I am a big fan of cured meats and sausages of all types. That is, good cured meats and sausages of all types. In my opinion, what comes in a “Lunchable” is neither meat nor food. But the rich flavor of a good sausage or ham makes a great flavoring agent for all kinds of dishes even when the meat itself isn’t the star of the dish.
I bought a big bone-in ham about a week ago–“big” as in several pounds, but still the smallest one I could get. So far, I’ve made four meals with it–one featuring actual steaks sliced off the big hunk, two as soups, and one with eggs.
I carved most of the meat off the bone and then used the bone-with-residual-meat in a split pea soup. Then, last night, I made a potato, ham, and onion soup. Tonight was a frittata with onion, sweet red pepper (I still have a few left from the gardens), loads of chopped garden parsley, and a little diced ham.
But I’ve still got a pretty sizable quantity of ham to use up, and I’m running out of ideas that don’t involve pasta or potatoes. I do have some home-canned apple-fennel chutney that might be good with ham and brown rice. Or maybe something with sweet potatoes could be arranged?
It’s not that I’m trying to avoid starches altogether, but it’s just too easy to make a pasta or potato dish every night. Since that’s what my son typically wants, I try to avoid it when he’s not here so we’re not eating it every single day.
Maybe I could do something uber-Better Homes & Gardens or Ladies’ Home Companion and have some sort of pineapple and ham and maybe tomato sauce involved–some sort of 1950s housewife Hawaiian casserole.
It’s always hard for me to pull off those dishes, though, because I want to spice them up in some weird way that doesn’t quite work. I think those dishes are supposed to be bland, but then when you eat them thirty years later, your adult tastebuds don’t think the bland is really that great anymore.
I guess I’m just fishing for some ideas here–what would you do with a goodly quantity of ham? Got any recipes or tips?