Monday, January 17, 2011

Bargain Recipe: Ham & Pasta Skillet...YUMMY & EASY

I sit here and type with a full belly and ponder about how slack I've been when it comes to updates about the Pantry Challenge.  I will hopefully be able to sit down and update tomorrow since it IS the beginning of week 3.  I do apologize!  That thing called work keeps getting in the way!  In the mean time, I have to share a new recipe with you.  That is one part of this challenge that I am DEFINITELY enjoying:  Trying new things.  I love trying new things but hubby is not quite so adventurous.  He has been the past couple days because he wants to eat!  :) 

In my stockpile in the freezer I had 3 packs of sandwich sliced ham.  I had gotten it marked down because the sell by date was 2 days away from the date I bought it.  I paid .49 for a 12oz pack of lean brand at that!  The negative is I should have opened the packages and put 2 pieces on wax paper to separate for sammies.  Since I was so close to the sell by date, I don't dare leave the package in my fridge after defrosting for more than a day.  Rich has already been food poisoned by a ham sammie his sister made for him...years ago, but he won't let her live it down!  Anyway, I needed a recipe that I could chop up the whole pack in.  So, I turned to my friend google.  Those of you who know me well know that I can never make a recipe exactly as directed...that's boring!  So, I'm going to give you my version of the recipe because it was good!  I'm not a huge meat eater and could totally enjoy it without the fact, my dogs ate the ham out of my serving.  Hubby loved it! Oh, by the way, I was in the kitchen from start to finish for 20 minutes (not counting clean-up...hubby does that).

Ham & Pasta Skillet
all measurements are approximate - I don't usually measure - except for the liquids
10oz chopped, cooked ham
1 med onion, chopped (I used red)
3/4 c frozen, green peas
8 oz of cooked pasta (I used penne, org called for egg)
1.5 c fat free half n' half (the original recipe called for light cream)
4 slices (thin) swiss cheese (org. called for .5c cheddar)
3oz cream cheese, cubed
1-2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp dried parsley
fresh cracked black pepper to taste (recipe called for salt but I didn't use any and it was perfect)

In a large skillet on med/high, saute onion in butter until the onion is soft.  Add chopped ham and stir.  Add peas, half n' half, cheeses, parsley, and pepper.  Reduce heat to low/medium and simmer until the sauce has started to thicken (this only took about 5 min).  Stir occasionally so it won't scorch.  Add warm pasta and stir....DONE!!  :)  Whoohoo!  ONE it! 

I had 3 hamburger buns that needed to be used so I put a tiny bit of butter, garlic powder, and italian seasoning on it and stuck it under the broiler.  I took it out when it was almost done and added a little cheese and placed it back in the oven, turned off.  Because the rack is so close to the burner when you're broiling, be sure NOT to catch your mitten on fire when getting the baking sheet out...NOT that I did this or anything.  ;)  And now for the finished product w/ my crappy cell phone...
Don't be jealous of the fine china plates!!  Give this a try and let me know what you think.  It was a winner here!!

Dreading 5:20 am,


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