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Ham, ham, ham, ham, ham

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FOOD EASTER FRESH `HAM' 3:1.jpg
It's all about the ham this week, isn't it?

We purposely didn't overload today's Food pages with ham recipes, though, seeing as how not all of you celebrate Easter or eat ham (though the one we did include, Deviled Eggs with Ham, is good enough to get non-ham eaters to switch their allegiance).

In case some of you are miffed about the dearth of ham coverage, we're making up for it here, with some tips from chefs on what to do with leftover Easter ham.

Kristine Subido of Wave in the W-Lakeshore Hotel suggests braising then shredding ham and serving it with Swiss chard for a hearty side. Or, chop it up really finely and mix it into pate a choux dough for ham cream puffs.

Along those lines, Cary Taylor at the Southern suggests adding diced ham to hush puppy mix.

Paul Virant at Vie likes a "crispy warm ham salad with roasted mushrooms and croutons."

Last but certainly not least, Paul Fehribach of Big Jones gives us two appropriately downhome recipes: Potlikker Soup, so you can put that ham bone to work, and Ham and Scallion Cornbread.

Get the recipes after the jump. And tell us - how do you like your leftover ham?

Potlikker Soup
MAKES 10 to 12 SERVINGS
1 leftover ham bone, or 2 to 3 smoked hocks
1 gallon cold water
1 bunch collard, mustard or turnip greens
2 tablespoons ham or bacon drippings, or cooking oil
2 cups diced leftover ham
2 large Spanish onions, diced
8 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
2 green bell peppers, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
1 pound frozen lima or butter beans
1 pound hominy, drained
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper

In a large (8-quart) stockpot, cover the ham bone or hocks with cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a low boil. Clean leaves off of greens, wash thoroughly, chop and set leaves aside. Add the stems to the stockpot; continue to simmer for 2 hours. (Now's a good time to assemble the other ingredients and get the cornbread going.)

Drain the potlikker (the liquid in the stockpot) and reserve. Save the ham bone and discard the stems.

Wash and dry stockpot. Add ham or bacon drippings or oil to pot and turn heat to medium-high. Once drippings are hot, add the diced ham, onions and garlic and saute, stirring often, until ham and onions just start to turn light brown.

Add peppers and celery and saute another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the potlikker and ham bone to the pot, along with the chopped greens, lima or butter beans and hominy. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or longer, depending on how tender you like your greens.

Add vinegar and Worcestershire, then the salt and peppers a little at a time, tasting after each addition until you're happy with it. Serve with hot sauce.


Ham and Scallion Cornbread
MAKES 6 to 8 SERVINGS

2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup white sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter, ham or bacon drippings, or corn oil
1 cup cornmeal, preferably white
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1/2 pound fresh, frozen or canned whole kernel corn
1 3/4 cups white flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter, ham or bacon drippings
1 cup finely chopped ham

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together buttermilk, sugar, eggs, melted butter, cornmeal, scallions and corn; set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the hot oven with the remaining 1/4 cup butter and diced ham in it. Heat thoroughly for 6 to 8 minutes. Meantime, quickly stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix; the batter will be somewhat lumpy. Quickly spoon batter into hot skillet and return to oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in bread comes out clean.

Allow to cool before unmolding and cutting.

Recipes from Paul Fehribach, Big Jones

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on March 31, 2010 5:08 PM.

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