I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Matt and I took a trip up to Chicago to meet my new little nephew and spend the holiday with family. We played games, stuffed ourselves with desserts and feasted on lots and lots of turkey. I'm still nursing a bit of a tryptophan hangover, so while everyone else is still talking turkey, I'll share one last recipe for transforming leftover ham!
I was so proud of myself for writing up this recipe over the holiday weekend (I rarely get the chance to write up posts ahead of time, but I knew I'd be busy unpacking today) - and then I accidentally deleted it this morning, so you'll be getting a bit of a condensed version!
Thank goodness, then, that this dish is incredibly simple; tender chunks of chopped ham, shredded cheddar cheese, home-fried potatoes and a bit of egg for binding. This may sound like the perfect leftover ham breakfast, but it's also great for lunch or dinner... or a post-Thanksgiving snack!
Cheesy Ham and Potato Hash
3-5 medium potatoes, cubed
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chopped, cooked ham (or bacon)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 - 3/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan of water, bring potatoes to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Potatoes should still be firm and not quite cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat, in a large frying pan (don't use nonstick if you want your potatoes to brown nicely). When oil is hot, cook potatoes until well-browned and slightly crispy on the edges. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent. Add the chopped ham and beaten eggs, and stir to combine. Heat until egg is cooked through and top with shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. For an extra tasty touch, place pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and potatoes are browned.
A few notes: This dish may seem all-American, but it actually reminds me of a meal we enjoyed while visiting family in Slovakia - a dish of tiny potato dumplings (a bit like Italian gnocchi), bacon, and sheep cheese, called bryndzové halušky. Okay, so cheddar isn't exactly sheep cheese and home-fried potatoes aren't dumplings, but the spirit of the dish is essentially the same. I'm always amazed to find that seemingly disparate cultures have so much in common when it comes to cuisine. Food really is a great unifier, and that's one of the things I enjoy most about my travels!
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