The word ‘leftover’ strikes fear in hearts of children and men all around the world. As a woman I think it is hardwired into us that ‘leftover’ is a good word meaning an economical, easy and quick meal. This past weekend I cooked a traditional ham dinner (well east coast traditional) for Easter with scalloped potatoes and carrots. The ham was a 6lb bone in roast from which I served 3 people Easter dinner, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners of leftovers for the 2 of us. I think that was fairly impressive on my part – I wouldn’t say the ham was the star of the 3 leftover creations but they were 3 quick, all different meals that really stretched the ham into a very economical week. Personally I have no problem with leftovers, especially if I loved the dish (i.e. lamb stew that I happily ate 4 days in a row), but T. is a little different. I can get away with pawning off leftovers in his lunch, but he doesn’t really like to eat the exact same meal each night. Hence my leftover challenge… I decided this week to challenge myself to create unique meals with the leftover ham each night.
The first night after our Easter dinner I started off with a ham salad. A light meal after the night before. Green salad – tossed romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, chopped ham, sliced almonds, and creamy dressing.
Creamy Dressing Recipe
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 to 2 cloves garlic, grated
2 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
Freshly ground black pepper
Blend together the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, and water in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Day 2 moved on to a little treat that everyone loves… I’m talking about breakfast for dinner. Ham hash with fried egg. The hash had diced red & green pepper and onion, seasoned with salt, pepper, and parsley.
The final leftover meal broke the leftover stereotype and was the favorite of the week.. Cauliflower and Ham Gratin. Little bit of a sloppy photo but that just shares the cheesy creamy goodness of this yummy dish!
- Chop 1 small head of cauliflower into small florets. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven 350F for 20 mins to soften.
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan.
- Add 1/2 tsp of ground thyme & 1/2 tsp of roasted garlic powder. Mix into butter.
- Add 1/4 cup of flour. Cook for 2 mins.
- Add 2 cups of milk, bring to a slow boil and reduce to simmer.
- Once thickened add 1/2 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Place roasted cauliflower into a casserole dish, add in 1 1/2 cup of chopped ham. Top with sauce and mix together. Cover with shredded cheddar cheese, top with bread crumbs and cook in oven at 350F for 20 mins, to finish broil for 5 mins.
There you go a 3 meals of leftovers, all different, all very enjoyable. These converted my leftover skeptic… maybe you can do the same 🙂