Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Favorite Recipes for January

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Did you have time to read any good books when you weren't shopping, cleaning, entertaining, and cooking? I hope you had some time for yourself during this busy time.

We had ham for Christmas dinner and I still have some left over. Tonight I'm making something very simple that will use most of the ham I have left. It is appropriately called "End of the Line Ham Casserole" from Dottie18 and received four stars on allrecipes.com. Since it's cool during the day and cold at night here in Texas, this will be good to warm us up.

1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
black pepper to taste
2 potatoes, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cups cooked ham, diced
2 T grated parmesan (or other favorite) cheese
(Note: I may add some shredded cheddar just because we love cheese!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an 8 x 8 (greased or sprayed) casserole dish, combine soup, milk and pepper. Layer potato slices, onion slices and ham on top. Cover and bake one hour. Remove cover and sprinkle with parmesan or other grated cheese. Bake uncovered another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

If I have any more ham left, I'm thinking of making this classic Pasta Carbonara dish with shredded or thinly sliced ham instead of bacon. I love Pasta Carbonara in restaurants and even the Lean Cuisine meal! I usually fix a Caesar salad (I love Ken's Lite Creamy Caesar dressing) and have a very light dessert with something this hearty.

1 lb dry linguine
8 oz bacon (substitute ham) diced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 large egg yolks
1 cup (4 ounces) grated parmesan, plus more for garnishing
3/4 t black pepper

Cook linguine according to package directions, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water. In a large skillet over medium high heat, fry the bacon (or saute ham) until crisp. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Spoon off and discard all but 2 T of the bacon drippings. (Note: If you use ham, you probably won't have many drippings, but cooking the onion in the skillet will deglaze the pan.) Return skillet to medium heat, add the onion, and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Working quickly, returned the drained pasta to the pot along with the pasta water, bacon, and onion. Place the pot over low heat and cook, tossing frequently, until heated through. Removed from heat and quickly add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the parmesan cheese and pepper and stir until sauce thickens slightly. Divide among bowls. Top with additional parmesan.

I hope these two dishes will inspire you to use up all your leftovers and stay warm with a full tummy! Happy eating, happy reading, and most of all, Happy New Year! Please come visit my author page on Facebook and "Like" me there. Thanks.


Leigh Duncan said...

Yum, Victoria. Our cook top broke the week before Christmas, so I'm on the lookout for recipes that don't require top-of-the-stove cooking. The End-of-the-Line ham recipe sounds perfect.

Estella said...

The End of the Line Ham recipe sounds yummy.

Victoria Chancellor said...

Hi, Leigh and Estella. I was going to make that one tonight, but we ended up staying at my father-in-law's house way later than we'd hoped, then picked up our younger granddaughter and took her to dinner, so I didn't cook tonight. I'm making it tomorrow, though. If you make it first, let me know. I'll try to remember to take a photo for the next time I post it. Leigh, sorry about the cooktop. Was it a solid surface? I'm always afraid I'm going to drop something on mine because I'm pretty clumsy. :-)

Pamela Stone said...

Thanks, Victoria. I printed this out. Can't wait to try the first one. Sounds yummy.