Mom’s favorite way to use up leftover country ham was in a spread with cream cheese – just two ingredients, that’s it! While her simple method is delicious, I decided to jazz it up a bit by adding a whopping two more ingredients – a bit of mayonnaise and some chopped fresh chives. Instead of chives, I have added chopped green onions before and that was also quite tasty. If you don’t have any leftover country ham, you can substitute cooked ham from the deli that has been ground up in a food processor. Enjoy!
Country Ham Cheese Spread
(Makes around 2 cups)
Using a fork, mix together all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper (may not need any salt, depending on the saltiness of your ham). Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend. Serve with crackers.
Note: I throw the leftover pieces from the country ham in the food processor and chop it into fine bits. In addition to this dish, the ground ham is great in salads, omelets – any dish where you might add cooked bacon bits.
Make ahead: spread can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.
There are 4 exciting NFL playoff games coming up this weekend – go Denver Broncos! Looking for something to serve for game viewing that is both scrumptious and easy to prepare? Why not try our Taco Salad Dip. A variation of the well-known Seven Layer Dip, this dish has no refried beans and is a snap to put together. Enjoy!
Taco Salad Dip
(Serves 6 to 8)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 package taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup salsa (we like Pace brand)
6 chopped green onions
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or to taste)
1 can (2.25 ounce) sliced black olives, drained
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped lettuce
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning. Spread evenly in the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch pie plate (or other shallow 4-cup dish). Spread salsa evenly over the top. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over the salsa in the order given. Serve with tortilla chips.
Note: this dip tastes best if you let the cream cheese mixture sit a bit before serving (around an hour or two) to allow the flavors to blend. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to do that – it also tastes great when served immediately!
This delicious and unusual dish comes from a friend of my childhood friend Katey Hartwell, who now lives in Mexico. It’s best if made at least 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
(Serves 16 or more)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Maggi “Jugo” seasoning sauce (see Note)
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lime (or more to taste)
2 bunches fresh cilantro – around 4 to 5 cups (leaves only)
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 to 5 tablespoons canned chopped jalapeno peppers
250 ml light cream (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons powdered chicken stock
1/2 cup cold water
2 envelopes gelatin
Put all ingredients except water and gelatin in blender or food processor and process until well blended. Set aside.
Place water in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin evenly over the top and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, stir, and then cook over low heat until gelatin gets clear. Add to other ingredients. Pour mousse into oiled mold and refrigerate to set.
To unmold, dip mold briefly in hot water – for around 30 seconds. Place a large plate on top of the mold, hold together and carefully invert. Once the mousse plops out onto the plate, remove the mold. Serve with crackers.
Make ahead: Mousse can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator in its mold. Unmold just before serving.
Note: Maggi seasoning is available in Mexican markets and some larger grocery stores. The “Jugo” sauce is different from the Asian and European versions of Maggi seasoning sauce. Can substitute 1/2 teaspoon soy and 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce for 1 teaspoon Maggi Jugo.
Earlier this week, we were headed to the Denver Botanic Gardens for a concert. My favorite part of going to these concerts is the picnic! Unfortunately, this time I had very little time to prepare. I had some of our Sausage and Spinach Torte from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen in the freezer, so that could easily be thawed and serve as the main course:
I remembered there was a quick and delicious chilled pea soup recipe in the Junior League of Denver cookbook Colorado Collage, so I dug that out and fortunately had all the ingredients on hand. A key ingredient is mint, and we have tons in our garden that comes from a plant I transplanted from mom’s garden a few years ago:
It took about 5 minutes to make this no-cook soup (literally!), which was perfect since I didn’t have much more time. I put it in the refrigerator, quickly went to Whole Foods where I bought a French baguette, some delicious cheeses and Two-Bite Brownies. I added the fresh cherries and grapes we had in the refrigerator, along with some Dijon mustard to go with the Torte, and we had a scrumptious picnic!
Chilled Green Pea Soup
16 ounces frozen petite green peas (unthawed)
2 cups chicken broth
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
14 large fresh mint leaves (or more to taste)
1/2 cup sour cream
Place peas in a blender. Heat chicken broth to a boil (I like to heat it in the microwave), pour over the peas and puree. Add the green onions, lime juice, nutmeg, mint and sour cream. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste. Chill. Garnish with mint leaf.
Make ahead: Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.
Looking for something to munch on while watching basketball this weekend? Try this delicious recipe from good friend Chris Losier. All the ingredients of buffalo chicken wings in a dip – so easy and less messy!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 packages (8-ounce) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup bottled blue cheese dressing
1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce*
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
1 large bag tortilla chips
*Available in grocery stores in the condiments or Mexican food aisle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Salt and pepper both sides of chicken. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until done. Remove from oven (leaving the oven on), cool a bit and then shred with a fork. Set aside.
In the prepared baking dish, mix together the cream cheese, blue cheese dressing, hot sauce and chopped celery. Stir in cooked chicken. Spread evenly in the pan. Top with Cheddar cheese and bake for around 30 minutes or until hot and the Cheddar cheese has melted. Serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 10 to 12.
Make ahead: Dip can be prepared but not baked 24 hours in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.