Tag Archives: ham

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

12 Oct

When we first figured out that Sophie was allergic to dairy and needed to change the way we cooked, all I could think about were all the delicious things she would never get to have.  Selfishly, I also thought about all of the things that we’d never get to make again without making her feel left out.  With some regret, I settled into thinking that my days of cheesy potatoes, pizza, lasagna, cream sauces, and other dairy deliciousness were behind me.  As time went on, I started to try to figure out ways to make some of my favorite dairy-laden dishes using non-dairy ingredients.  This dish is one of our favorites – the kids love it, it fulfills my cravings for rich, dairy flavors, and is super easy to make.  Added bonus – it comes in at less than 300 calories per serving (1 cup size, which is enough to make me full but not stuffed).

Rich, tasty comfort food under 300 calories?  Make some.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Serves: 8

3 T. non-dairy margarine
1 medium onion, diced
2 T. flour
1-1/2 c. plain soy milk
Salt and pepper
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb baked ham, cubed
1 c. rice cheddar shreds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, melt non-dairy butter over medium high heat. Add onions and stir until unions are translucent. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, stir in milk. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes while it thickens and bubbles. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place a small amount of the white sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, top with half of potatoes, half of the ham, half of the cheese, half of the remaining sauce. Add remaining potatoes, ham, cheese and top with the rest of the sauce. Cover and bake for 45-60 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir and serve.

Estimated Calories: 264 cal/serving

Print it: Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

– As always, feel free to substitute dairy ingredients for the non-dairy counterparts.  I would suggest 2% milk for the soy milk, shredded cheddar for the non-dairy shreds
– This reheats well, but you may want to add a touch of water or more milk when reheating
– This also freezes well, but reheats better if you let it thaw and then reheat.  You can reheat it straight from the freezer, but it may get a bit clumpy.

Venison Involtini al Carciofi

16 Aug

Sometimes I think back fondly on part of my life, savoring the memory of some fine meal, event, or time spent with those I love.  Then I make the mistake of counting back the years, and my jaw drops so fast it almost hits the table as I realize that the event happened HALF MY LIFE AGO or has a giant number like SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO.  Such is the case with this recipe.  Back in 1994, I spent a semester in Italy where I took classes in Italian, art history, and cooking.  Also, I talked smart, played countless hands of gin, and drank wine on some of the finest/pigeon-poop laden piazzas in Italy.  Here I am, the spring chicken in the middle.

One of the recipes we learned to make is Involtini al Carciofi (that last bit means artichoke, and it is pronounced like car-CHO-fi), which is basically a layered meat and cheese roll with an artichoke tucked into the middle.  The original recipe uses veal, but since I have a freezer filled with venison, I’ve made the substitution. [As always, substitute away!  No venison? Use veal.  Hate veal?  Use beef?  Don’t eat meat?  Skip this one).  I should also note, that I varied from the original recipe in a whole bunch of other ways, but the general concept is still the same.  If you want to make a more traditional version of this same recipe, use prosciutto instead of the ham, fontina instead of the provolone, and tuck a few sage leaves inside and skip the Italian seasoning.  As you can see, pretty much the only thing I left totally alone in this recipe is that I still included the artichoke, which is basically required since it is in the name.  Whether you choose to make this as written, the traditional way, or with your own substitutions, involini are pretty easy to make and very delicous. 

[Side note: Worst photo ever, all dim and shadowy.  Also, involtini may not be the most photogenic.  She looks better in person, and not in a first date kind of way, either.]

Involtini al Carciofi
Serves: 4

3/4 lb. venison tenderloin (backstrap)
1-1/2 oz. thinly sliced deli ham (4 slices)
4 slices provolone
1 artichoke heart, quartered
2 T. whole wheat flour
2 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. kosher salt
10 turns freshly ground black pepper
2 T. olive oil
3/4 c. white wine

Place the venison between two sheets of plastic wrap and place on a hard surface.  Using a cooking mallet or heavy measuring cup, pound until very thin.  Repeat with each cutlet.  Place a single slice of ham on each cutlet, top with provolone, and place artichoke heart in the center.  Starting on one end, roll, tucking the inside contents inside the venison.  Secure with two toothpicks.

In a bowl, mix flour, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Roll each involtini in the flour mixture until it is fully coated.

Over medium-high heat, add oil to a large skillet and heat until oil is very hot (I drop a bread crumb in the oil to test it – when it is ready, it will sizzle around the bread crumb).  Place the involtini in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes a side or until well browned.  Pour wine into the pan and cover, reduce heat to low then cook for 30-40 minutes.  Turn the involtini occasionally.  The contents of the involtini will ooze out a bit, and eventually will thicken into a sauce.  Before removing from pan, stir the involtini around the pan to coat in a layer of the thick sauce.  Remove toothpicks and serve.

Notes:  You can substitute beef or veal for the venison, and omit the provolone if you’d like to make this dish non-dairy.

Estimated Calories:  373 cal/serving

Print it: Involtini al Carciofi

Cold Macaroni Salad with Ham

27 Jun

When I was a kid, on super hot days my mom would declare it too hot to cook, and would whip up a batch of Cold Macaroni Salad with Ham.  So now that I’m an adult, when it’s hot and humid, the only thing that appeals to me is Cold Macaroni Salad with Ham.  It is the perfect combination of light-rich-sweet-saltiness that hits the spot when its piping hot outside.  It is easy to make, and keeps for a few days in the refrigerator, as long as my kids don’t live with you.  I’ve modified the original recipe a little to make it slightly lighter and less oniony.  We usually serve this as a main meal, but it would make a fine side dish as well.

Cold Macaroni and Ham Salad
Serves: Approx. 6 main servings

2 c. uncooked macaroni shells
2 c. ham, diced
1 c. celery, chopped
2 T. onion, finely diced
1 t. kosher salt
3/4 c. reduced-fat olive oil mayo
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. cider vinegar
1/2 c. cashews

In a pot of boiling water, cook macaroni shells until al dente.  Rinse under cold water and drain.

In a large bowl, add cooled macaroni shells, ham, celery, onion, and salt.  Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, mix together mayo, brown sugar, vinegar until well blended.  Pour over macaroni mixture, and stir until everything is coated in dressing. 

Refrigerate for at least one hour.   When ready to serve, scoop into a bowl and top with a few cashews.

Estimated Calories:  386 per serving

Print it: Cold Macaroni and Ham Salad