Four Things you can do with Ham

Ham is a popular holiday and Sunday tradition, but don’t throw out the leftovers. What can we do with this delicious meat besides baking?

#1 – Leftover Hambone Soup

This recipe makes good use of leftover ham and packs a lot of veggie punch with a variety of different vegetables to hit your daily allowance head-on.

Once you cut all the meat off the bone, put the bone in a large stockpot. Add water to cover the lower half of the bone and bring the water to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the bone for about an hour. The scent should be very aromatic and make the house smell yummy! Once the broth has simmered enough, remove the bone from the pot and discard.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in another stockpot if you have it. If you don’t you can drain the ham stock to a holding bowl. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 diced onion, 2 peeled and diced carrots, and 1 peeled and diced russet potato. Allow the vegetable mixture to cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for two to three minutes until the onion is translucent. Then add your stock, 1 cup of drained and rinsed canned white kidney beans, ¾ cup of frozen corn kernels, ¾ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, 2 bay leaves, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. 

Boil then simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the potatoes are tender; then stir in 1 ½ cups of leftover diced ham and heat through. Dinner’s ready!Leftover ham

#2 – Deli ham sandwiches

You can put whatever you like in this. Hollow out a sub roll, wheat or white, and add ham, cheese, pickles, coleslaw, olive oil and/or leftover macaroni salad, for example. This is best eaten after the flavors are melded. So refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

#3 – Ham and Egg Saucers

Grease a muffin pan; place one to two pieces of ham as needed to fill each cup completely, for the “saucer,” add a pinch of grated cheddar, tip in one raw egg, salt and pepper to taste, and a little more cheddar. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Delicious and easy.

#4 – Cheese and Ham Sandwich

This is so easy and tastes so wonderful! It’s definitely a contender for the world’s best cheese and ham sandwich. Start with toasting 2 slices of Texas Toast with crusts removed in butter; then top with a slice of ham, add a slice of Gruyère cheese (adds an amazing  flavor), and drench in Bechamel sauce. Heaven!

You can substitute ham anywhere you would use bacon. You can always freeze leftover ham for a lovely treat later on and you can also freeze ham bone for stock later also. Love your ham! It’s delicious.

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Three Meals you can Build Around Olives 

Olives are a great food that tend to get a bad rap sometimes. There are many people who do not like them (despite there being hundreds of different types that they haven’t even tried), but let’s face it: the health benefits of olives simply cannot be denied. For one thing, they do an outstanding job of protecting against skin cancer along with colon and breast cancer. See? They’re already starting to look better, aren’t they? They also contain monounsaturated fatty acids, along with oleic acid, both of which have been proven to reduce excessive inflammation. The compounds work side by wage war on free radicals within your cells.

Did you know that olive oil is good for the heart? Containing biophenols, it is capable of suppressing bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, and is also key in reducing blood pressure. Finally, olives are known to reduce chronic pain from diseases like arthritis. Adding a bowl of olives to your daily routine can be very beneficial, and may even go so far as to save your life. They will certainly serve to make your quality of life better, especially if you deal with any of the above issues.

The vegetable that so many see as just a condiment, or perhaps something to be ignored, is one of nature’s greatest gifts to us, and quite frankly, we think that it should be used everywhere. You already know that they can be used on salads, and you probably order them with your pizza, but what you might not now is that they can be used to make a number of different meals. Let’s cover three of them below and you’ll be on your way to becoming a gourmet olive chef.

Meals you can Build Around Olives 

The Olive Chicken Dish

Chicken is without a doubt the harbinger of the most popular meals on the planet, but you can make it even more interesting by creating an olive marinade. All you need is:

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning (your choice)

After slicing the olives, you can use these ingredients to create a marinade, and then coat your chicken thighs (or breasts if you would rather) before placing them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. If you want to spice it up a little, feel free to serve with lemon slices.

The Tart Dish

This is a quick dish and a great snack for summer time. You will need:

  • Puff Pastry Tray
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Roasted Red Peppers

You will start by cutting circles from the sheet of puff pastry, as many as you need. Cover it with the ingredients, and top with olives. Add any other ingredients you want, we strongly recommend anchovy fillets, and then cook in the oven for fifteen minutes at 350 degrees.

Olive Stuffed Tomatoes

This can be used as either an appetizer, or simply as a light lunch. You just need to scoop out a few tomatoes and stuff them with cooked rice, minced garlic, chopped tomato, herbs, lemon juice, and of course, green olives. Bake in the oven for five minutes at 350 degrees and serve.

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Making Great Meals on a Tight Budget

Cooking for your family definitely presents a number of unique challenges, and if you are on a tight budget you will most certainly find that choosing the right foods is much more difficult. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways that you can keep to your budget while providing your family with a great meal, and we’re going to cover them right now.

Making Great Meals on a Tight Budget

Your First Tip: Choose the Right Meat

Most meals involve meat, but if you have children you can’t go all out and purchase steak for every single dinner. Once in a while it might be okay, but for the most part, you need to choose the meats that come at a slightly lower price point. The two most inexpensive meats on the market right now are pork and poultry, with poultry being the lowest. If you want to save even more money, consider purchasing dark meat, such as chicken thighs, rather than going with white meat as this is much cheaper.

You can use meat to create several different meals, and it doesn’t always have to be the most obvious. In the net few paragraphs we are going to discuss methods by which you can create entire meals using some of the most unlikely and inexpensive ingredients.

Your Second Tip: Use Rice

Rice can be a very important building block in any meal, and as you probably know, it’s very cheap. The most amazing thing about it however is that it is capable of taking on virtually any flavor so long as you are able to mix it with broth, condensed soups, grease, etc. The one thing you must be careful of when doing this however, is that you do not mix it with something unhealthy, even though it might be tempting!

