Asparagus, Ham, and Cheese Frittata

Asparagus, Ham, and Cheese Frittata - NeighborFood

11 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup chopped ham
1 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
8-10 asparagus spears, with about 1-2 inches trimmed from the bottoms
Salt and pepper to taste


Grease a 9 inch deep dish pie pan or other oven safe dish (a cake pan or glass casserole dish would work fine too). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. (If coming straight from the refrigerator add the pan to the oven before preheating).

In a large sauce pan, bring about 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Add asparagus spears and cook for 2 minutes or until bright green. Drain water and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet sauté oil and onion until soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until thoroughly combined. Stir in cheeses, ham, and onion.

Pour mixture into greased pan. Fan asparagus spears over the top of the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until outside is browned and center is set.

Fidget Pie

Fidget Pie

Fidget pie is a traditional English meal containing apples, onions and ham. I don’t remember my grandmother ever making this recipe, but she had it tucked away in her recipe book from my grandfather’s family from England. Turn it into a proper harvest lunch with some country bread and piccalilli.


2 nine-inch pie crusts

3 medium white, red or Yukon gold potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced crosswise


1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons flour

½ cup warmed chicken broth, preferably homemade and somewhat rich

3/4 cup fresh apple cider (unpasteurized), divided

2 tablespoons natural (unpasteurized) cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground brown mustard

1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar

1 ½ cup cooked ham, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 medium-sized tart apples (but not Granny Smiths), peeled, cored and thinly sliced

6 small Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Egg wash: 1 whole egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Coarse salt

Prepare the crust and have it ready to fill. Refrigerate it until the ingredients have been prepared. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Slice the potatoes about 1/3” thick and toss them with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast them in the hot oven for ten minutes. You want them to be somewhat cooked, but not crisp. Allow them to sit on the baking sheet for at least ten minutes before removing. (They’ll come up much more easily, if you do.) You can do this step in advance and store the potato pieces, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Warm them gently, though, before assembling the pie.

In a heavy skillet, cook the onion slices in two tablespoons of butter (or bacon fat, or a combination of the two) with a pinch of salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for at least ten minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same skillet (without wiping it), melt the remaining tablespoon of butter or bacon fat and sprinkle the flour over it; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until you have a somewhat dry paste. Continue to stir while cooking until the mixture becomes a light, nutty brown color.

Add the chicken broth slowly, stirring constantly. Add the thyme leaves, continuing to stir. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the apple cider and stir well. Cook for about two minutes, add whatever juices have collected in the bowl with the onions, and cook for another minute, stirring. Add the mustard, the cider vinegar and the cooked onions and stir to combine. You can do this step in advance and store the mixture, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Warm it gently, though, before assembling the pie.

In the bottom of the prepared pie shell, layer the cheese, then the potatoes, then the ham, then the onion mixture, and then the apples. If you are adding Brussels sprouts, add them between the ham and onion mixture layers.

Slowly pour the remaining 1/4 cup of cider over the filling. Sprinkle the nutmeg, a good pinch of salt and freshly grated pepper, to taste, over the pie filling.

Paint the outer edge of the lower crust with egg wash. Put the top crust on, paint with egg wash, and lightly sprinkle on a few pinches of coarse salt. (The best way to do this so you don’t end up with clumps of salt on the crust is to hold your hand about 16 inches or more above the pie while sprinkling.)

Vent by cutting 1 ½ inch slits around the outside edge and in the middle. Cut as a vent in the center of the pie the initial of someone who will be at the table when you serve it. This is very important.

Cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and cook for another 45 minutes. Check after the pie has been in the oven for a total of 20-25 minutes; if necessary, cover with a foil frame or whatever method you prefer to prevent the crust from getting too dark.

Serve with roasted carrots and roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli (if you’re not cooking the Brussels in the pie).

Grandma’s Hot Water Pie Crust (use store bought if you don’t want to make homemade)

¾ cup high quality leaf lard or organic, non-hydrogenated shortening

¼ cup boiling water

1 tablespoon hot 2% or whole milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

If you are using lard, make sure that it is at room temperature before you begin making the crust. In a medium bowl, whip the boiling water and hot milk into the lard or shortening with a fork until the fat melts and the ingredients are combined. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

Add the flour and the salt and stir well until combined.

