Leftovers to the rescue!

I cooked a ham and ended up with quite a bit of leftovers. Once we tired of having it the same way it had been conceived, I froze it and put it out of my mind. It was time for dinner and I had no clue what to do since I hadn’t pulled anything out. Then I remembered the ham and thought about making it into fried rice. Then I remembered how much I’ve been wanting to try Biryani: essentially Indian fried rice.

I did a search for it and  found this recipe from Thas, I made a few changes, the first being the substitution of lamb for cooked ham. The link takes you to the original recipe, but below is what I did to it. You can substitute any leftover cooked meat for the ham.

Ham Biryani

First make the rice
3 cps Basmati Rice
3 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
5 cps water

Rinse the rice, while it drains, melt the butter and oil in a medium pan, then add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves and fry it a bit. Add the rice and fry it for a few minutes until the grains begin to turn white. Add the water and salt, allow it to boil and when it begins to dry, cover the pot and cook on low. Allow the rice to steam for 20 minutes or so, then fluff with a fork. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Prepare the ham – in a bowl, combine the following ingredients and set aside:
3 cps cooked ham, cubed
1 tbsp chilli powder (all I had was ancho chili, so in it went)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Garam masala
juice of half lemon/lime

Let’s make it all happy, mmmkay?
3 tbsp butter
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cp raisins
1/3 cp cilantro, chopped
1/3 cp white wine
2 pinches saffron strands (bloomed in 2 tbsp milk for 15 minutes)

Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the raisins and cilantro and cook until the raisins plump. Finally, add the ham and wine, stir and cook covered over medium low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Add the rice over the ham mixture and work it in to combine all the ingredients. Once all the rice has been added, pour the saffron milk over it all. Stir, cover and lower temperature to low for 5 minutes.

aaaaaand you’re done!


Party foods – Mexican Cornbread

This one is so easy and so delicious, it feels like cheating. But I won’t tell anyone. I use Jiffy mix for this, but you can use your favorite prepackaged cornbread mix or family recipe. And, if you’d rather not mess with cupcakes, you can bake it in regular pan. I’m easy.

Mexican Cornbread
2 pkgs Jiffy Cornbread mix
1 cp breakfast sausage
1 serrano chile, diced
3/4 cp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375°. Cook the sausage in a frying pan, making sure to break it apart to avoid big chunks. When it begins to brown, add the chopped serrano (you can use jalapeño if you can’t find serranos). Cook the sausage completely. In the meantime, prepare the cornbread according to the directions.

To get the muffin pan ready, you can either use the little baking cups, which is what I did OR you can grease and flour it OR use Pam. Your call.

To the cornbread batter add the sausage and 1/2 cp of the cheese. Mix just until incorporated, then fill the muffins with batter to about 3/4 of the way. Bake it for about 12 minutes, just until the batter has risen. Pull it out and quickly add the cheese and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.