What's Cooking This Week?

Easter was wonderful (as were the week of home cooked meals I enjoyed leading up to the celebration). One of my favorite parts about Easter are the leftovers, or remaking the leftovers. So I'm using up some leftover ham and making some other Spring treats.

Here's what I'm making:

  • Scrambled Eggs w/ Fried Ham, Grilled Tomatoes & Asparagus
  • Ham & Split Pea Soup
  • Lemon Chicken Breasts over Spring Mix w/ Dijon Vinaigrette
  • Asparagus, Mushroom & Gruyere Tart
  • Creamy Vegetable Pasta w/ Grilled Chicken

    Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Balsamic vinegar Cooking Spray Butter Chicken stock Flour Dijon mustard Eggs Parmesan Dried bay leaves Kosher salt Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers Leftover bone-in roast ham 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders 1 carton light cream 2 medium yellow onions 1 head garlic 1 cup shredded Gruyere 1 lemon 1 bunch or package spring greens mix 1 bunch fresh asparagus 1 package mushrooms 1 package cherry tomatoes 4 loose carrots 2 stalks celery 2 small squash, green and yellow 1 bunch fresh tarragon 1 bag dried split peas 1 sheet frozen puff pastry 1 package whole-grain linguine or pasta of choice

    Day 1 - Scrambled Eggs w/ Fried Ham, Grilled Tomatoes & Asparagus *Using Easter's Leftover Ham *Makes leftover Grilled Tomatoes for use in Spring Mix Salad.

    Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place cherry tomatoes on skewers and wash and trim asparagus spears. *Reserve half the spears for use in day 5.

    Drizzle vegetables with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill until charred on both sides. Set aside. *Reserve 2 skewers for use in day 3.

    Remove 4 medium slices of leftover ham from bone.

    Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with butter. Sear ham until browned and crispy on both sides. Remove ham, wipe skillet clean and coat with cooking spray. Cook scrambled eggs over medium-low heat until desired doneness (I like mine less done).

    Serve hot with grilled tomatoes and asparagus.

    Day 2 - Ham & Split Pea Soup *Using Easter's leftover Ham

    Place leftover bone in ham in large stock pot. Add in 2 chopped carrots, 2 stalks chopped celery, 1 chopped medium onion and 2 cloves minced garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened.

    Add in enough chicken stock to cover ham and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add in split peas and bay leaf. Let simmer for 1 hour or more. Remove ham bone and chop leftover ham into pieces. Add pieces back to soup.

    Serve soup hot with freshly ground black pepper.

    Day 3 - Lemon Chicken Breasts over Spring Mix w/ Dijon Vinaigrette *Makes leftover Lemon Chicken Breasts for Spring Vegetable Pasta *Uses leftover Grilled Tomatoes.

    Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

    If using thick chicken breasts, butterfly to ensure even cooking. Toss chicken with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook chicken until golden browned and crisp on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side depending on thickness. *Reserve half for use in day 5.

    Meanwhile, whisk together 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon, and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *Set about 1/3 aside for use in day 4.

    Toss with spring mix and leftover grilled tomatoes removed from spears. *Reserve about 1/3 for use in day 4.

    Slice and serve chicken with spring salad.

    Day 4 - Asparagus, Mushroom & Gruyere Tart *Uses leftover Spring Mix w/ Dijon Vinaigrette

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Roll out half the pastry puff on a floured surface. Place on baking sheet and score the pastry dough 1 inch from the edges of the rectangle. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Pierce the inside of the dough with a fork about every inch.

    Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

    Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded Gruyere. Place leftover washed and trimmed asparagus spears and halved mushrooms over tart. *Reserve half the mushrooms for use in day 5.

    Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper.

    Bake for another 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and asparagus is tender.

    Top with chopped fresh tarragon and serve with leftover spring mix & vinaigrette.

    Day 5 - Creamy Vegetable Pasta w/ Grilled Chicken *Uses leftover Grilled Chicken

    Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and coat with 1 tbsp butter. Add in 1 chopped yellow onion and 4 cloves minced garlic, cooking until softened, about 5-7 minutes.

    Slice mushrooms and cut squash and carrots lengthwise to form long, thin pieces. Add in vegetables and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon.

    Add in 1/2 cup light cream and 1/2 cup chicken stock and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add leftover sliced grilled chicken to warm through.

    Meanwhile, cook 2 portions of whole-grain pasta to al dente. Drain and toss in sauce with parmesan.

    Serve hot topped with parmesan and chopped fresh tarragon.

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    Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
    Contact: Brooke Viggiano