28 December 2009

Sunday Dinner: Ham, Potato & Cheese Chowder

What do you do with the leftover half of a 12 lbs. ham? Make soup of course!

This started out as a soup recipe, I turned it into more of a chowder. The original recipe comes from Epicurious.com. The following is what I did.

Ham, Potato & Cheese Chowder
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
7 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
4 cups whole milk
3 10- to 12-ounce russet potato, peeled, diced
2 cup packed shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
2 cups chopped ham
Chopped fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

I basically just adjusted the amounts in the recipe and followed the directions as written. The only other difference--after the potato was soft, I smashed about a dozen pieces to thicken it up just a little more. I also eliminated the hot sauce. I was planning to bring some leftovers to a friend and she doesn't do spicy.

We were quite pleased with the results. I recommend Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese for this recipe (and most recipes, really). I also recommend not being tempted by the lazy route of buying pre-shredded cheese. I don't think it integrates as well.

The only downside: I still have about 4 lbs. of ham to use. In the freezer it goes!

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