Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Save those Easter eggs

Cathi Litzenberger has a few suggestions for using up those left-over hard-cooked Easter eggs, along with the Easter ham

Spring is really here, the kids are back in school, and Easter is past, well almost.  If you’re like me there’s still the challenge of using up all those leftovers. I am tired of the regular same old, same old ideas and found a couple of new ones this year.

I really think these elegant and beautiful main dish entrée recipes are a wonderful and delicious way to use up those leftovers. If you have leftover Easter eggs, chop them up and add them along with the ham. If you’ve managed to rid the fridge of ham or turkey and really need a change and a way to finally use up those hard-cooked eggs, the seafood medley below is a perfect solution.

Ham Filo Roll

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup basmati rice, uncooked

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup cubed cooked ham

1/2 cup bottled Alfredo sauce

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed OR chopped leftover asparagus

1/3 cup butter, melted

16 (9” x 14”) sheets frozen filo dough, thawed

1-1/2 cups shredded Havarti cheese, divided

Hard-cooked eggs, chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Add rice and stir to coat. Add the chicken broth, cover pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in ham, Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and asparagus or peas. Set aside.

Place one filo sheet on a cookie sheet and brush with butter. Layer seven more filo over the first sheet, brushing each with butter. Spread half of the rice and ham mixture over one-third of the stacked filo on the 14” side, leaving a one-inch border on three sides. Cover with the remaining cheese.

Begin to roll up the filo, starting with the long end. You’ll only be able to roll the dough over one and a half times. Using two spatulas, place on a RIMMED cookie sheet (the butter will melt and make a mess in your oven if you don’t used a rimmed sheet). Brush with butter and cut a few slits in the filo roll. Repeat with remaining filo, butter, and filling to make two rolls. At this point you can cover the rolls tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Add another 8-13 minutes to the baking time if the rolls are baked directly from the refrigerator. Bake 25 to 35 minutes until rolls are browned and crisp. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting each roll into thirds for serving. The filling is hot! Serves 4-6.

Seafood Medley

2 (6 oz.) cans medium shrimp, drained

3-4 hard cooked eggs, sliced

4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

6 oz. can crabmeat, drained and picked over

2 cups grated Cheddar or Havarti cheese

1/4 cup butter

3 tbsp. flour

2 cups whole milk

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 cup bread crumbs

2 tsp. melted butter

Layer shrimp, eggs, mushrooms, crabmeat, and cheese in 1 quart casserole dish in order given.

Make cream sauce as follows: In heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add flour and cook and stir constantly with wire whisk until mixture bubbles. Cook 1 minute. Add milk and stir constantly until mixture thickens and bubbles. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Pour cream sauce over casserole. Mix bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp. melted butter and sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Serves 8.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every Wednesday and one Sunday a month.

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