As we near the end of 2013, and Christmas has passed, I imagine that most of your homes are looking like mine – bits of wrapping paper strewn all over the floor, shiny new gifts that have yet to find a home somewhere in the house, and a fridge stuffed full of leftovers. In my personal opinion, the major upside to Christmas leftovers is… LEFTOVER HAM. Leftover ham is THE BEST – it’s great fried up in some butter for breakfast, throw into a sandwich for lunch, eaten straight from the fridge for a snack… you really can’t beat it.
A few years ago, it was several days after Christmas, and my mom asked me to take a look in the fridge and see what I could create using the available leftovers. From the depths of the fridge, I pulled some leftover ham, a hunk of unused gruyere, some crostini that hadn’t been eaten… and the Post-Christmas Ham Dip was born. These days, I look forward to the ham dip I make from our leftovers nearly as much as the main event itself! Plus, it’s great for the post-holiday hangover period… you’re too tired to cook anything serious, you don’t want to leave the house, and nothing sounds better then watching some college football bowls, and snacking all day.
Post-Christmas Ham Dip (or, Ham and Gruyere Dip)
serves 8 as an appetizer
2 cups ham, chopped into 1″ or smaller pieces
1 large onion, caramelized
6oz sour cream or greek yogurt
8oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
pinch each of salt and pepper
panko bread crumbs
wavy/ridged potato chips
Keep in mind, this recipe is intended to kind of clean out the fridge; so, if you don’t have gruyere, but you have some mozzarella? Feel free to use that. No panko, but some leftover rolls that are stale and hard as a rock? Crush those into breadcrumbs! In my opinion, the dip is the most flavorful and delicious as written – but I’ve made it with all kinds of substitutions, and it never disappoints!
Preheat your oven to 375°.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ham, caramelized onion, sour cream, cream cheese, dijon, whole grain mustard, salt and pepper. Mix until everything is well-combined.
Spread the mixture into a 9×9 baking dish (or whatever size you have on hand, really); top it with the panko breadcrumbs, and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the edges are browned and bubbly. Serve warm with the potato chips.
Of course, this dip can be served and used in a million different ways – spread it on crostini, dip vegetables into it, slather it on some bread and grill it up as a grilled cheese (I am a little mad I didn’t think of this idea earlier, actually). It may not be the most beautiful dish in the world, but it IS delicious enough to make up for its lack of looks (and quite frankly, I could probably make it look prettier if I could slow down long enough to not be sloppy about it – but I’m always so excited to get to the EATING part of the ham dip, that I rush). (You will also notice that, in these photos, there are no breadcrumbs on top of the dip… per usual, I was in a hurry, and I forgot something. It was still incredibly tasty, though!)
Your friends and family will dub you the Leftovers NINJA,