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chicken san choi bao

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banana bread

Dec 27th

the christmas aftermath

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I’m sorry I have been missing in action of late (try for the last 7 months eek!), but with the camera back in operation and an early new years resolution; to keep up to date and on top of my blog, I’m back!

This might be the last thing you were wanting to see/read about after the last few days, but it has to be done…

I have a kilo of left over ham in the fridge, my mum has another kilo in her fridge and I am pretty sure just about everyone who celebrates Christmas does too. Christmas ham is almost a celebration in itself, yet by the time christmas is over, nobody can stand the sight of it…until of course another year goes by and christmas rolls around again.  I have stuffed myself silly with it and can not bring myself to to eat another piece of sliced ham. I could however be persuaded if it was disguised as something else… if it was not so blatant as a slab on a plate with a dollop of mustard.


Here are some ways to enjoy the last of your ham…

Click on the below links to take you to the recipes.

ham and pea risotto

croque monsieur

potato, leek and ham soup

broccoli, sage and bacon quiche <—  just replace the bacon with christmas ham


ham and pea risotto


makes enough for 4

3 celery sticks, sliced finely
1 brown onion, diced
2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
75g butter
tablespoon olive oil
300g thickly chopped christmas ham
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
juice and rind of half a lemon
2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves, rinsed
1 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup pouring cream or mascarpone
salt & pepper to taste


Melt 20g butter in a frypan on high heat.  Once melted, pan fry the ham until browned. Set ham aside.

Bring the stock to boil in a saucepan, and reduce to simmer. Meanwhile, melt 50g butter in a large pot and cook the celery and onion on a medium heat until the celery loses its colour.  Add rice and olive oil to the pot of onion and celery, and cook until the rice turns almost transparent (do not brown).

This is the part where you cannot leave the stove. Pour the white wine into the pot of rice and stir until almost all the liquid has evaporated.  Spoon 1 to 2 ladles of stock into the rice and stir.  You may have to adjust the heat – the liquid should not be evaporating or sizzling immediately, but you should be able to work with it for about 1 – 2 minutes before the rice looks dry and thirsty again.  Once you get to this point, add another ladle or so and continue stirring.  Continue this process until the stock is used up, or the rice becomes quite creamy and is almost cooked through – the rice should have a bit of a bite in the centre at this stage. (You might find that there is a little stock left over which is fine.  or you might need a bit more – just add warm water.) Reduce the heat.

Throw in the ham and peas, the lemon juice and rind, the cream/mascarpone, and half the parmesan.  Stir until the cheese has melted.  Stir in half the mint at the last minute, and serve with the remaining parmesan and mint on top.


croque monsieur

ingredients – makes 2 sandwiches

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper
3/4 cup or 100g gruyere or emmental cheese
4 slices of fresh french loaf bread
2 slices of christmas ham
handful of parmesan cheese, grated
dijon (or your favourite) mustard
butter for spreading


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add flour and stir until a smooth paste forms. Slowly add the milk while whisking continuously. Remove from heat once thickened. Stir in parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Spread the bread slices with butter, and toast in the oven until lightly toasted. Spread 2 slices of bread with mustard, top with ham, half the gruyere/emmental (keep a handful for the top) and the other bread slice. Spoon over the bechamel sauce and remaining gruyere/emmental. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn to grill for 2-3 minutes or until browned on top.


potato, leek and ham soup


2 tbsp butter
1 whole garlic bulb
4 leeks thinly sliced
2 litres chicken or vegie stock
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 cups diced christmas ham
1/4 cup cream
handful each fresh thyme and chives
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. roast garlic bulb for 30 minutes and set aside to cool.

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Pan fry ham until browned and set aside. Re-use the pot to cook the leeks until soft. Add the stock and potato and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until the potato is cooked through.

Remove half of the potatoes, set aside while blending the potato and leek stock with the cream. Return remaining potatoes along with the ham and half of the herbs. Season to taste, and serve with remaining herbs sprinkled over the top.

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