Divide into two, with one piece — to be used as the top crust — slightly larger than the other. Quickly gather up one portion and wrap it in plastic wrap. While in the wrap, shape the dough into a rough disk about six inches in diameter. Put it into the refrigerator. Do the same thing with the other half of the dough.

Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Roll out each piece between two large pieces of plastic wrap (or a pie crust bag, if that’s what you typically use), lightly flouring the bottom piece, and lightly flouring the top of the dough. If you’ve refrigerated it overnight, it helps to let it sit on the counter for ten or fifteen minutes before rolling. Put one rolled crust in a 9-inch pie plate, removing the bottom sheet of plastic, and leaving a half-inch overhang of dough. Keep the other piece of plastic on it, tucking the edges so that the crust remains wrapped. Wrap the edges of wrap on the other crust so that it is fully covered as well.

Return both crusts to the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the pie.





1 lb sliced ham

1 tbsp margarine

1 tbsp brown sugar

101/2 ounces cream of mushroom soup

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup onion (chopped)

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

3 cups potatoes (thinly sliced)

1 cup sliced raw carrots


In 10″ skillet brown ham in butter and brown sugar. Remove ham and pour off the fat.  Mix in same skillet, the soup, milk, water, onion, salt & pepper. Stir in 3 c thinly sliced potatoes and carrots.  Cover, cook over low heat stirring now and then, until veggies are tender, about 35 minutes. Lift veggies from the bottom so they don’t stick.  Place whole ham slice or cut in serving size pieces and place on top of veggies. Cover and cook about 10 minutes more.

Italian Easter Pie

Easter pie, a double-crust “stuffed pizza” filled with ham, eggs, and cheese, is traditionally eaten in Italian households the day before Easter.


4 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water*

*If you use all-purpose flour, increase the water to 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces)


1 dozen large eggs

1 pound good-quality, full-flavored ham

2 cups ricotta cheese, part-skim preferred

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, lightly packed

Salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and chopped fresh parsley, to taste


1 large egg

2 tablespoons sugar



Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients — by hand, in a mixer, or in a bread machine — until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 1 to 2 hours, until it’s quite puffy, nearly doubled in bulk. While the dough is rising, make the filling.

Hard-boil and peel 6 of the eggs.

Place the hard-boiled eggs, ham (cut in chunks), and fresh parsley (1/2 cup or so) in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until chopped and combined. Don’t over-process; the ham and eggs should still be a bit chunky. You can also simply dice the eggs and ham, and chop the parsley, if you don’t have a food processor.

Combine the ham, boiled eggs, and parsley with the raw eggs, ricotta, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and about 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. If the ham is salty, you may not need any salt at all.

Deflate the dough, and divide it into four pieces.

Roll two of the dough pieces into rounds about 13″ in diameter, and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined 12″ pizza pans. Or roll into ovals about 10″ x 14″, and place on two lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Note: If you’re using parchment, it’s easiest to roll right on the parchment, then lift the crusts, parchment and all, onto the pans.

Divide the filling evenly between the two crusts, covering them to within 1″ of the edges. You’ll use a generous 3 cups (about 27 ounces) for each crust.

Roll out the other two pieces of dough, and place them atop the filled crusts gently stretching them, if necessary, to cover the filling. Seal the crust edges by rolling the bottom crust up over the top, and pinching together.

Using a sharp knife or pair of scissors, cut a 1″ hole in the very center of each top crust; this will allow steam to escape.

Make the topping by whisking together the egg and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Paint each crust with some of the topping; this will yield a golden brown, shiny crust with mildly sweet flavor, a perfect foil for the salty ham.

Allow the pies to rest while you preheat your oven to 350°F, about 15 minutes. They don’t need to be covered.

Bake the pies for about 25 minutes, until they’re a deep, golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and carefully slide them off the pan/parchment and onto on a rack to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.




1 (5-7 lb) Ham, fully cooked (bone in)

1 cup Brown sugar, packed

2 tsp Prepared mustard

1-2 tsp Cider vinegar


Score ham about half-inch deep with a sharp knife.  Place ham on a rack in a shallow baking pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 2 to 2-1/2 hours (20 minutes per lb).  Combine brown sugar, mustard and enough vinegar to make a thick paste.  During the last hour of baking, brush glaze on ham every 15 minutes.

