Saturday, October 30, 2010

ham and vegetables with corn bread

I had a lot of leftover ham from Thanksgiving dinner. And being the stingy cook I am, I wanted to use it up. I tossed around a few ideas - a kind of ham shepherd's pie with a base of white sauce and vegetables and the ham but this was last Saturday and I had already decided on the leek and cheese topped shepherd's pie for family dinner on Sunday and I thought 2 nights in a row was a bit much. So then I thought, why don't I do the same kind of sauce and ham and vegetable mixture and serve it over polenta. I was going for that, when it occurred to me that I had cornbread leftover in the fridge so in the end I made a ham and vegetable white sauce and served it alongside the cornbread for a Saturday supper - perfect after a day of soccer and gardening and errands.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups cooked, chopped ham
1 medium onion, sliced
5-6 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red pepper, julienned
1/2 orange pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow pepper, julienned
1 bunch of spinach, sliced
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 12 c milk (I used half milk, half stock)
1 c grated sharp cheddar

In a large saute pan, melt the butter, add the onion and ham and cook until the onion is softened. Add the mushrooms and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and the milk and whisk to blend, getting rid of any lumps. Cook until the mixture bubbles, and then let simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the spinach and the cheese, stirring well to mix the cheese and wilt the spinach. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Serve with the cornbread alongside.

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