Tag Archives: Ham

Ham and cheese salad

Ham and cheese salad

A very simple salad that just sounded good.

Ham and cheese is a classic sandwich combination. So why not for a salad? And mustard is standard for the sandwich, so I did a vinaigrette heavy on the mustard.

Ham and cheese salad

romaine lettuce, chopped into smaller pieces
1/3–1/2 cup ham, cubes
1/3–1/2 cup medium cheddar, cubes
carrots, sliced
green bell pepper, cut-up strips

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1–1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
fresh ground pepper

Put the ham, cheese, and vegetables on the romaine. Whsk or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, mustard, and pepper. Spoon over the salad.

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Ham and bean tostada

Ham and bean tostada

Ham and beans are a classic soup combination. And beans suggest to me a possible tostada. Here is a ham and bean tostada with the tortilla topped with a ham, carrot, and bean mixture made much like the soup but without the excess broth.

As with the New Orleans tostada I’m using canned beans rather than going through the effort of using dry beans. The beans I found were simply labeled white beans, but great northern beans or navy beans are very similar. Ham and bean soups typically have carrots, so those are included as well.

For the ham, I found a small bag of cubed ham which was just perfect. Some markets sell individual ham steaks which could be cut into cubes. Or you could get a very thick slice of ham at the deli counter.

For topping the frittata, I chose to add more ham and sliced carrots (raw here, of coures). And for the vinaigrette, vinegar is often served as a condiment with ham and bean soup. So I made the proportion vinegar higher than in a typical vinaigrette and included no additional flavorings, as I wanted the vinegar to be the focus. I think that worked well.

Ham and bean tostada

1 can great northern, navy, or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup carrots, small pieces
1/4 cup ham, small cubes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 bay leaf
oil

2 corn tortillas
oil

romaine lettuce, chopped
ham, cubes or other small pieces
carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Saute the onion in oil, adding garlic for the last minute. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, ham, carrots, and spices. Cook for 30 minutes, adding more chicken broth as necessary to just keep from drying out.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, put in a tortilla, cook for about 30 seconds on each side until it starts to crisp up. You want it a little crispy but not as hard as a tortilla chip. Repeat with the second tortilla.

Put the tortillas side-by-side on a plate. Spread on a thin layer of the ham and bean mixture. Put the romaine, ham, and carrots on the beans. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil and vinegar. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad.

Croque Monsieur frittata

Croque Monsieur (or Madame?) frittata

Croque Monsieur is a French bistro classic. This is a sandwich made with ham and cheese (often Gruyere) that is topped with Béchamel sauce. I have already made a ham and Gruyere frittata, so I thought why not top it with some Béchamel sauce to make a Croque Monsiuer frittata? It may seem unusual to top a frittata with the sauce. But after all, how unusual is it to top a sandwich with the sauce?

A note about my ambiguity regarding the name. A variant of the Croque Monsieur has a fried egg added on top. This is called a Croque Madame. This frittata doesn’t have a fried egg, but given this is a frittata, the ham and cheese are inside of the egg. So maybe it should be called a Croque Madame frittata. I’ll leave the choice up to you.

Croque Monsieur (or Madame?) frittata

1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup hot milk
2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash of white pepper
dash of nutmeg

3/4 cup ham cut into small pieces
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

3 eggs
oil

grated Gruyere cheese to sprinkle on top

I make the Béchamel sauce first because I don’t seem to have quite enough time while the frittata is cooking on the stove. If you’re quicker, you could do it after you start cooking the frittata. But the finished sauce holds fine while the frittata is cooking.

To make Béchamel sauce, put the butter and flour in a small saucepan over fairly low heat. Stir the flour in as the butter melts and continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the hot milk, whisking everything together. Place back on the stove, raise the heat to get the sauce bubbling, and cook to thicken, continuing to stir with the whisk or a wooden spoon. This will take about a minute or so. Add the cheese, mustard, pepper, and nutmeg. Continue heating and stirring for a minute to get the cheese melted and mixed through.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of egg mixture to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the ham and Gruyere cheese into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. (It will help to add the ham a few pieces at a time, as the pieces can stick together.) Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, spoon the (thick) Béchamel sauce over the top of the frittata. You want to distribute the sauce over the top, but there is no need to spread the spoonfuls of sauce out to make sure the entire top is covered. As the sauce heats under the broiler, it will soften and spread out evenly by itself. Sprinkle on the additional Gruyere. Place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Ham and asparagus frittata

Ham and asparagus frittata

Ham and asparagus are used together in a lot of different preparations. So this makes sense for a frittata. This is the ham and Gruyere frittata revisited, simply reducing the amounts of those ingredients and adding the asparagus.

Ham and asparagus frittata

1/3 cup bit-sized pieces of ham
1/2 cup cooked asparagus cut into small pieces
1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese plus a little more for the top

3 eggs
oil

Snap off the bottom parts of the asparagus spears, keeping just the tenderest parts. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the asparagus spears and cook for 2 to 2–1/2 minutes (this is for thin spears). Remove the asparagus spears and put them in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking and keep a nice green color. After a minute, remove from the water and let them drain and continue to cool on paper towels. Cut into small pieces for the frittata. This can be done several days in advance while cooking the asparagus for another meal, such as for a salad.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the ham, asparagus, and Gruyere into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, sprinkle a bit more of the cheese on the top. Place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Ham and Gruyere frittata

Ham and Gruyere frittata

Ham and Gruyere cheese just go together. They are the basic elements of the classic French bistro sandwich, the Croque Monsieur. And they work great in a frittata.

Ham and Gruyere frittata

1/2 cup bite-size pieces of ham
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese plus a little more for the top

3 eggs
oil

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the ham and Gruyere into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, sprinkle a bit more of the cheese on the top. Place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.