Pot Luck Ham and Scalloped Potatoes



3 Cups cooked and chopped ham

2 Cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded

1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream

1 ½ Cups Milk

2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, scrubbed

1 Onion, chopped

1/3 Cup Flour

4 Tablespoons unsalted Butter

Salt & Pepper to taste


Melt butter in pan adding chopped onions and cook for a few minutes until onions are soft.

Sprinkle flour over onions stirring and cooking until all are golden brown.

Add heavy cream and milk whisking until well mixed continuing to whisk until it has reduced to a thick sauce.  Remove from stove.

Peel (if desired) and either slice potatoes very thin or use a mandolin – I use a mandolin. Place in a bowl of cold water.

Drain water from potatoes and then place on paper towels to take excess water out.

Butter a 9×13 or two 9×9 pans thoroughly.

Put half the potatoes in the bottom of the pan.

Spread out half the chopped ham on top of potatoes.

Pour in half the sauce and try to spread it around a bit.

Sprinkle half the Monterey Jack cheese on top.

Then follow with another layer of potatoes, ham, sauce, Monterey Jack cheese finally sprinkling the Cup of Parmesan cheese on top of that.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes in a pre-heated 375F oven.

Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes allowing cheese to brown.

Set dish out of oven, loosely recover with the foil and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes and then serve.

Advice for Cooking Hams

Baked Ham

Advice for Cooking Hams

Soaking a Ham

Hams, especially those to be baked, often benefit from soaking before cooking. This is because soaking removes some of the excess salt from the meat. Cover the meat completely with cold water. Stand for 12-24 hours in cold water, preferably in the fridge if you live in a hot climate.

Boiling a Ham

Weigh the ham and calculate the cooking time. Allow 25 – 34 minutes per pound. Take the ham out of the soaking water and place the ham in a large pot and cover with fresh, cold water. Bring to the boil. Add sprigs of parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, peppercorns and 1 – 2 sliced onions.

Cover the pan and simmer the ham over a low heat for the required time, or until tender when pierced. Lift out, and allow to drain. Remove the skin, glaze if required. Serve hot or cold.

Baking a Ham

Weigh the ham and calculate the cooking time for your pork recipes. Allow 25 – 35 minutes per 1 pound for hams under 13 pounds, and 15 minutes per 1 pound for hams 13 pounds and over. Soak the ham, then place on a rack in a large roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer, if available. Bake in a preheated oven, 325 degrees F, for the required time, or until the meat thermometer reaches 158 degrees F..

Remove the skin, glaze if wished and serve the ham hot or cold.

Recipes for Curing Ham

Recipes for Curing Ham

Here are 4 different recipes for curing ham, all are different but equally good. The first two recipes are for dry curing of the ham and the other recipes are putting the legs of pork in brine. If you live in a hot climate dry curing is not a good idea as your meat will spoil and not be fit for human consumption.  However, if you are going to cure your hams when the weather is cold, for every day that the temperature reaches freezing point you should add an extra day to your ham curing process.

Air-Dry Curing Ham

20lb rock salt

6oz curing salt

2oz sage

3oz bay leaves

1 1/2 oz garlic

6oz juniper berries

3oz black pepper

2oz nutmeg

1oz chives

2oz thyme

4oz coriander


Grind all the herbs, Take 6oz curing salt and mix well with the 20lb rock salt, then add the herbs and spices and mix thoroughly. Wash the hams and dry thoroughly. Put a bed of salt in a container and lay the hams down, making sure the container has a hole in the bottom to let excess fluid run off, Cover completely with the ingredients and leave until it is a good color. After a week, break the pack, re-salt and place the hams skin down. Cover completely with salt and leave for one month. After a month take them out, wash thoroughly and tie a piece of good quality cotton twine around the hocks. Hang them up to mature for a week. After a week, take them down and insert a long needle into each ham. Withdraw the needle and smell it. The aroma should smell fresh. If it does, take a small piece of fat, cover it with pepper and block the hole up with it; this prevents bacteria invading the ham.The next thing to do is to put the hams in the smoke house and smoke them using beech, for about a week. Take out cool, and put them in a cotton bag to mature. These hams can keep for 12 months. They must be boned out very carefully and left under a press to compact the shape.

Air-Dry Curing Ham

30lb bay salt

6oz curing salt

4oz black pepper

6oz coriander

1 pint white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic


When dry curing ham cover the hams completely with a layer of salt for 3 days.  Once all the fluid has been removed, apply the curing mixture.

