Use holiday leftovers creatively
Now that the holidays have come and gone, you must figure out a creative way to use up some of those leftovers.
Here's a great way to create an easy food that the troops are going to gobble up in record time. This can also be used as an appetizer or game day addition. Add a spicy brown mustard on the side and you'll have a perfect dip.
Ham and Swiss Sticky Buns
(makes 16 buns)
9 ounces deli ham, finely chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1⁄2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 (16.3 ounce) cans refrigerated jumbo biscuits
maple syrup (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a small bowl, stir together the ham, Swiss cheese and spicy, brown mustard.
Sprinkle the brown sugar into a 12-inch square on a clean surface. Arrange the biscuits in four rows on the brown sugar, covering the sugar completely.
Pinch the biscuits together to form a dough square.
Roll the dough onto a 12-inch-by-18-inch rectangle (about 1⁄4-inch thick), pinching the dough together as needed.
Spread the ham and cheese mixture over the dough. Roll up tightly, starting at one long side, pressing brown sugar into the dough as you roll. Pinch the edges at the seams to seal. Use a serrated knife to cut into 16 slices. Fit each roll into cups of a lightly greased 24-cup muffin pan.
The dough will extend over the tops of the cups to form a cheesy dome.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and the centers of the dough are completely cooked. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. If desired, drizzle with the maple syrup, or serve with some spicy brown mustard.
• • •
Here's a quiche that has a tasty simple switch to it that will have the guests asking for more.
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
16-ounce package ground pork sausage
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked regular grits
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly shredded white Cheddar cheese, divided
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1⁄2 tablespoons plain white cornmeal
Thaw the spinach, draining well, pressing down between paper towels to absorb the liquid.
Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often. Cook for five minutes or until the sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Then remove from the skillet and drain well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring the broth, cream and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add the grits and return to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer 12-15 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cook until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the Asiago, pepper, and 3⁄4 cup cheddar, then stir until cheeses are melted (mixture will be very thick).
Gradually stir in about 1⁄4 of the grits into the eggs. Then, stir the egg mixture into the remaining hot grits. Stir in spinach and sausage until blended.
Sprinkle the bottom and sides of a lightly-greased 10-inch pie plate with cornmeal.
Spoon the grits mixture into a pie plate, then sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until set.
When done, remove from the oven to a wire rack and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
Serve as a breakfast or cut into tiny squares to make an appetizer.
This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake for one hour.
• • •
Here's one that will warm up everybody on the snow shovel brigade.
Cinnamon Coffee with Bourbon Cream
(makes eight cups)
1 cup medium roast ground coffee
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
additional ground cinnamon
8 cinnamon sticks for garnish
Combine ground coffee with one teaspoon cinnamon in a coffee filter.
Brew coffee in a 12 cup coffee maker according to machine's instructions, using 8 cups of water.
Beat heavy cream, at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy, then add brown sugar, a teaspoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form.
Stir in the bourbon. Chill until ready to serve.
Top each serving with bourbon cream, additional ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick.
David Kelly is a freelance columnist for the Tribune-Review. He has been sharing recipes and cooking tips in Culinary Corner for more than 24 years.