Thursday, December 18, 2008

Creamed Chipped Ham & Collards

This just proves that flavor doesn't care where it comes from.

In anticipation of boiling some collards, I simmered smoked turkey necks for a long time in a pot of water, then added a ham bone that turned up in the process of catering a client's buffet.

This mongrel broth was not so much to look at. But I was certain it would lend some big flavor to our greens. Just before cooking the greens, however, I remembered a big hunk of leftover ham in the fridge. Now, there are a lot of things you can make with leftover ham. But if you haven't made creamed ham in a while, a vision of dinner begins to form.

Instead of pouring all that mongrel broth in the pot, I set aside two cups to make a sauce for my ham. I sauteed two shallots, cut into small dice, in 3 tablespoons butter. When the shallots were soft, I added 3 tablespoons flour and cooked that gently for just a few minutes. Then I poured in my 2 cups of broth and turned it into a sauce, adding some milk and finally a bit of half-and-half for richness. As you can see in the photo, you are looking for a gravy-like consistency. Add perhaps 1/3 cup crumbled cheddar cheese and stir until it has completely melted. Finally, add your ham, cut into dice, until it begins to look like creamed chipped ham and season it with salt, pepper and a bit of freshly ground nutmeg.

I also had some leftover riced sweet potatoes, so this was lunch: that velvety creamed chipped ham poured over sweet potatoes, with collards on the side. The sound you hear is my wife moaning over the creamed ham.

3 comments:

FoodRenegade said...

Okay, this is a definite must-try! I've never had creamed ham before, but it looks delish.

Thanks for sharing,
KristenM

Kevin said...

Ed,
My mother used to make cream chipped beef and I haven't had it in ages. I should make a batch.

Ed Bruske said...

Kristen, it is quite good, but depends I think on what you use as an underlayment to the creamed ham. We first had it with mashed potatoes. My wife could stop raving. But you could also use a large biscuit, toasted bread, rice, even egg noodles.

Kevin, my mother never made creamed chipped beef, or what men in the military referred to as SOS (shit on a shingle). That was a taste I acquired in cafeteria lines. But it was definitely on my mind when I concocted this creamed ham. I dare say I think I like the ham better.