Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 12, 2014

Lee Ward: Spring food recommended by noted television chef: 5/13/14

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — These recipes are perfect for spring and make use of leftovers from the traditional Sunday ham dinner. All are from QVC’s resident foodie and cookbook author David Venable.


1 pound dry Northern beans

8 cups water

1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 meaty ham hock or 2 or 3 lbs. of ham shanks

1 cup carrots, chopped

1⁄2 stalk celery, chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon mustard powder

2 bay leaves

2 cups ham, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley (optional garnish)

Rinse the beans, sorting out any that are broken or discolored.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and the beans and remove the pot from the heat. Let the beans sit in the hot water for at least 60 minutes.

When the time has elapsed, return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 60 more minutes.

Remove the ham bone and discard. Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley (if desired).


8 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

8 ounces cooked ham, finely chopped

1⁄3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1⁄2 teaspoons ground black pepper

4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1⁄2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Place the eggs, celery, and ham in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, pickle relish, paprika, and vinegar in a separate medium-sized bowl until fully combined.

Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the eggs, celery, and ham and toss gently.



1 tablespoon olive oil

1⁄2 large onion, diced

2 cups milk

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups yellow cornmeal

4 ounces ham, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Peanut or canola oil, for frying

Heat the oil over medium heat in a 5-quart stockpot, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the milk, chicken broth and butter and bring to a simmer. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal, avoiding any lumps. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the ham, herbs, salt, pepper and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Spread the cornmeal mixture on the surface of a rimmed 9-by-13 cookie sheet with a heat-resistant spatula. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, put on oven mitts, then evenly press the mixture down, spreading it out to the edges. Refrigerate the covered cornmeal mixture until completely cooled.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven to 375 degrees (or preheat a deep fryer.) Flip the polenta out of the cookie sheet onto a large cutting board. Cut the polenta into 1⁄2-inch strips and then cut each strip into 3-inch pieces. Fry, in batches, until deep golden brown. (Adding too many at once can cool the oil down.) Drain the fries on paper towels; serve immediately.


5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked)

6 cups smoked ham, diced

1 cup chicken broth

10-ounce can cream of mushroom soup

1 bunch scallions, sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

3⁄4 cup coarse breadcrumbs (such as Panko)

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large sauce pot, boil the potatoes until fork tender. Drain the water and set aside.

Add the butter to a 10-inch (or larger) deep nonstick skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly colored. Stir in the paprika and ham. Add the broth, cream of mushroom soup and scallions. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the parboiled potatoes and stir carefully to evenly incorporate all ingredients. Season the hash, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Combine the cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, and parsley in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the hash. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until evenly browned.


Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re

looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, send email to lward@dailyindependent.com.