesan sauce. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this dish is a favorite of kids and adults alike.

A great way to use up some excess eggs, along with the ham, is Ham and Broccoli Strata. Make this yummy casserole ahead of time and place in the refrigerator. An hour before dinner just pop in the oven and bake to puffy perfection.

And if a thick and creamy chowder sounds like a winner on a brisk Spring day, try this ham, potatoes and corn version. Serve with crusty rolls for a complete and filling meal. Making the most from the holiday ham is so delicious!

Penne with Ham

and Peas

1-pound dried penne pasta

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T. butter

2 1/2 cups chopped ham

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 cups heavy cream

1 T. Dijon mustard

1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups frozen peas

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water.

In large skillet, over medium heat, saute chopped onions in butter till translucent. Add garlic and chopped ham to the onions and cook a few minutes more, stirring often. Add white wine and allow to reduce slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk together mustard and heavy cream. Add to skillet. Slowly stir in Parmesan cheese. Add peas and cook till warmed through.

Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss till coated with cream sauce. If sauce is too thick pour in some of the pasta cooking water. Season with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Ham and

Broccoli Strata

12 slices white bread, crusts removed

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained

2 cups diced cooked ham

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 1/4 cups milk

1 T. minced onion

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Directions: Cut bread into small cubes. Layer bread, broccoli and ham in buttered 12x8x2-inch baking dish.

Combine eggs, milk, onion, mustard and cheese; stir well. Pour over bread and broccoli in casserole. Cover dish with foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Before baking, remove from refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, in preheated 325-degree F. oven 55 to 60 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Ham, Potato

and Corn Chowder

1 1/2 cups ham, roughly chopped

1/2 T. olive oil

3 T. butter

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small onion, diced

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups frozen corn (or drained canned corn)

5 T. flour

2 cups milk

1 cup chicken or ham broth

1 1/2 to 2 cups water

1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 1/2 tsps. fresh

1/2 tsp. salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Heat olive oil in small skillet over high heat. Add ham and saute 1 to 2 minutes, or till lightly browned. Remove ham from heat and set aside.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes till onion is translucent but not brown. Add flour and whisk into butter. Slowly pour 1 cup milk into pan and whisk till it starts to thicken. Pour in remaining cup of milk, whisking till thickened. Add chicken stock and 1 1/2 cups water and whisk to combine.

Increase heat to medium-high and add potatoes. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often. The soup will thicken as it cooks. Add remaining 1/2 cup water if soup gets too thick. Just before potatoes are done, stir in the corn.

When potatoes are tender, remove soup from heat and stir in ham (reserve some for garnish) and thyme. Taste. Add salt and pepper as desired. If soup is too thick, stir in water or milk to thin. Serve garnished with reserved ham and a pinch of thyme. Serves 2 to 4.

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