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04/09/2012

~ Leftover Ham? Pass Me the Deviled Ham Salad! ~

PICT2720I don't make this blast-from-my-childhood-past recipe very often, only when I have leftover "real" ham, meaning:  not luncheon meat.  That was a requirement of my grandmother's deviled ham salad recipe and it remains a requirement of mine too.  Her second requirement was:  the ham must be minced.  She ran hers through a meat grinder.  I'll be finely dicing mine as, now that I'm a grownup, I like it just a bit chunkier.  Baba (my grandmother) served it to us kids on cottony-soft hamburger-type buns for lunch, or, let us spoon our own onto Ritz crackers as snacks.  Deviled ham salad might seem like an odd thing for a little girl to like alot, but, alas, I was an odd little girl.  I liked it even better than tuna salad and I liked that a lot too.  Aside from the classic "ham and swiss on rye", to this day, this super-simple treat, is my all-time favorite thing to make with leftover ham.  In fact, I can hardly wait to push publish on this post so I can eat this sandwich!

PICT2714Before starting, I must choose the correct bowl and only one of two will do today:  both of these were my grandmother's.  The smaller of the two was her all-purpose bowl.  It never got put away.  It sat on her kitchen table.  Besides mixing things in it, it held everything from garden vegetables, to fresh eggs, to dinner rolls. The larger one was generically referred to as "the potato salad bowl".  When Baba made deviled ham salad for sandwiches she used the small bowl, which I'll be doing today. That being said, she had a large family to feed and was always on a budget.  Sometimes, in order to stretch the ham salad to feed more people, she'd add cooked elbow macaroni to it and serve it on plates with forks.  On those occasions her potato salad bowl came into play!

PICT2724A bit about the term "deviled":  As far back as the 18th century, the term deviled was used to describe spicy food in general, and more specifically, dishes prepared with cooked eggs, mustard, pepper and any variety of other flavorful additions. Culinarily, the verb "devil" means: to combine food with various hot or spicy seasonings, such as red pepper, mustard or Tabasco, thereby creating a "devilish" dish. Deviled eggs are a a classic example!

Baba's simple, straightforward deviled ham salad recipe!

PICT2716~ Step 1.  In a large bowl, combine:

3  cups finely-diced ham

3  hard-cooked and cooled extra-large eggs, finely diced (Note: Dice the whites and yolks separately.)

1/2  cup finely-diced sweet onion

1/4  cup finely-diced celery

1/2  teaspoon each:  sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

PICT2718~ Step 2.  Add and fold in:

1/2  cup mayonnaise

2  tablespoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard

2  tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1/2-1  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

~ Step 3.  Refrigerate several hours to overnight. Serve chilled, mounded onto  soft rolls with Swiss cheese and lettuce, or:

6a0120a8551282970b016764fb96e3970b-800wiLeftover Ham?  Pass Me the Deviled Ham Salad:  Recipe yields 6 cups.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; large rubber spatula

PICT0998Cook's Note:  For another devilishly delicious recipe of mine that is along the same theme as deviled ham salad, read ~ Creamy, Chunky & Crunchy "Classic" Tuna Salad ~, which can be found in Categories 2 & 14!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

Comments

Teresa -- I'm thrilled you feel as I do about this recipe, and, I saw those Dilly Rolls on your Facebook wall. Just a perfect combination!!!

Mel, I'm happy to report that this is the best ham salad I've ever eaten, thanks to you, Baba, and Beeler's excellent ham. I made sandwiches with the fresh soft Dilly Rolls I baked. Life is good. :)

Teresa! I love ham salad. I too have got a "primo" piece of leftover ham -- I think I'll do the same thing with it!!!

I have leftover ham, and I knew I'd find a great recipe here for this old-fashioned favorite, Mel. Gonna try it. :)

Thanks for the nice comment Jenn! It's nice to know this "oldie but goodie" recipe is still appreciated for what it is -- simple, no-nonsense, good eats! You made my day! ~ Mel.

I made this last night and it is really fantastic. Thanks for sharing this excellent recipe!

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