Friday, December 13, 2013

Hamming It Up


Marsh has some meat on sale. Fresh picnic roasts are $1.29 per pound. As I’ve said (probably several times!) this is absolutely my favorite cut of meat. Unfortunately, there’s a big bone running through it, which ups the effective price considerably. By “effective price” I mean the price per serving. I’ve never actually weighed it out and everything, but I’d guess that on a per serving basis, or on how many ounces of actual cooked meat you get, pork loin at $2.00 a pound would be cheaper than the picnic at $1.29. But oh, the picnic is so much better! I just now looked up how much meat is left after you take out the bone on a ham, and it said to allow three-quarters of a pound per person for a bone-in ham, and just one-quarter of a pound for a boneless ham. Which leads very nicely into the next things they have on sale, which is ham! Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Ham is $1.37 per pound, limit one, with additional $25 purchase. Sugardale Prestige fully cooked hams (water added) is 97 cents a pound for a shank portion, limit one with additional $25 purchase, or $1.29 per pound for the butt portion, with no limit and no additional purchase required.

Aldi also has ham on sale. Appleton Farms shank portion is 99 cents per pound, and the butt portion is $1.19 per pound. Spiral sliced is $1.49 per pound. Sweet potatoes are still $1.49 for a three pound bag, and russet potatoes are $1.89 for a ten pound bag. Navel oranges are $2.49 for a four pound bag, and pineapples are 99 cents each. “Mixed fruit,” which seems to be red and green apples and oranges, is $2.49 for a three pound bag. Eggs are $1.29 a dozen, with a limit of six dozen. 5-ounce cartons of feta or blue cheese crumbles are $1.89 each. Evaporated milk is 65 cents a can and pumpkin is 89 cents a can. Cream cheese is 89 cents for eight ounces and butter is $1.69 per pound.

Kroger has ham on sale, too. Kroger spiral sliced ham is $1.27 a pound. I’m getting the feeling that ham is what’s traditional for Christmas around here! Frozen veggies are 10 for $10, or $1 per bag, and the bags range from 8 to 16 ounces. Cumberland Gap Semi-boneless whole ham is $1.99 a pound. They also have Cook’s shank portion “ham and water product” for 97 cents a pound.

It's hard to figure out how much ham costs per serving, because of the bone and the skin and all. However, MY BEST GUESS is about 60 cents per cup of ham. That's figuring the cost for leftovers, of course, since you don't usually serve it the first time around by the cup. That's about 4.85 ounces of cooked meat, which is probably more helpful if you're serving it sliced. And it takes about 6.5 ounces of ham as you buy it with, with the bone and skin and all to get one cup or 4.85 ounces. At least that's the best I can figure based on information I've found online.

Trying to figure out the differences between "ham," "ham with natural juices," "ham, water added," and "ham and water product"? Or whether it's worth the extra cost to get a spiral sliced ham instead of one that's not sliced? Check HERE for some tips.

So now for some recipes. The problem is that when I think of things to do with leftover ham, it’s mostly things like Ham Fried Rice, Ham and Beans (or lentils or split peas) Soup, or Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. Something that’s mostly a starchy “filler” type dish, and I’m staying away from those. Which is another reason I haven’t given ham recipes before!

The first thing you might think to do with leftover ham (after the ham sandwiches, that is) is to put it in eggs. Just fry some diced ham in some butter to warm it, then add eggs and scramble it as usual, for SCRAMBLED EGGS AND HAM. Or add it to an omelet along with some chopped green onions and chopped bell pepper for a DENVER OMELET. Don’t add any extra salt, since the ham is salty. 

Or you could do a HAM AND WHATEVER ELSE IS HANDY QUICHE. I’ll give a recipe using ham and frozen broccoli, but you could use spinach without changing the price more than a few cents a serving. A whole quiche will cost just under $5.00, assuming you use half and half cream and two cups of ham. That would come to about $1.25 per serving if you make four servings or about 85 cents a serving if you make six servings. A fourth of a quiche this size is plenty for either lunch or supper for me, without anything else. Or you could add an eighth of a head of lettuce plus a tablespoon or two of dressing and still keep it under $1.50. If you use frozen chopped spinach instead of broccoli, it will add about 10 cents per serving.

Here’s an old-fashioned sort of recipe. QUICKCREAMED HAM is basically Ham a la King. It’s traditionally served over something starchy, like toast, muffins, biscuits, waffles, rice, etc., but I serve it over a vegetable, instead. Broccoli is good, or spinach. It would be good over a baked potato, too. The cost of a recipe of this would run about $1.50. Add two pounds of frozen broccoli at 99 cents a pound (Walmart), and you’re up to $3.50 for four servings. How about some fresh pineapple for dessert? That’s 99 cents at Aldi this week. That brings the total for the meal to about $4.50, or about $1.15 per person. If you make your own soup, you’ll save about 30 cents total, bringing the cost per person down to $1.05.

Let’s go to Germany next, for Blumenkohl und Schinkenpudding. That’s CAULIFLOWER AND HAM PUDDING, for us Americans. I was surprised to find it in a German cookbook. Those of us who don’t eat potatoes frequently use cauliflower as a substitute, but apparently it’s not just a faddish, low carb thing. It’s also a traditional German thing, at least as far as this recipe goes. It’s more or less Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, but with cauliflower.

HAM LOAF is another very old-fashioned dish. It’s sort of like meatloaf, except it’s made with leftover cooked ham instead of raw ground beef. MUSTARD SAUCE and HORSERADISH SAUCE would be good with  HAM LOAF or with plain ham or roast beef., or in ham or roast beef sandwiches instead of mayo.

If you like pineapple or other fruit with your ham try PINEAPPLEUPSIDE DOWN HAM LOAF. It starts with the basic HAM LOAF, but is baked like a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, then flipped over so the decorations show when it’s served.

No comments:

Post a Comment