Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Ham and Spaghetti Casserole

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Traditionally we have always had a roast Ham for our Easter dinner.  I have done Lamb a few times, but I always go back to Ham. It's hard to break a lifetime of tradition.    

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This year we treated ourselves to a fabulous green ham (unsmoked) from Piper's Farms.  I had never done a green ham before, and they threw in a free packet of their honey and mustard glaze.  Hands down this was the most delicious baked ham I have ever eaten.  Truly magnificent.  Succulent even.  

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I decided to make a casserole with some of the leftovers today.  I used some spaghetti I had in the cupboard and I created a lovely creamy sauce to pour over it all using milk, chicken stock and single cream, adding two cheeses and a variety of seasonings.  

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I cut up the leftover ham into cubes, added a bit of brown sugar and caramelized it in a bit of butter.  This added an additional depth of flavour to the dish.   I topped it with more cheese . . .  cheddar and Parmesan, which I mixed with some crispy salad onions for crunch.  (They are like the french fried onions you can get in a can.)  

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I broke the spaghetti noodles into manageable lengths prior to cooking.  Todd is not fond of pasta and especially spaghetti, which I think is because he thinks it a bit sloppy to eat.   Breaking up the pasta made it better for him and he said he quite enjoyed it . . . well as far as pasta goes.  ☺  

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I thought it was absolutely delicious myself, but then when it comes to pasta, I can't get enough of it!  I served it with some sliced and marinated fresh tomatoes.   It was a great meal.  Simple.  Easy.  Economical.  Delicious.  Using store cupboard ingredients.  You can't ask for much better than that.  

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*Ham and Spaghetti Casserole*
Serves 6 - 8 depending on appetites

 A hearty casserole with a delicious sauce.   It's a great way to use up leftover ham!

For the sauce:
225ml of milk (1 cup)
225ml of chicken stock (1 cup)
225ml of single cream (1 cup)
120g of grated strong cheddar cheese (1 cup)
180g of grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
2 TBS butter
2 TBS plain flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
dash of cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper to taste

You will also need:
3 cups diced leftover cooked ham
1 TBS brown sugar
1 pound of uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces
60g of additional cheddar, grated
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
a handful of crispy salad onions (like Durkee's french fried onions)

Preheat the oven to 189&C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a large shallow casserole dish.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Whisk in the flour,  and cook for about 60 seconds. Whisk in the garlic and onion powders along with the basil and cayenne.  Slowly whisk in the milk, chicken stock and cream.  Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens.   Remove from the heat and whisk in some ground black pepper and the cheeses to melt.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required. I doubt you will need any salt.  

Spray a skillet with some cooking spray, or melt a tiny bit of butter in it.   Add the cubed ham and brown sugar.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the ham is golden and the sugar has caramelized.  Set aside.

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions and then drain well.  Put half of the spaghetti into the casserole dish.   Cover with a third of the sauce.   Top with the remaining spaghetti.  Spread the cooked ham over top of this and then pour the remaining cheese sauce over all.   Mix together the additional cheddar, Parmesan and the crispy salad onions.  Sprinkle evenly over top.

Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.   Serve hot.

11 comments:

  1. Oh Marie, delicious - comfort food at its best!
    mary x

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  2. We enjoy those crunchy onions too..we skipped the ham this yr and I miss it..love the soups you make after etc..

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  3. You'll have to cook a ham for Mother's Day Monique! I would miss it for sure if we didn't have one at Easter!

    Thanks Jennifer, it is yummy!

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  4. Thank you Marie!! I have ham to use up too and this will be perfect for my pasta-loving crowd. Yum! -Sarah

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  5. How much Parmesan is 180 grams? Based on the cheddar cheese measurement, it seems it would be 1 1/2 cups. Gonna be making this today as I have everything I need to make it :) Thanks!

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  6. Sorry I missed that Lin, it's 1 cup! I hope that you liked it!

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  7. Do not wish to appear stupid, but what is single cream? Could I use half and half?

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  8. No worries Sharon, single cream would be about the same as half and half! HOpe this helps!

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