Top 5 Ways to Use That Leftover Ham

Easter is lovely. Brunch, family and friends, warmth, love, cocktails, and ham...lots of freaking ham. Every year, no matter how many people join in on brunch, we can't seem to finish off the baked ham. But alas, no worries! Leftover ham is fantastic.

I have a number of go-to uses leftover ham, and they are all easy and delicious. Here are the Top 5:

5. Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwiches Nothing says fancy French food like leftovers, am I right? Not really, but using a nice thick slice of leftover ham in this Americanized version of a classic is the way to go. Get a fresh, crusty roll, add a thinly pounded grilled chicken cutlet seasoned with lemon zest, salt and pepper and smack on some leftover ham and nutty Gruyere. Throw it on a panini grill coated with cooking spray, cook it until crisp and top the whole thing off with arugula and creamy dijon - so good. Eff you, France!

4. Loaded Potatoes Imagine this; a perfectly crisp baked potato, topped with hunks of baked ham and a blend of shredded cheddar and jack, broiled until the cheese is gooey and bubbling, and topped with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives. YES! There are millions ways to do a baked potato: Swiss and 'shrooms; salsa and pepper jack; mozzarella and spinach; but no matter what toppings you choose, add chunks of ham and it will be perfection. YES, YES, a million times YES.

3. Ham and Split Pea Soup Hope you saved that ham bone. It makes a deliciously salty, meaty stock perfect for thick and creamy ham & split pea soup. Check out our What's Cooking This Week's menu for an easy recipe (easy as in, you basically throw everything in the pot and call it a day).

2. Ham and Veggies For an instant salty kick to your veggies, add in some ham. Try adding diced ham to roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic and black pepper, sauteed spinach or kale, or spicy green beans with crushed red pepper. Or chop the leftover ham into bite-sized hunks and throw it into a garden a salad with cubes of cheese, carrots, tomatoes and mixed greens. Toss it all with your favorite dressing, and dinner is served.

1. Fried Ham, Scrambled Eggs and Toast Sure, you can get fancy with a frittata or quiche, but you really can't go wrong with this breakfast staple. Slap some butter in a pan, fry up thick slices of leftover ham until browned and crisped on each side and serve with a batch of light, fluffy scrambled eggs and some thick buttered toast with leftover bread from the day before (we usually have leftover Italian bread, which to me is perfection). It's an oldie but a goodie. I'm pretty sure I enjoy the ham more this way than I did on Easter.

If all else fails, just soak it in rum! What are some of your leftover ham favorites?

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