By guest blogger and Swap Shop columnist Sandy Thorn Clark
The elevator conversation regarding bone-in vs. boneless hams lasted only 43 floors, hardly sufficient time for this advocate of bone-in hams to adequately present their innumerable pros.
"The issue is leftovers," specified my hi-rise neighbor, who favors boneless canned hams.
Exactly, I thought. The issue is leftovers.
At Easter, I care far more about ham leftovers than the first elegant slices.
Flavor is another issue - a real ham tastes far better than a processed ham. Besides, what is that gelatin junk in a canned ham? Or that white "filler" in boneless hams? Scary stuff.
I appreciate leftover ham chunks in omelets, casseroles, soups and chowders, ham salad, macaroni and cheese, breakfast burritos, wraps, eggs Benedict, pasta dishes, scalloped potatoes, potato salad, and on pizza. And the ham bone is great in bean soup.
My favorite Leftover Ham Casserole, which easily serves 6 to 8, is simple:
In a large pan, saute 1 small onion (chopped) in one-half stick butter over medium heat. Stir in 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of celery soup, 1 soup can milk, 1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar or Swiss), 1 (14œ-ounce) can green beans (drained), œ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 3 cups cubed ham, and 2 cups uncooked Minute Rice. Transfer mixture into 3-quart casserole. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.
And, for frugality's sake, don't forget that ham can be frozen up to 2 months. Chop it into bite-size cubes, wrap it in plastic and place it in a freezer zip-lock package. Once thawed, use ham only in cooked dishes.