Aug 2, 2023, Posted by: Arlo Beaumont

How to use up leftover cooked holiday ham before it spoils?

The Never-Ending Feast: Transforming Holiday Ham on Monday Morning

So, it's Tuesday following a fabulous weekend holiday dinner. A huge hunk of leftover ham is sitting there haunting your fridge and you've got a bad case of the "ham remorse". You're looking at that porcine feast and saying, "Arlo, how in the world am I going to make use of this ham before it up and spoils?" Trust me; I've been there too. My husky Max has given me that look more than once, his fateful gaze asking, essentially, the same question.

The good news to all my ham-lovers out there is that the possibilities are nearly endless. It’s time to put on that thinking cap, those creative kitchen shoes and prepare to make your taste buds dance. After all, ham is one of those multipurpose foods that can be turned into an array of dishes, each delicious in its own way. Simplifying it, you could almost say there's a ham for every moment!

The Ham and Cheese Picnic Quiche: Mix It Up For A Quick Lunch

The first thing that springs to mind is a quiche. Yeah, you've done omelettes with leftovers, but let's go a step further and make a beautiful, warm pie teeming with big chunks of savory ham, sharp cheedar cheese, and just a smidgen of finely chopped onion for that added 'wow' factor. It's easy as pie and tasty enough to feed a whole picnic of ham-wary individuals! My Maine Coon cat Olive once accidentally walked into a piece of ham. Of course, she threw a fit, but I swear, she smacked her lips a bit before running off!

While baking a quiche feels like a daunting task, I can tell you – it’s all about the prep. But don't be disheartened, my culinary explorers because a hearty quiche can be prepared in less time than you’d take to contemplate the proportions of ham to cheese. Besides, there’s a certain charm to the process that’ll have you reaching for your apron every single time you have leftover ham.

Ham It Up: Tantalize Your Dinner Guests With Ham Ravioli

Next, let's turn that ham into delectable little pillows of joy that are ham ravioli. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it. It's a four-step process: make the pasta dough, prepare the ham filling, assemble the ravioli, and finally cook them up. It's something that can be prepped unfront and cooked in minutes when the guests arrive. Just remember to look casual as if it was just a 'whip-up-something-quick' moment. Keep that ‘Master Chef’ panache secret—wink!

The beauty of ham ravioli lies in its flexibility. You can substitute the ham with some other leftover meat or add in some spinach for a healthier spin. Not forgetting, the hammy goodness adds a depth to this Italian delicacy, taking its grandeur a notch higher, every single time!

The Unexpected Hero: The Ham And Vegetable Frittata

The third suggestion is a homely and delightfully simple frittata. It is essentially an egg-based dish, akin to an omelette or crustless quiche, filled with your choice of vegetables and, in this case, sprinklings of our hero— the lovely leftover ham. It's like a superfood breakfast pizza but way easier to make.

Seasoning plays a crucial role in enhancing the taste of your frittata. A dash of pepper, a sprinkle of salt, and a pinch of oregano can work wonders. You'll have everyone from your family to your neighbor’s dog lining up for a slice. It’s simple, it’s delicious, it’s almost transformative—and trust me, it’ll have you rethinking egg-based breakfasts!

Saucy Sunday's: The Ham Gravy Train for Your Mashed Potatoes

Gravity isn’t the only thing keeping us grounded, folks. We can't have a leftover ham conversion convo without talking about gravy - and oh, what magic a ham gravy is! It's the ultimate comfort food, perfect for a lazy Sunday supper, served along with mashed potatoes. And let me tell you, Max goes wild for a few spoonfuls over his doggy dinner.

All it takes is a quality stock, some ham dice, flour, seasonings, and just a little love. That small effort will reward you with a delicious sauce that will have your potatoes singing praises. It’s a rendezvous of tastes that’ll leave you feeling well-fed and cozily content!

The Sweet Side of Leftovers: Ham-Based Broth For Your Beans

Here's a curveball for you. How about using the ham bone or some meaty leftover chunks to make a delicious broth for a hearty beans dish? Trust me, there's nothing like the sweet and savory flavor a good ham broth can bring to a beans dish.

Better still, it’s a scrumptious alternative that requires minimum effort and is packed with flavor. So, the next time you’re faced with ‘the last of the hams’, don’t fear. Instead, put on your chef’s hat, summon your love for beans and get simmering. Because there’s nothing quite like the rich, flavorful ham broth adding a sensational twist to your favorite dish.

Time For a Fiesta: Spanish Style Ham Croquettes

Speaking of travelling the world with leftovers, are you ready to try something a little international? Our next stop is Spain with mouth-watering ham croquettes. These are small, lightly breaded and fried bechamel and ham delights that introduce a little fiesta into your kitchen!

While it might take a little knack to get the consistency right, I assure you, there’s no satisfaction that matches watching your homemade croquettes sizzle in the oil. The end result? Decorative, delectable delights packed with the goodness of your hearty holiday ham. Don't forget to yell 'Ole!' when you take your first bite.

And as the sun sets: Comfort in a soup bowl with ham chunks

Last but not the least, if you happen to have a bit of ham, a few veggies, and some stock lying around, there's always room for a soup. Soups are perfect for those dim lit nights when all you want is to curl up with a warm blanket, a book in hand, and comfort in a bowl. This idea came to me one evening when I watched Olive curled up near the fireplace, seemingly in her own serene world.

The key to making great ham soup lies in its simmering. The longer it simmers, the more flavors come alive in your broth, making each sip a heartwarming experience. Just remember that the soup is all about what you put into it, so feel free to add in that extra bit of love for an unforgettable experience.


Arlo Beaumont

Arlo Beaumont

Hello, my name is Arlo Beaumont, and I am a passionate chef with expertise in cooking and creating innovative recipes. I enjoy exploring various cuisines and experimenting with new ingredients to create delicious dishes. I love sharing my culinary knowledge and experiences by writing about recipes and cooking tips. My goal is to inspire others to develop their skills in the kitchen and to discover the joy of cooking.

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