Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #1: Spring Mix Pasta

11 Apr

Last night my husband had to work the late shift. When I’m on my own for dinner like that, one of two things happens: I either microwave a single serving of something for myself, or I get inspired to do something creative in the kitchen and take advantage of the fact that there won’t be any interruptions. We have a lot of leftover ham from Easter Sunday dinner so I’ve been thinking about all the things I could do with it. In past years, I’ve made all sorts of yummy hot and cold sandwiches with it. But this year, I’m in the mood for something different…and with less bread (one of the things I’m trying to drop off my personal menu in order to lose weight). I mentioned a few potential ideas–such as the ham stock soup I plan to make this week (I will post the recipe)–in my previous post about Easter eating. Looking at what we had to work with in the kitchen last night, this is what I came up with:

leftover ham recipe #1

Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #1: Spring Mix Pasta

Spring Mix Pasta.

Ingredients: 

– leftover ham cut into small pieces

– boiled noodles (I used spaghetti because that’s what we had but penne would be better for this)

– boiled choclo (or corn), cut off the cob

– a green veggie, such as peas or spinach

– seasoned white sauce (butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, cumin)

Directions:

Prep time: about 10 min.

Cook time: about 45 min. total

These directions make 2-3 servings (if you want more, just double the measurements).

Peruvian choclo

Frozen Peruvian choclo. I love choclo!

1. Boil the choclo (whole) and noodles in separate pans of water with a teaspoon of salt each. While those things are boiling, cut the leftover ham into small bite-size pieces. Choclo is a type of Peruvian corn that has very large, dense kernels with an almost potato-like consistency. It has been compared to hominy but I think the flavor and texture of choclo is much better. We have trouble finding it in LA, so we brought this big bag of frozen choclo home from Newark. If you don’t have choclo, use regular corn.

[Side note: I wanted to add something green to this recipe because I think it would be super yummy like that. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any peas or green beans in the house last night. I am going to add some sauteed spinach to it for my lunch today but I didn’t last night because my husband doesn’t like spinach and I knew he’d take some for lunch today.]

2. In a separate pan, make the seasoned white sauce. Melt two tablespoons of butter. Stir in two tablespoons of flour, one teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper, ground thyme, and ground cumin. Add one cup of milk all at once and whisk the mixture. Cook over medium heat just until thickened, then reduce heat to low for another two minutes, then turn off the heat and cover it or the bottom will scorch.

3. Drain the noodles and set aside. Take the cooked choclo out of the water and cut the kernels off of the cob. Combine the noodles, cut choclo (and a green veggie if you want), cut ham, and the seasoned white sauce into one pan and simmer for two to three minutes, then serve. :)

The result is a light but filling meal. The ham is so naturally sweet and salty that you do not need to over-season anything or even add salt after serving. The white sauce has a creamy texture that pulls everything together and provides balance for the flavors. And the veggies taste great in the mixture. Another good thing about it is that you are in control of exactly how much of each thing goes into it, unlike a packaged noodle dish you can buy at the store, which may be loaded with preservatives and chemicals. The sauce and the noodles are the ingredients with the most calories, so you can adjust the amounts of those to suit your particular tastes, or add extra veggies, like broccoli or carrots, to offset the amount of pasta.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! What are you doing with your leftovers? Let us know in the comments section.

Have a great day!

–Michelle

Related posts: Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #2: Ham and Pepper Jack Quesadillas and Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #3: Ham Stock & Veggie Medley Soup

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3 Responses to “Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #1: Spring Mix Pasta”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #2: Ham & Pepper Jack Quesadillas « Diet Drop - April 12, 2012

    […] because it has such a sweet, distinct flavor. It lends itself well to many meals. [Also check out Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #1 and stay tuned for Leftover Easter Ham Recipe […]

  2. Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #3: Ham Stock & Veggie Medley Soup « Diet Drop - April 16, 2012

    […] ha ha). [For more recipe ideas to use up ham leftovers, try Ham and Pepper Jack Quesadillas and Spring Mix Pasta.] Ham Stock and Veggie Medley Soup by […]

  3. 3 Ways to Eat Barley « Diet Drop - May 22, 2012

    […] boiled pearled barley with choclo cut off the cob. (Peruvian corn; for image and other uses, see this recipe). I boiled both separately first, then mixed them together and boiled them for an additional 30 […]

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