Dressed Up Leftovers

Following Easter, we’ve had quite a few leftovers to use up. Rather than eat the same meal again for the next few days, I like to make other dishes that will use the leftovers, so we can enjoy them in a different way. I have two recipes to share that were tasty ways to eat leftover ham and mashed potatoes.

The Best Bean and Ham Soup (adapted from allrecipes.com)

10 ounces dry beans soaked overnight – I used a combination of red, black and kidney beans.
1 1/2 cups cubed ham
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 T Worcestershire sauce
chili powder to taste – I used about 3 T
2 bay leaves
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 1/2 t dried parsley
2 T lemon juice
Additional vegetable broth to cover ingredients
salt to taste

1. Place the soaked beans into a large pot and fill with enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low for 30 minutes. Drain. Add the ham, onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Season with Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, bay leaves, pepper, parsley and lemon juice. Add enough broth to completely cover the ingredients.
2. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables and beans are tender. I cooked an additional hour, but I could have simmered longer for more tender beans.

*The original recipe called for simmering for eight hours with the ham bone in the pot. I took a short cut there. It may have been a richer flavor that way, but I didn’t get started early in the day.

Crispy Mashed Potato Pancake (adapted from allrecipes.com)

4 cups cold mashed potatoes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Seasoned salt, to taste
olive oil to cover bottom of pan

Combine the ingredients, mix well. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add potato mixture; press with a spatula to flatten evenly. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, or until brown. Original directions then said to invert pan onto serving plate. I carefully flipped the potato patty over to brown the other side before serving. I wanted to be certain the egg was thoroughly cooked, and I wanted the end result to be more crispy by browning both sides.

Both the soup and potato pancakes were good. My daughter and husband both remarked that the potato pancakes tasted like hash browns. They were a big hit.