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Ham-cheese fondue a hearty brunch

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Looking for a way to use the remainder of your holiday ham? We have a suggestion: Ham and Cheese Fondue.

 

This wonderful cheese and ham dish is perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch. Layers of French bread and ham (both cubed) and Cheddar cheese are baked in a milk-and-egg custard. The recipe also calls for dry mustard and butter (for flavoring), flour (for thickening) and a few drops of hot sauce (to give the casserole a tasty kick).

What's great about this recipe is all the prep work is done ahead. Although you can prepare it the same day, we found it easier to do it the night before. If you don't have a souffle dish, any deep-dish glass bowl will work. Be warned, however, your ham and cheese fondue will lack the puffiness it would get with a souffle dish.

This recipe for Ham and Cheese Fondue was sent by Martha Sheppard of Shadyside in response to a request from Colleen Di Ionno of Warrington. Colleen was searching for a recipe similar to breakfast French toast casserole: "But this one was a lunch type and served with a salad. It consisted of pretty much the same ingredients except the maple syrup, and it was made with ham and possibly cheese. It was also refrigerated overnight, and it was delicious."

After testing this recipe, we agree with Colleen that it is delicious. We served our Ham and Cheese Fondue with hot rolls and a tossed salad.

Ham And Cheese Fondue

  • 3 cups cubed French bread (about 1/2 loaf)

  • 3 cups cubed cooked ham
  • 1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • Few drops of hot sauce

Make a layer of one third of the bread, ham and cheese cubes in a buttered 8-cup souffle dish.

Mix flour and mustard in a cup. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the mixture over layer. Drizzle 1 tablespoon butter or margarine over flour and mustard mixture. Repeat with remaining bread, ham, cheese, flour mixture and butter or margarine to make two more layers.

Beat eggs with milk and red pepper sauce until foamy. Pour over layers. Cover. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Uncover before baking. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.

Requests

Joann Urbanic of North Huntingdon writes: "I have the shrimp and the walnuts -- all I need is the recipe for Walnut Shrimp. I hope someone can help."

A bakery request from Lois Smith of Canonsburg: "Years ago, Dudt Bakery on Brownsville Road, Brentwood, made two pies, lemon and chocolate chiffon. The pies were smooth as silk. They were the most delicious-tasting pies I ever had. I wonder if anyone knows how they are made."


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, or e-mail toaburnett@post-gazette.com .

Please include a name, neighborhood/city/borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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