Friday, November 25, 2011

Ham Hashbrown Chowder

I am sure I am not the only one out there that over does it when it comes to the Annual Thanksgiving Meal. Whether I am feeding two or twenty people, I tend to make enough food to feed an army. I just can't help it. I don't know why. Is it because I grew up in a large family and I am used to making king sized everything? Is it because one of my favorite ways to love people is to feed them? Or is it because I just stink at calculations when it comes to people/serving ratios? ..... Well whichever it is I wind up with way too much food and I am left with a fridge full of ham, turkey, corn, potatoes, gravy, and stuffing.

Now I LOVE Thanksgiving leftovers, but I love cheesecake too and that doesn't mean I want to eat it for a week straight till it's gone. Well, OK, maybe cheesecake wasn't a great example. I can recall more than once when I have downed a whole cheesecake in a couple days flat.

Anyhow, back to the leftovers... When you get tired of eating yours, try this recipe out. Ham and Hashbrown Chowder. Leftover Ham? Potatoes? Hashbrowns from Breakfast or Potato Casserole? Carrots, Celery, and Onions from making Stuffing? Heart Attack Corn? Cream? Toss it all in this soup as a substitution for the ingredients listed below. This recipe can clear out more than one leftover at once. It is a very flexible recipe so make substitutions as you please.

Ham Hashbrown Chowder will warm you from the inside out. You will find yourself making this recipe repeatedly throughout the winter, not just after the holiday. The heartiness of the ham paired with the sweetness of corn and richness of the cream will sooth-your-soul. This is a must try whether you have leftovers not!

Ham Hashbrown Chowder
(Great for Leftover Thanksgiving Food)

1 1/2 c Diced Onion
2 c Carrot sliced in thin circles - (I used a slicer on the side of a grater)
5 TB of Butter
3 3/4 c Sliced and Diced Ham
5 c frozen Hashbrowns
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth(1-32oz Carton)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 TB Dried Parsley
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Celery Seed (or left over celery use same step as onions and carrots)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 can of Creamed Corn (or leftovers)
1 1/4 c Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 c Shredded Cheddar or your choice

-Combine onion, carrot, and butter in a pot and saute on med-low heat until onion is iridescent.
-Add ham, hashbrowns and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
-Cover and keep at a low boil for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Test a carrots to make sure it's done. If isn't boil a little longer.
-Add all of the seasonings and the can of creamed corn. Bring to a simmer and simmer for another 2 minutes.
-Stir in the shredded cheese 1/4 cup at a time so that it is melted smooth.
-Warm the cream in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until barely warm. Do not heat to hot. Just warm.
-Slowly stir the warmed cream into the soup until it is all stirred in.
-Bring soup slowly back up to a simmer. Cover. And remove from heat.
-Garnish with Parsley Flakes if desired.
-Enjoy with a warm biscuit or croissant.

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