Showing posts with label ham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ham. Show all posts

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Grandma Mary's Bean Soup #Recipe @PegCochran

I've been trying to work my way through some of the food stocked in the big freezer we have out in the garage.  When something I use frequently--like chicken--is on sale, I will stock up.  But the freezer is getting a little too full and since it seems the apocalypse has been delayed for the time being, I thought I'd better start using some of the frozen food.

 While I was poking around I discovered the ham bone I'd saved from Easter dinner (I also found the ham bone I'd saved from the *previous* Easter's dinner but that's a story for another time.)  I always loved my mother-in-law's bean soup which she made after Easter with the ham bone, and fortunately I had the recipe so here it is!

Ingredients:

2 quarts boiling water
1 bay leaf
8 peppercorns (I didn't count)
1 onion, peeled
3 whole cloves
1 lb. great Northern beans

I know there's an enormous divide among those who believe beans need to be soaked and those who don't.  I decided to be on the safe side and I soaked the beans overnight in cold water.

If there are any good bits of ham still clinging to the bone, or if you've saved some ham, cut it into bite-sized pieces and put it aside.

Put all of the above in a large soup pot, bring to a boil, skim the foam from the top and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.  Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  My beans must have been very fresh because they only took 2 hours to become soft and tender.



Optional step:  Since I had time before dinner, I put the soup in the refrigerator until the fat congealed on top making it super easy to remove.

Congealed fat--so easy to skim off!

More Ingredients:

carrots, sliced
parsnip, sliced
onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Leftover cubed ham
salt and pepper to taste



You will note there are no quantities for some of these ingredients.  The recipe called for 6 carorts, 3 parsnips and 3 onions.  That seemed excessive especially given the size of my carrots.  I put in 1 parsnip, 2 carrots and 1 onion.  It made for a full pot of soup and I didn't think it needed anymore.  Use your judgment.  If you LOVE carrots, you can add more.

Add the above along with the ham to the soup pot and cook another 30 minutes or until the veggies are cooked.  Mine took forever.  Note to self: make thinner slices next time.



Add a sprinkle of paprika (about a teaspoon or to taste), stir and serve.  If you want to go all retro, enjoy with buttered saltines.  If you want to be very grown-up, serve with good crusty bread.

For more good recipes, and a good mystery, pick up a copy of Berry the Hatchet, #2 in my Cranberry Cove series!



Coming in September -- an all new series!

 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pennsylvania Dutch Ham and Noodle Casserole + A Secret Code Contest from Cleo Coyle




While growing up in Pennsylvania, my husband and I both traveled many times through Lancaster County, which is traditional Pennsylvania Dutch country. 

There's good, wholesome eating in that neck of the PA woods. Roadside markets sell fresh baked pies, home-jarred preserves and jellies, and pickled meats and vegetables. The local restaurants feature Amish cooking, too. But in the Keystone State, you don’t have to be Pennsylvania Dutch to find sauerkraut, coleslaw, whoopee pies (invented in Lancaster County) or an egg noodle casserole on your dinner table.

This plain yet delicious casserole is common where Marc and I grew up. Our mothers made different versions. Now we make our own, and that's what we're sharing with you today. Because...



"No joy is complete unless it is shared."

~ Amish Proverb


 So let's get cookin'...




Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.


Waste not. It's a philosophy Marc and I share with the Amish, who believe in the simplicity of life.

Speaking plainly, we have holiday ham leftovers, and we thought some of you might, too. This is a dish that makes good use of them.

It's a no-bake casserole, so you can stir it together fast on your stove top, yet the results are creamy, cheesy, and delicious.

While there are many versions of this popular Pennsylvania Dutch casserole out there, we stand by our way of doing it. Instead of canned soup, which is often used in these recipes, we prefer a combination of fresh milk and evaporated (the latter for richness). 

For color, texture, and nutrition, we like to add peas and diced carrots (frozen to keep things simple). We use a combination of Swiss and sharp cheddar with the ham, which brings plenty of flavor. We also add sour cream and a bit of mustard powder. These bring the right touch of tangy brightness to the creamy sauce, without overpowering it. The results will snap your taste buds to life (instead of putting them to sleep with a dish that's too bland). This casserole may look plain, but it's amazingly satisfying. We hope you agree. So...


Keep things simple and eat with joy,

~ Cleo



To download a free PDF document
of this recipe that you can print,
save, or share, click here.

Click here for free recipe PDF.



Cleo Coyle's
Pennsylvania Dutch Ham,
Cheese, and Noodle Casserole 


Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon (salted) butter
2 cups cooked ham, diced into small pieces
1-1/2 cups frozen peas and diced carrots
(do not thaw)
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup fresh milk (splash in more for extra creaminess)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder*
2 cups shredded cheese 
(We use 1 cup Swiss and 1 cup sharp cheddar)*
12-ounce package of extra-wide egg noodles,
     cooked and drained
(See our Noodle Note)**
Salt and pepper to taste

*Ingredient notes: Mustard powder works best in this recipe, but in a pinch you can substitute 1 to 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard. As for the cheese, a combination of cheeses is delicious in this recipe. We like to use 1 cup shredded Swiss and 1 cup shredded sharp or mild cheddar or even Colby-Jack. Velveeta is fine if you’re a fan. But it’s so mild that we suggest you combine it with either shredded Swiss or extra-sharp cheddar for better flavor.

Directions:

Step 1 – S
auté ham and veg for flavor: In a large (at least 4-quart) skillet or saucepan warm the oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the ham and sauté for a minute or two. Add the (still) frozen peas and carrots and toss them to coat. (Do not try to cook them in this step, but do toss them enough to get their exteriors glistening with the butter and oil for good flavor in the final dish.)

Step 2 - Create the creamy sauce: Stir in the can of evaporated milk, the fresh milk, sour cream, and mustard powder. Heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Now add the shredded cheese and stir until everything is melted and smooth. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

**Step 3 – Cook the noodles, according to package directions. Al dente is best, do not over-cook. The minute they are well drained, add them to the pan of creamy ham and cheese and heat everything through until bubbling. If you find the sauce on the thick side, splash in a bit more fresh milk. Add salt and pepper to taste 
and eat with joy!



**Noodle Note – While you may be tempted to cook the noodles first, and set them aside while you make the sauce, my advice is don’t. When egg noodles cool, they stick together like the dickens. The result will be a heartbreaking noodle-blob that will ruin your casserole. So be sure to add the egg noodles right after they have been drained, while still hot, and you shouldn't have any problems eating with joy. :)





Recipe PDF

Click here for a free
PFD of this recipe.


May you eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.



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