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Leftover ham recipes capitalize on too much of a good thing

Thursday, April 01, 1999


As promised, here's our second batch of readers' recipes for leftover ham and as you'll see, there's something here for everyone. There's also a great cookie recipe, Yugoslav Kifle. Kifle are crescent-shaped cookies with a flaky dough that's wrapped around a sweet walnut filling, then sprinkled with powdered sugar. It's a perfect ending to a grand Easter dinner.

We thought you might enjoy some fun facts about the popular Easter traditions of dyeing eggs.

We've been coloring or decorating eggs since the 2nd century, only in those days they used somewhat different methods.

For instance, the wealthy people covered eggs with a thin layer of gold. The peasants dyed their eggs, using various natural resources like flowers, leaves (spinach or anemone petals for green), tree bark (purple) and insects, specifically the body fluid of the cochineal insect which would give the egg a scarlet color.

In the early 1880s in Germany, the Easter egg substituted for a birth certificate. After the egg was dyed a solid color, the name and date of birth of the recipient was carved into the shell. These eggs were honored in courts of law as proof of identity!

Source: "Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things"

And now, without further ado, bring on the recipes. And again, thanks to all our readers who took the time to send them in.


Penny Casserole

11/4 pounds red potatoes, cubed
2 cups cubed ham, see note
1 cup frozen peas
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon mustard (we used Dijon)

Cook potatoes in boiling water; drain. In greased 21/2-quart baking dish, combine potatoes, ham and peas. Combine remaining ingredients and stir in. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Note: Other substitutions for ham are 10 sliced hot dogs or 1 pound cooked link sausage, sliced.

Submitted by Linda Cordle of North Fayette, who clipped it from Country Woman magazine

Ham and Fettuccine in Cream Sauce

3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups leftover cooked ham, diced
8 ounces fettuccine noodles, broken in half, cooked and drained
White sauce:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (1 or 2 percent)
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dry parsley

Combine ingredients for white sauce. Add cheeses and ham.

Pour over cooked fettuccine noodles in a buttered baking dish (we used a 2-quart casserole dish) and mix well.

Top with bread crumb mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees covered for 25 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Peg Valerio, Scott

German Hot Potato Salad With Ham

Have plenty of beverages on hand; with the bacon and ham, this is a salty dish.

2 cups medium-size potatoes, pared and sliced
1/3 cup bacon drippings
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
6 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
2 cups cut-up leftover cooked ham (1/2-inch cubes)

In medium saucepan, cook potato slices in 1 inch of boiling salted water, covered, just until tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat bacon drippings, vinegar, onion, salt and paprika.

In large bowl, combine hot potato slices, bacon, ham and dressing; toss lightly, being careful not to break up the potatoes. Serve at once. Serves 6.

Berniece Yuros, Forest Hills

Ham Pinwheels

21/2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup water
2 cups ham, ground in food processor
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons mustard (we used Grey Poupon)
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix Bisquick and water to make a biscuit dough. Roll out dough into rectangle, approximately 17 by 13 inches.

Mix together the ground ham, brown sugar, mustard and mayonnaise; it should have a spreadable consistency. Spread mixture evenly over dough. Roll up jellyroll style; pinch ends to seal. Cut into 1-inch slices, and place on baking sheet (we used non-stick cooking spray on baking sheet). Bake at 425 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. While baking, prepare a basic white sauce (recipe below).

White Sauce:
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Colby cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter, whisk in flour and gradually add milk, whisking until thickened. Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over pinwheels, then serve.

Gail Knarr, North Fayette

Risotto With Ham

1/2 stick butter or margarine
11/2 cups rice (we used arborio)
31/2 cups hot broth (we used chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste, see note
1 cup ham, diced

Melt butter in large heavy skillet; add rice; cook until rice is slightly golden. Add broth and salt and pepper and ham. Cover tightly and simmer gently 40 minutes or until rice is fluffy and all liquid is absorbed.

Note: Because of the saltiness of the ham and chicken broth we eliminated the salt without any damage to this recipe.

Ruth Biesenkamp, Aliquippa

Yugoslav Kifle

2 cups sifted flour
1 cake compressed yeast
1/2 cup margarine
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
Confectioners' sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Crumble yeast into flour in large bowl. Cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly. Add egg yolks and sour cream, mix well.

Form into ball. Knead on lightly floured board until smooth (about 5 minutes). Divide dough into three equal parts and refrigerate at least one hour.

Make walnut filling: Combine walnuts, sugar and vanilla. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

On a board sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, roll each part of the dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Fill wide end of each wedge with one round teaspoon filling. Roll up from wide end to point.

Place on greased baking sheet, curling ends to form crescent shape.

Bake in 375-degree oven about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Yield: 24 large Kifle.

To make tea-sized Kifle: Form the dough into 6 balls instead of three. Reduce the amount of filling to about 1/2 teaspoon. This yields four dozen cookies.

Connieann DiVincenzo-Kerns, Mount Washington


Elliston Slemmer of Cranberry would like the recipe for Gimbel's rum cake. If not Gimbels rum cake, than a similar recipe, perhaps?

- 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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