An ode to ham – Part Two: Leftover ham torta
26th December 2009

An ode to ham – Part Two: Leftover ham torta

By Sara Photography by Emma
 

 

This recipe is similar to one that we cooked for our Design Sponge feature a few months ago, although for this feature we used all fresh ingredients: grilled eggplant and zucchini, prosciutto, tomato and anchovy sauce, parmesan and basil.
The torta pastry is perfect for enclosing flavours without being too stodgy, and your family will love you for doing something so creative with leftovers.

Since your ham will more than likely last you past Christmas lunch or dinner I thought it would be a good idea to ask Laura Jones, my friend and food safety expert here at Fisher & Paykel to give us some holiday storage tips.

Your leftover ham must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • If you are going to refrigerate your ham, it needs to be covered to stop it from drying out. You can wrap your ham in a clean dampened tea towel, place it? inside a ‘ham bag’ or loosely cover with tin foil.
  • Change the tea towel or ‘ham bag’ daily.
  • When you are covering your ham, make sure you don’t wrap or cover it tightly; always allow some room for air to circulate.
  • Never save or reuse the original packaging the ham came in. Throw it away as soon you have unwrapped the ham.
  • Place the wrapped ham in the main shelf area of your refrigerator and ensure that it is above all raw food products to prevent any cross-contamination.
  • If properly stored, the ham will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 – 2 weeks after opening.
  • Alternatively, if you are going to freeze your ham, it can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Make sure that the ham is well wrapped before freezing it to prevent freezer-burn.
  • Slicing the ham up before freezing it and wrapping it in smaller, more usable packs can be handy if you don’t want to thaw the whole leg (or what is left of it).
  • Due to the high salt content of ham, freezing does alter the flavour of the ham. The salt becomes more concentrated, increasing the salty flavour of the ham. This also means that on thawing the ham loses a lot of moisture.
  • On thawing, if you squeeze the ham between paper towels it helps to get rid of any excess moisture.  Or if you are adding the ham to other dishes, reheat in an oven without covering as this will draw out the excess moisture.
  • Ingredients

    • Torta pastry
    • 2½ cups flour
    • 2½ tbsp olive oil
    • ½ tsp rock salt
    • Enough water to just bind (start with ½ cup)
    • Filling
    • 11/2 cups of leftover vegetables (roasted carrot, potato, beetroot – but you can use anything)
    • 2 large slices of ham
    • 100g feta, toasted
    • 50g raisins soaked in 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (soak for at least 10 minutes)
    • 2 tbsp pine nuts
    • 2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped
    • Egg wash
    • 1 egg, beaten with a fork

        Method

        • --
        • 1. Preheat oven to 170ºC on Bake. In a food processor or mixer (use the dough hook with the latter), add the flour and rock salt. Begin mixing and add the oil, then slowly add the water until the dough just comes together. Knead the dough with your hands for 10 minutes; it will be quite tough. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
        • 2. Chop the cold, leftover vegetables and ham and place in a bowl. Crumble the feta over the mixture and add the balsamic-soaked raisins, the pine nuts and the herbs. Mix to combine.
        • --
        • 3a. If you are making one large torta:
        • Take half of the dough and roll out to a thickness of approximately 2mm. The dough will spring back so just keep working it until you get a large circle (approximately 40cm). Repeat with the other half. Place one of the circles on greaseproof paper onto a baking tray and put the other one aside.
        • Spoon the filling into the centre of the circles.
        • Lay the other circle over the filling. Crimp and fold the edges to seal the torta —you can trim the edges a little if you have too much dough—and prick the top a few times with the point of a sharp knife.
        • --
        • 3b. If you are making individual tortas:
        • Divide the dough into four portions. Roll each of the four portions out to a thickness of approximately 2mm. The dough will spring back so just keep working it until you get small circles.
        • Arrange four circles on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
        • Spoon the filling into the centre of the circles.
        • Fold each circle in half and crimp the edges to seal —you can trim the edges a little if you have too much dough—and prick the top a few times with the point of a sharp knife.
        • --
        • 4. Brush the torta(s) with the egg wash. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
        • 5. Serve warm, with a green salad.
           

          COMMENTS

          1. sally walker

            this ham is tremendously exquisite i wish to eat ham every hour
            of everyday

            mind blown!!!

           

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