Rice can be mixed with all kinds of meats and turned into an amazing dish. Give it a try and see what you can come up with in your kitchen.

Your Third Tip: Pasta is your Friend

Great meals don’t always have to be creative. One of the best things that you can do is create pasta dinners for your family, and you will find that some of the available pasta is actually quite cheap. In addition to that, you can alter the flavor of your pasta sauce in many different ways to change it up. One of our favorites for example is to combine tomato pasta sauce with cream cheese and ground beef, it sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty intricate when you think about it.

Cooking doesn’t have to be expensive; of course you might want to spring for something a bit more costly now and again, but you must always remember that just because you are on a bit of a budget doesn’t mean you have to starve. Consider these tips, create your own, and have a great dinner.

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Are Jet Stream Ovens Healthier?

Jet stream or simply jet ovens have made a big impact on the culinary world.  They cook with any combination of infrared, fans, steam, and can even be used for hot air frying by using next to no oil.  There is no doubt that all of these are healthy choices, especially the hot air frying.  Here is some detailed information about jet ovens ranging from small countertop appliances for home use all the way to commercial grade models that can easily run $30,000-$40,000

The Technology

Jet ovens have food ready with the speed of a microwave but delivers the same results you would get in a traditional oven by quickly cooking, baking, and even browning food while preserving freshness and flavors.  The technology utilizes pressurized hot air that impacts food up and down on each side to directly transfer the heat energy thus cooks food two to four times faster than a traditional oven.  All functions and adjustments can be made on the oven’s control panel which gives you time, heat, and fan speed settings.  Most ovens have stackable, adjustable racks and steaming functionality can be added with an optional boiler.  Most jet ovens offer different levels of steam power in order for the optimal cooking of a variety of foods.  Steaming is an extremely healthy way of preparing food which is yet another mark for these versatile appliances.  And with the adjustable racks a small, countertop jet oven is a great option for people who don’t have a lot of space or need additional cooking options but cannot install another oven in their kitchen.

Jet Stream Ovens

 

Available Options

When it comes to consumer-grade small countertop jet stream ovens the market seems to belong to Nesco.  Infomercials have made this a wildly popular item but it is also a very well-constructed appliance that not only offers great customer support, an overwhelming number of consumers report they are very happy with the item and would purchase it again.  With its halogen heat and convection fan, the Nesco Jet Stream 2 touts the ability to air fry, bake, broil, grill, roast, or steam food.  That can definitely be considered a multi-tasking appliance and note all of these are very healthy cooking methods that use little to no oil.  Plus it is one small device that can be used in place of or in conjunction with your other kitchen equipment.

If you are looking for the same technology but the next sizes up, you might want to consider the Fujimak stainless steel FGJOA5 jet oven that looks remarkably like a grill and is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel.  Its mechanical elements are housed in separate compartments so the cooking cabinet is a cinch to wash.  For those who want to use healthy and efficient jet stream technology in commercial ovens, the Doyon JA28 electric convection oven features the patented Jet Air System which is ideal for quickly baking cakes and pastries in addition to reducing the cooking times for meat and vegetables.  If one looks at the speed and efficiency jet ovens offer then add the benefits of cooking with little to no oil or fat, it can be accurately stated that jet ovens are in fact a very healthy way of cooking.

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A Quick and Easy Weekday Meal for the Whole Family

As temperatures are beginning to dip, more and more people are reaching for their favorite comfort foods; the rich, hearty, stick-to-your-bones kind of food that you want to eat while curled under a blanket with your loved ones as a fire roars in front of you. Unfortunately, most people do not have the time or the energy after a long day of work for of preparation and cooking involved in making that kind of food. If you are one of those that craves homey-goodness but needs to get dinner on the table quickly, this budget-friendly recipe is for you.

Shepherd’s pie comes to us from England and is simple, filling and delicious. While it is traditionally made with minced lamb (hence the “shepherd” in “Shepherd’s pie”) this recipe calls for the cheaper and typically more accessible ground beef. You could substitute ground turkey, chicken, lamb or pork, depending on what you have on hand. As a shortcut, frozen mixed vegetables are used in lieu of washing, chopping and preparing fresh vegetables.

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • Three large potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch chunks
  • 2T sour cream
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick (1/4 cup or 8T) of butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1t Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Shredded cheese

A Quick and Easy Weekday Meal for the Whole Family

Preparation:

  1. Set frozen vegetables out at the beginning of preparation to help defrost. The vegetables do not have to be completely thawed before using.
  2. Preheat over to 400F degrees.
  3. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and add cubed potatoes, reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Over medium heat, melt 4T of butter in a large sauté pan. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook about 6-10 minutes until fragrant and tender, stirring frequently. Add ground beef and cook until browned, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Add vegetables, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to mixture. Bring broth to a simmer and then reduce to low heat.
  6. Keep uncovered and cook about 10 minutes. You may need to add more beef broth to keep mixture from drying out.
  7. Spread the mixture out into the bottom of a large 9x13 baking pan. Allow to cool slightly before adding mashed potatoes.
  8. Once potatoes are tender (a fork can pierce easily), drain water and remove from pot. Combine potatoes with sour cream, heavy cream, and remaining butter, using a fork or potato masher to mix together.
  9. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat and vegetable mixture, spreading out to cover. Cook in the preheated oven until the top is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  10. Optional: During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add shredded cheese to the top of the pie for extra deliciousness.
  11. Remove and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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