Monday, May 2, 2011

Ham Meatloaf

Several years ago, my mom made ham meatloaf in an attempt to use up some leftover ham. It was vile. Not even my dad would eat it. Ham. Meatloaf. And this from a woman who, in my memory, had never made anything less than delicious. The ham meatloaf was my mother's one culinary disaster, and we've never let her live it down.

Tonight, I was faced with the final remnants of an Easter ham. We were sandwiched and quiched out. But what to do with the leftover? I actually thought my mom wasn't so crazy for attempting the ham meatloaf. But I wasn't ready to stoop to that low.

I broke out my trusty Fannie Farmer cookbook, and looked up "ham" in the index at the back. Low and behold, there is an entire section of the book devoted to ham leftovers. Including several recipes for "ham loaf." I quickly skipped over those recipes. But then I found one with some promise:

Ham and Noodle Casserole
This sounds a lot like tuna noodle casserole, but I wouldn't know because I don't eat tuna. But I had the ingredients on hand, including more than enough ham. Result? DELICIOUS. I will definitely be making this again. And so, in case any of you are faced with too much ham, please enjoy this recipe!

4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese (I always add extra cheese!)
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound egg noodles, 1/4 inch wide, cooked
(I added some julienned uncooked spinach for something green)

Preheat the oven to 350*F.
Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the onion over medium heat until soft (5 minutes or so).
In a small bowl, mix the eggs and sour cream, then add the onion, cheese and ham (and spinach).
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the cooked noodles into the casserole, then add the sauce and toss gently.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a straw inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Fannie Farmer adds that this can be made with leftover pot roast, beef stew, or chicken.
Bon Appetit!