Success with the salty ham!

Filed in Blog by on February 12, 2013 10 Comments
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food-waste-hamYou remember we had some overly salty ham here at zero waste towers?

Well I made it into a meal that Little Miss Green loved!

Not only that but it took just ten minutes to prepare and allowed me to use up some milk would probably have been off for tomorrow morning’s coffee as well as a tiny block of strong cheese that was a bit dry around the edges.

And I didn’t even have to soak the ham first; which is what I was thinking I might have to do to reduce the saltiness.

I did a bit of googling and found that you could soak it in water, but some people advocated something sweet such as coca cola or Sprite to counteract the saltiness. The other option was to cook it into a soup with a potato which would supposedly draw out the salt.

Surely it would draw the salt into the potato or the stock which would then result in, erm, salty soup?

Anyway, I was able to bypass all that palaver with my macaroni cheese special.

Mrs Green’s ‘macaroni’ cheese recipe:

Ingredients (serves one tween)

50gms pasta shells (I couldn’t find any macaroni)
1 1/2 tbsp soft butter
1 tbsp corn flour
1/4 pint milk
25 gms strong cheese, grated
1 slice ham


Put the pasta on to boil and make the cheese sauce:
melt the butter over a gentle heat and stir in the cornflour
Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time, bring to the boil and simmer for a minute
Add the grated cheese and stir until melted
Add the chopped ham
Mix the drained pasta into the cheese sauce and serve.

Serve with garlic bread and salad or add chopped peppers and sweetcorn to the ham and cheese sauce.

Now this was strikingly similar to a suggestion for a meal that came in last night from Susan – hi Susan!

Susan suggested making a potato/ham/cheese casserole. She tells us she cuts up and cooks potatoes in microwave cooking until they’re tender but not mushy. Then she dumps in greased casserole dish. Cut up ham and sprinkle on top. Make a white sauce without using salt and pour over the top. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Bake at 375 until cheese and white sauce bubble.

That sounds yummy and just the sort of meal Little Miss Green would be delighted to eat.

Today I think I’ll make pizza to use up that last pesky slice of ham!

How are you getting on this week – any foods you’re not sure how to use up?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

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  1. Colleen says:

    Every time I look in my fridge I’m confronted with 1 (just one!) 6oz carton of fruit-flavored yogurt. One of us didn’t eat our yogurt one day last week, so it’s just sitting there. If we had two, I could add it to breakfast one day, but no. Just one. That’s my nemesis this week.

  2. Sandy says:

    Well, that s brilliant, I made some macaroni cheese yesterday , which was tasty but we had some ham left I could have added that, oh well next time

  3. CarSue says:

    I used up some leftover carrot, apple & sweet potato soup by pouring it over some cooked jasmine rice and sprinkling wih cheese, then baking about 15 minutes until it was all bubbly. Very yummy!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Used up that spagetti sauce sitting forever in the fridge before it molded and just 1 more ham hock to go! Finished just about everything up but dry foods and that hamhock before heading to the grocery today. Thought of you while shopping, knew you’d be proud! Miss blogging, this kid with the pumping and nursing leaves me no time!! 🙁

  5. Jennifer says:

    Oh, I even tried my hand at homemade biscuits to use some stuff up. What a mess/pain. They looked ridiculous but tasted how they should. Forgot to write that!! You inspired me this week. Well, you always inspire!!

  6. Hello Mrs Green. I’m glad you found a use for the ham. I notice that it came on a black plastic tray (as lots of stuff from the Co-Op does). Have you found a way to recycle these now?

  7. Heather says:

    Well done on finding a use for your ham, sounds like a good recipe and it’s almost the same as a ham and mushroom pasta bake that I make up using all sorts of leftovers.

    I boiled a ham on the weekend, and used all the ham in a roast dinner, a pasta bake and 4 portions of spicy parsnip and ham soup. However I still had 2 litres of stock left. So last night I made 6 generous portions of veg soup, and I still have stock left! Maybe it’ll be more soup making tonight. I’ve also got some left over chicken so perhaps I’ll be googling chicken soup recipes later!

  8. susan says:

    I’m glad you liked the recipe……….Susan

  9. Sheila says:

    Put a couple of sliced sauteed mushrooms into the mixture, and a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, and you’ve got a feast – the ultimate comfort food. Sprinkling a handful of homemade breadcrumbs mixed with a bit more cheese on top makes it even better!

  10. Jane says:

    Favourite indulgent pasta sauce is cream ham and mushrooms with ground black pepper – no salt because the ham is salty. Thicken with a little cornflour.

    I once had a pasta sauce from M&S that I had to add a more peas to – a whole large pocketful more to because it was so salty!

    Potatoes are good to reduce the salty taste of something eg soup.

    Those TV chefs who complain and criticise the competitors for not adding salt drive me mad. Meals out that are spoilt by very salty gravy do too, or salted vegetables or over-salted steaks. There is salt and pepper on the table. Let US add it if WE want to – we can’t take it out!

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