A couple of years ago for Christmas, I made ham in the crockpot. It was truly awful. One of our guests was rather late to dinner, and so I just left the ham cooking. This was a mistake. When it came time to finally eat the delicious pork product that had been emitting wonderful smells throughout the house all day, we discovered one dried-up piece of meat sitting in a crock mostly full of juice, juice that should have been in the ham. My guests graciously chewed on their servings of ham, and then asked for more salad, please.
The next night, we had dinner with some friends, who cooked a roast beef. And Josh said, Let's have roast beef at Christmas from now on! as if the problem had been the pig.
Anyway, for Easter, I cooked another ham in the crock pot. I was much more mindful this go-around of the cooking time. In fact, though the recipe said to let it cook for 6 hours, I noticed that it seemed to be plenty hot after 3 hours, and I turned the crock to the "keep warm" setting. Then I basted it every half hour or so, because I have dry ham anxiety.
And it was fine. I mean, it's ham. I think I'm not going to cook it in the crock pot anymore. But I still have a whole lot of it, and you might, too. I went looking for recipes to make with leftover ham. It was a lot of soup and quiche and tetrazzini. I might yet make a quiche, and having extracted the hambone, I will definitely make some soup, but that still left us with a lot of ham, even though I bought the smallest one I found.
But then I had a flash of brilliance. I have those from time to time. I sorta wish it had been about something better than ham leftovers, but you take your flashes where you can get them.
How about...ham fried rice!
A month or so ago, I came across a recipe for chicken fried rice. We made it, it was delicious, the end. Since then, I've been trying to come up with a good angle to write about it and share it with you. Because you need some reason for me to tell you about how to make fantastic fried rice at home. I can't just tell you about it, that would be silly.
We made this last night, using diced up leftover ham. We left all the instructions the same, even frying the already-cooked ham in there at the beginning to give it a little scald. We did have to use some paper towels to soak up some of the ham grease, but it turned out just fine. More than fine, it was awesome all the way around. It was leftovers that don't feel like leftovers.
ChickenHam Fried Rice
ripped straight from Alosha's Kitchen
3 cups cooked Jasmine rice (or yield from 1 cup dry)
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper (or ham! Try it with ham!)
1 large carrot, diced (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
2/3 cup frozen corn
2/3 cup frozen peas
6 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 8-ounce can peeled, sliced water chestnuts
Whisk eggs with 2 teaspoons oil in a small dish and set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned chicken and stir fry until cooked through, about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Heat remaining teaspoon oil in the wok, then add diced carrots and chopped onion. Stir fry until moderately soft, about 3 minutes. Add the frozen corn, frozen peas and green onions. Stir fry until tender, just 1 to 2 minutes, then add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 more seconds. Push vegetables to the side of the wok and add eggs and sesame oil mixture into the center and scramble.
Lower the heat to medium. Add cooked chicken, cooked rice, soy sauce, oyster sauce and water chestnuts to the pan and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.