Friday, April 29, 2011

Leftover Ham?

We had ham for Easter. It was delicious, but there is always so much left over! I froze a lot, but we've also been eating a lot of ham this week.

Last night I made this yummy ham-and-asparagus casserole (original recipe here). It was good, my husband gave it 3 thumbs (out of 5), but I think if I hadn't shortcut a couple of fresh ingredients it would have gotten 4 thumbs.

So, if you have some leftover ham, make this casserole. Better yet, make two casseroles and take one to a friend -- someone that just had a baby (or had a baby any time in the last year), someone that is having a bad day, or just someone who has been on your mind. Be sure to call ahead, so they'll be expecting you, though.

Gather your ingredients. You will need:
1 16-oz package of egg noodles
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup milk (2 % or whole)
1 cup chicken broth (or 1 cup water, 1 tsp granules)
1 TBSP butter
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (I used lime juice, the lime flavor is more subtle, I think I would have doubled it if I used limes again)
1 1/2 cups cubed ham
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (don't use the dried like I did!)
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
Ritz crackers (about six)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook pasta in boiling water 7 minutes, add asparagus; cook 1 minute. Drain.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, thyme, salt, and pepper. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring ith a wire whisk until well blended. Melt the butter in the pan you cooked your pasta in. Saute onion in butter, add milk mixture, coook until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in juice. Combine pasta mixture, milk mixture, ham, and parsley in a large bowl. Spoon into a 2-quart casserole. Crush ritz crackers over casserole (I just crumbled them in my hand one at a time directly over the casserole). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden.

The topping (made of the two ingredients below) was amazing!

The asparagus was tender crisp. It wasn't bad as leftovers for lunch today either.

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