Is there anything better than family recipes? Not according to Sandy and Jim Hamilton. And not according to me when Sandy described a couple of Hamilton culinary gems that have spanned three generations. My mouth has been watering ever since she first described her Stuffed Ham Steaks. She’s never had a written recipe, but put one together, along with the accompanying version of Waldorf Salad, traditionally served with the ham.
The Hamiltons have been in Summerville for nine years and lead a busy retirement lifestyle. Jim, an old movies buff as well as a music lover, is also a serious baseball fan with the Boston Red Socks and Pittsburgh Pirates his favorites. Sandy, a fervent bridge player, belongs to the Pine Forest Knitters Circle and with this group has helped produce knitted hats for newborns at Summerville Medical Center and lap robes – more than 70 of them – for veterans at the Victory House in Walterboro. When not involved with these activities or gardening, Sandy is firmly planted in the kitchen.
The recipes were staples of Jim’s maternal grandmother and he remembers traveling from Connecticut to Pennsylvania in the summers and looking forward to these treats. But they are definitely all season delights. So without further ado:
Stuffed Ham Steaks*
2 Ham Steak Slices (dinner plate size)
1 sweet onion
1 loaf white bread cubed; day old works better
6 large eggs
Pepper to taste
Optional spice (celery seed)
1/2 cup milk
Cube the loaf of bread the day before, crust and all. Remove the ham steaks from the package, rinse off the brine and place in a pan. Cover with water, and refrigerate 4 hours, more or less. The length of time is influenced by your taste for salt.
Stuffing: To the cubed bread, add 6 eggs and pepper to flavor, and/or celery seed. The mixture should be moist; if necessary add a bit of milk.
Place one ham slice in baking pan. Cover with thinly sliced onion. Then shape stuffing over onion slices covering entire surface. Place sliced onion on top of stuffing, and then second ham slice on top.
Add 1/2 cup of milk to cover entire bottom of baking pan.
Cover baking pan with foil. Place in pre-heated 350 degree oven. Bake 30 minutes covered, another 30 minutes uncovered.
* For special dietary needs, whole wheat bread, egg substitutes and low fat milk can be used.
Mayonnaise Dressing: Prepare the day before.
2 eggs well beaten
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
¼ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp flour
1 tsp butter
Combine mustard, flour, butter and 1 tsp water in a pan and cook on slow heat. Mix other ingredients together and slowly pour into the pan. Cook until the mixture starts to boil, and thicken. Remove from heat. Chill in refrigerator overnight.
2 Red delicious apples, diced
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped walnuts
Mix ingredients together, add dressing, and serve. Put the salad together right before serving.
Sandy says, “This is a great side dish for the stuffed ham. Everyone always wants both and this duo has truly found a home in our family.”