French Country Smoked Ham Pot


1 lb. dried cannellini beans, rinsed and sorted

1 -3lb. shank-end smoked ham

1 bag frozen small boiling onions

2 garlic cloves., chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Thyme sprig

1 bay leaf

Black pepper, to taste

sea salt , to taste

6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2inch lengths

1 lb. small red potatoes, peeled but left whole

3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 2 inch lengths

7 oz. green beans trimmed

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Soak bean overnight in water. The next day, drain and rinse well.

Place ham in large dutch oven, cover with water and bring to simmer and cook 10 minutes.Drain and discard water. Return the ham to the dutch oven ,add beans , onions, garlic, mustard, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Barely cover with water, then gently bring to boil, skimming off any residue. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Add carrots, potatoes and leeks to the pot, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Check the seasoning. Add green beans and parsley and cook 5 minutes. Lift ham from stock and place on carving board and slice. Serve with stock and vegetables.




3 lbs. potatoes, washed

2 sticks butter

1 1/4 cups hot milk

black pepper

1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded

1 lb. ham ,cooked and  diced

4 green onions, sliced

chopped parsley for garnish

Steam potatoes with skin on for 30 minutes. Peel them using a knife or fork. Chop with knife and then mash to remove all lumps. Add stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, always stirring. Season with pepper.

Boil cabbage in unsalted water and turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain  well.

Put ham in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until tender, drain well.

Add cabbage, scallions and ham to potatoes, stir to combine.

Serve in bowls with a pat of butter. Also makes great potato pancakes.

Smoked Ham and Corn Chowder

Smoked Ham and Corn Chowder

4 ears of corn, kernels cut off and cobs reserved

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion , diced

one 1/2 lb. piece of ham, cut into 1/4 inch dice

2  smoked ham hocks

3 cups water

2 cups heavy cream

1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice

Place onion in soup pot and saute in oil until soft. Add ham hocks , corn cobs and 3 cups of water and bring to boil, lower to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the corn cobs and ham hocks. Add heavy cream and potatoes and cook until potatoes are almost tender. Add the corn and ham , simmer until corn and potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper , to taste.

Baked Penne Rigate with Ham and Cheese



1 lb. Penne Rigate, cooked to al dente in salted boiling water

8 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 cups whole milk

8 oz. ham, julienne strips

3/4 cup Parmesan, grated

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper, to taste

Grease a 8×11 baking dish.

In a sauce pan melt 2 tablespoons butter . Whisk in flour. Pour in the milk slowly and whisk until thick and smooth. Stir in the remaining butter and 1/2 the Parmesan, ham, nutmeg , salt and pepper to taste. Toss in cooked pasta and pour into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle on remaining Parmesan cheese. Brown under the broiler.

Deep Dish Ham-Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

Deep Dish Ham-Mushroom and Spinach Quiche


Line a 10×2 inch quiche pan with pie crust or (2) 10×1 quiche pans

14 oz. cooked ham, diced

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1 1/2 cups shredded Gouda cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded Emmentaler cheese

8 eggs

2 cups half-and-half

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp white pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Scatter Mushrooms, spinach and ham evenly on the bottom of the lined quiche pan . Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, pepper, salt and paprika. Pour over the top of the cheese. Place quiche on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 350 degrees until quiche is nicely browned and just set in the center. Let set about 3 -5 minutes before slicing into wedges.

Make Red Beans and Rice a Monday ritual.


1 (3 lb. smoked ham)

1 (3 lb. pork shoulder)

3 lbs. red beans, soaked overnight

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup oil

1/2 lb. diced bacon

2 onions, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 cup diced celery

1 clove minced garlic

sat and pepper; to taste

Cooked brown or white rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast ham until meat separates from the bone. Reserve drippings in pan and add water and cover, boil in oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and skim off fat.

Place the beans in a heavy bottomed pot and add the water from the roasting pan to cover beans and add the bay leaf. Trim the fat from the ham and cut into pieces. Add the ham and the trimmed pork shoulder of fat to the beans. Add more water if needed to cover and bring to boil. Simmer on low until beans and pork shoulder are tender. Remove the pork shoulder and shred the meat ; add back to beans.

In a saute pan cook bacon until crisp, add onions, bell pepper, garlic and celery and saute until softened. Add to beans. Continue to cook beans until the beans begin to break apart.

Serve over rice.

Cubano Sandwich is perfect for a crowd.

Make these sandwiches and wrap each in foil. Place a bunch of wrapped sandwiches on a grill and weight down . Cook until they are heated through and voila, you have a large amount of sandwiches completed at one time.



Ciabatta roll

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 slices Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese

2 thin slices roasted pork loin

2 slices ham

4 slices dill pickle

Cut a Ciabatta roll in half; brush outside with the butter. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise and mustard. Spread cut side of each roll half with mayonnaise mixture. Place the cheese on each half, followed by the roasted pork loin, ham and dill pickle. Top with other half. Wrap the sandwich in foil . Place on hot cast iron pan . Weight the top of the sandwich down with bricks that have been wrapped in foil. Cook until heated through and cheese is melted. This can also be done on the grill with one or multiple sandwiches.

Pasta with Peas and Ham in Cream Sauce is a great way to utilize leftover ham. No one would know that you used leftovers.

Pasta with Peas and Ham in a Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, small diced

1 clove garlic, minced

3 oz. Ham cut into julienned strips

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups thawed frozen peas

1 lb. pasta, cooked al dente in salted boiling water

In a skillet, add butter and melt over low heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent and not browned. Add the ham and cream . Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in the Parmesan and peas. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss. Cook the mixture tossing for a couple of minutes and serve immediately.

Quick soup for those busy days. Much quicker than a drive thru.

Cream of Chickpea and Ham Soup

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed well

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery rib, diced

salt and pepper; to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 quart chicken stock

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

10 oz. diced cooked ham

3 tablespoons sliced fresh chives

In a soup pot saute the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Pour in the chicken stock along with the red pepper flakes,cumin and drained garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil; lower heat to a slow simmer for 30 minutes. Using a immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the thyme, chives, ham, sherry vinegar and heavy cream.  Heat over low heat until warmed through.

For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock and omit ham.