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Ham it up! Easter leftovers spin off many a feast

Thursday, March 25, 1999


If you're serving ham on Easter Sunday, more than likely you will have leftovers. Ham sandwiches might hit the spot for a couple of days, but that gets old fast.

Several weeks ago reader Margaret Hunnan of Crafton requested recipes for leftover ham, and so many readers responded that we have two weeks' worth of recipes to share. All the recipes are easy to prepare. Some are hearty dishes, while others could be served as side dishes or light dinners. They're all delicious.

Preparing the holiday meal for most families is a challenging chore for the cook, so why not offer to bring dessert? The pies are perfect for large families. One recipe make four pies! Ricotta Easter Pie will satisfy anyone's craving. It has layers of chocolate cream and sweetened ricotta cheese, combined with fruit. Its pie crust will remind you of biting into a sugar cookie.

Our thanks to all our readers for taking the time to send us these recipes.

Ham and Broccoli Casserole

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups cut-up cooked smoked ham
6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup Bisquick
2 cups milk
4 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook broccoli as directed on package. Drain. Spread broccoli in ungreased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. (Tester's note: We wished later we had greased it.) Layer ham and cheese over broccoli. Beat remaining ingredients with hand beater until smooth. Slowly pour over cheese. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Submitted by Mary Lou Zinnikas, Mount Washington

Ham and Potato Casserole

5 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 to 2 cups ham, sliced or diced
White sauce:
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt margarine, add flour and salt and pepper, whisk until smooth. Add milk and whisk continually over medium heat until thickened.

Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Layer potatoes, ham, cheese and white sauce. Repeat, cover pan with foil. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

Submitted by Beth Rogers, Cranberry

Ham and Potato Patties

Mary Anderson of McDonald says "these are so good, they're the reason to bake ham." We agree, but we suggest chilling the potato mixture for 20 to 30 minutes to make the mixture easier to handle.

2 cups cooked and mashed potatoes
2 cups ham, finely diced
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onion

Combine potatoes, ham, cheese and onion in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and form 8 patties. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in large frying pan, cook patties over medium heat, turning 2 or 3 times or until golden.

Submitted by Mary Anderson of McDonald, adapted from a recipe in Woman's Day magazine

Ham Stew

Joanne Sujansky of Baldwin sent us this old family recipe. She serves it with a tossed salad and warm French bread.

Ham bone
1 small onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in 4 cups of water. Simmer for about 2 hours. Remove ham bone and add:

2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups green beans
Meat from the ham bone, cut in- to bite-size pieces

Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Make a roux (see note) using:

5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoon flour

Stir until brown. Add to the stew, mix well.

Note: For a roux that's less rich: reduce the butter and flour to 2 tablespoons.

Ricotta Easter Pie

Makes 4 nine-inch pies.

Italian Cream:
1/2 cup sugar
41/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips (we used 1/2 cup semisweet; if you prefer more intense chocolate flavor go with the 1/2 cup)
11/2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt butter. Whisk in cornstarch, sugar and salt. Gradually whisk in milk. Heat to boiling; Stir in egg yolks add chocolate chips and whisk; cook two minutes, stirring constantly. Add vanilla; let cool. (To avoid a film from forming on the cream, place plastic wrap directly on cream.)

1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine shortening, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, salt, baking soda and powder. If dough is sticky add 1/3 cup more flour (we had to add the flour).

Mix thoroughly, divide dough into four balls and refrigerate about 20 minutes. Remove one dough ball from refrigerator. Press the dough on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan with the palm of your hand; repeat with remaining dough balls. Refrigerate pie shells until ready to use.

Ricotta Filling:
1 2-pound 14-ounce plus 1 15-ounce containers ricotta cheese
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (we used 1/2 cup; for those who prefer a sweeter filling, use 1 cup)
1 1-pound, 14-ounce can fruit cocktail, drained
1 1-pound, 4-ounce can pineapple bits, drained
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon anise extract
6 egg whites, beaten until soft peaks form

Combine sugar, fruit cocktail, pineapple, extracts and ricotta. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Take one pie shell and fill with about 11/2 cups ricotta filling, then about 1 cup cream, and then a final 1 cup layer of ricotta filling. Take a chocolate bar and grate about 2 teaspoons on pie.

Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Note: These pies took a full hour to bake when we tested them.

Submitted by Sylvia Mondelli of North Versailles


Lodi McCormick of Murrysville likes the pot roast at Bob Evans restaurants. "It's a shredded beef with a blend of wonderful seasonings." She called the corporate offices, but they don't give out this particular recipe. She was hoping one of our readers would have something similar.

During a recent cruise, Katherine L. Mentzer of Ross was served flourless chocolate cake. She would like a recipe.

- By Arlene Burnett

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number. All recipes are kitchen-tested by the Post-Gazette.

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