Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ham - 4 Ways for under $20.00

For those of you who don't know, my husband and I LOVE to cook, and truth be told, eat.  However, it is not such an easy thing to make full blown meals every night and still stay within a reasonable grocery budget.  Basically, my strategy is to make a large quantity of SOMETHING, and change it into a couple of different meals, the remainder of which I freeze for later.  We are only a family of 3 to cook supper for, but I always make large quantities of soups and casseroles so I can have at least one lunch and another supper's worth of food.  So, I decided that once every couple of weeks or so I would jot down our recipes, and hopefully get some feedback on some other ideas! 

This week we made Ham.  I bought a 4lb Ham for $5.00.  We cook it by the package directions, but first inject it with a mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp margarine and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar.  We melt this mixture together on the stove top.  If you don't have an injector, it is also awesome as a glaze.

Meal #1 Sliced Ham, Sweet Potatoes and Greens (approx. $5.50)
4 Slices Ham (probably about 1/4 of the Ham) - $1.25

Baked Sweet Potatoes (3 for us) - $2.00
  (throw in the microwave like a regular potato and serve w/ butter, S&P)
Collard Greens (1/2 bag) - $1.50

1 Ham Hock - $.75
Red pepper flakes, S&P, garlic powder, sugar
Place Ham hock in pot and cover with water. Simmer on Medium High for at least 1 hour. Continue to cover with more water as it breaks down. When hock begins to break down, add 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp sugar, and S&P. Add greens, and let simmer covered for an hour

Meal #2 Hash (approx. $3.52)
4 Medium Potatoes - smallest slice on box grater - $.80                                                    
1 onion diced - $.60
1 bell pepper diced (free from my garden)
4 slices bacon - $.50
3 Eggs - $.24
1 cup Cheddar Cheese - $.75
2 Slices Ham cubed (1/8) - $.63
Garlic powder, S&P
1 tbsp Olive Oil
  Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces, cook and remove.  Add olive oil.  Add potatoes, onion and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently until browned and softened.  Add S&P and garlic powder.  Add bacon and ham pieces, cook until heated through.  Add cheese, turn down heat and let melt.  In another pan, fry eggs (1 per person) over easy and serve on top of hash. 

Meal#3 Stuffed Tenderloin, Cabbage and Fried Corn - This is one of our "Sunday Dinners" - (approx. $5.25)

Stuffed Tenderloin
    1 lb Tenderloin - $1.99
    Very thin slices Ham (about an 1/8 of ham) - $.63
     Sliced Swiss Cheese - $.75
     Dijon mustard, S&P
    Cut tenderloin in half, pound out into 1/2 in think (saw this method on RR).  Spread mustard and S&P,   then layer with Ham and Swiss.  Roll up, and secure with twin or tooth picks.  Grill or roast in oven.
Cabbage (1/2 large head) - $1.00

cut into bite size pieces and saute in pan w/ olive oil, margarine, 2 tsp. garlic powder, S&P)
 Fried Corn - $.88
One bag of frozen corn, defrosted (place in colander in sink and run hot water over, then let dry).  In a skillet, melt 2 tbsp of margarine or butter, then add corn.  Season with garlic powder, paprika, and S&P.

Meal #4 Ham and Northern Bean Soup (approx. $2.50)
2-3 Slices of Ham Cubed - $.63
1/2 bag dried Northern Beans - $1.00
2 tbsp Olive Oil
6 large Okra sliced - free from my garden
1 can diced tomatoes or fresh- free from my garden
1 onion diced - $.60
2 carrots diced - $.35
2 chicken boullion cubes
6 cups of Water
Greens (optional) - leftover from previous supper
S&P, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and bay leaf
  Boil, rinse, and sort beans per package directions.  To large stock pot, add olive oil and soften okra, onion, and carrots.  Add tomatoes, 1 tbsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and the bay leaf.  Add beans, ham, greens (optional) water and bouillon cubes.  Let simmer until beans are done, about 3 hours.  Served with homemade sourdough rolls.
I only used about 1/2 of the Ham, so I thinly sliced about a quarter of it for sandwiches and I think I'll freeze the rest for another week.  I want to make Ham Bonaparte, Corn Chowder w/ Ham and Quiche, but we are all "Hammed" out.

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