Over A Cup: ‘Ham Chowder’ a decent replacement for clam chowder

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Diane Prather

'Ham Chowder'

To make “Ham Chowder,” you’ll need:

• 2 cups diced potatoes

• 1 cup diced carrots

• 1 cup diced celery

• ¾ cup diced onion

• 8 slices bacon

• 2 cups cubed ham

• 2 cans cream of mushroom soup

• 3 to 4 cups milk

• Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare vegetables, and put them in a large kettle or dutch oven with water to cook. While the vegetables are cooking, cook the bacon so that it can be crumbled.

Drain the bacon and let it cool slightly. When the vegetables are done, crumble the bacon and add it to the vegetables. Then add the ham, soup, and milk. Stir thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat thoroughly.

Clam chowder has been on my mind lately, and I don’t really have a great clam chowder recipe, so that’s what I recently requested from readers. In the meantime, I recently fixed a ham. I searched my files for a recipe to use up the leftover ham pieces. That’s when I found a ham chowder recipe.

The recipe calls for several ingredients, including vegetables, cubed ham and bacon. (I even thought about adding clams.) Anyway, I made the recipe, which makes a lot of servings, and it was quite tasty. I was wondering if the chowder might even have a more delicious taste if left in the refrigerator overnight.

However, as it turns out, there were no leftovers, not because my husband and I ate the entire pot of chowder, but because after putting the chowder in a big bowl, I accidentally hit it with my arm. Chowder ran down the cabinet doors, drenched my socks, and covered the floor in one gooey mess.

Pieces of potatoes and ham skipped across the floor to the other side of the kitchen. I hadn’t cleaned up such a mess in a long time.

But the chowder is good, and it’s a nice way to use leftover ham. So, if you’d like to make “Ham Chowder,” you’ll need these ingredients: 2 cups of diced potatoes; 1 cup diced carrots; 1 cup diced celery; ¾ cup diced onion; 2 cups cubed ham; 8 slices of bacon; 2 cans cream of mushroom soup; 3 to 4 cups milk; and salt and pepper, to taste.

Note: I didn’t think my husband and I would like as much celery, carrots, and onions as called for in the recipe so I cut these ingredients down to half. I used the two cups of diced potatoes, however.

In a large kettle or dutch oven, cook the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion in water until done. I added enough water so that the vegetables were covered, brought the mixture to a boil, and reduced the heat, stirring occasionally. While the vegetables are cooking, fry the bacon until you can crumble it (but not too done). Cool the bacon. When the vegetables are done, crumble the bacon and add it to the vegetables.

Then add the ham, soup, milk, and salt and pepper. Stir well and simmer until thoroughly heated. Serve in bowls or mugs with a crisp green salad and crackers.

I’m still looking for a clam chowder recipe. If you have a favorite, call me at 824-8809 or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.

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