For the cure: mix together the curing salt, salt, black pepper and coriander, Bone out the leg of pork and then apply the ingredients inside and out. Where you have taken the bone out, put some of the ingredients in, using 1oz to 1lb and then sew up near the hock to give a good shape to the ham. Put the leg in a curing net to keep the shape. Do not hang it up but lay it down so it does not lose its shape. Cure for 10 days, then fetch it out and wash it off. Apply the garlic and wine vinegar to the dry ham and put under a wooden press. Press into shape and leave for another week or so until it is completely hard. Take out the ham, rub it with garlic and vinegar and put in a muslin cloth. Hang up in an airy place and leave for about a month.  You may find mold when you remove it from the cloth. If the mold is white that is fine, just wipe it off with a cloth. However, if it is black this is not good, Rub it off with some more vinegar and re-wrap in a clean muslin.

Simple Salt Brine

4 gallons water

8 lb salt

3/4 pound brown sugar

1/4 pound curing salt


Boil all the ingredients together for 20 minutes and cool before pouring it over the meat.  Find a large, clean container and place the meat inside and cover with the brine mixture completely. Leave it there for 3 weeks, then wash, and dry it off. Cover with a piece of muslin and hang it up to dry in an airy place. You can also place it up the chimney and allow it to be smoked from the smoke from the wood fire if your have a large enough chimney.

Sugar Ham Curing

This sugar curing ham recipe is a little different in that you salt up the ham first, and then place it into a solution that is almost like a pickle concoction. It also doesn’t contain any saltpetre so it is a safer and healthier option. Take your pork leg and rub it with salt for 3 consecutive days. Then submerge your salted pork leg in the following pickle solution for 3 weeks.

4 gallons water

8 pounds black treacle

2 pounds salt

4 pounds brown sugar

2 oz black pepper


Boil the ingredients for 20 minutes in a large pot, remove from heat and cool. Submerge your pork leg completely in the solution and leave it there for 3 weeks. Take it out, and without washing it, allow it to air-dry slowly.

Old Fashioned Recipe for Curing Ham

For every 100 pounds of meat take 5 pints of good molasses or 5 pounds of brown sugar, 5 ounces curing salt, 8 pounds of rock salt and add 3 gallons of water to a pot. Boil over a gentle heat, removing scum as it rises. Continue boiling until the salt and sugar have dissolved. With the meat cut and trimmed, pack the hams into the cask with the shank end down. Once the liquid has cooled poor over the hams in the cask making sure that they are completely covered. The hams can lie in the pickle 2 – 6 weeks depending on the size of the hams, the time of the season etc. The warmer the weather, the shorter the time. This recipe is a good substitute for curing ham rather than smoking or drying it.



The carver in cutting a ham must be guided according as he desires to practice economy, or have at once fine slices out of the prime part. Under the first supposition, he will commence at the knuckle end, and cut off thin slices toward the thick and upper part of the ham.

To reach the choicer portion of the ham, the knife, which must be very sharp and thin, should be carried quite down to the bone through the thick fat in the direction of the line from 1 to 2.

The slices should be even and thin, cutting both lean and fat together, always cutting down to the bone. Some cut a circular hole in the middle of a ham gradually enlarging it outwardly. Then again many carve a ham by first cutting from 1 to 2, then across the other way from 3 to 4.

Remove the skin after the ham is cooked and send to the table with dots of dry pepper or dry mustard on the top, a tuft of fringed paper twisted about the knuckle, and plenty of fresh parsley around the dish. This will always insure an inviting appearance.

Roast Pig.—The modern way of serving a pig is not to send it to the table whole, but have it carved partially by the cook; first, by dividing the shoulder from the body; then the leg in the same manner; also separating the ribs into convenient portions. The head may be divided and placed on the same platter. To be served as hot as possible.

A Spare Rib of Pork is carved by cutting slices from the fleshy part, after which the bones should be disjointed and separated.

A leg of pork may be carved in the same manner as a ham.



1 prepared pie crust (if you are counting carbohydrates, don’t use pie crust)

4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated  1 cup smoked ham, chopped, 5-6 ounces  3 tablespoons onion, chopped, 1 ounce  3 eggs  1 cup heavy cream  1/8 teaspoon pepper


Arrange the cheese, ham and onion in pie crust or greased pie plate. Beat the eggs, cream and pepper; pour evenly into the pan. Bake 350º 30-35 minutes until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Makes 6 servings