Thursday, July 29

Solar Ham Loaf Patties and Tomatoes With Summer Squash Casserole

Solar Ham Loaf Patties and Tomatoes With Summer Squash Casserole
My neighbor and I have collaborative gardens! Not by plan, mind you, it has just happened. My tomatoes have yet to produce mature fruit, but hers have pretty much reached the end of their season, and she openly shares the bounty. But, my squash is starting to come in and the next few weeks are going to be busy and, as you know, once they decide to do their thing, there's no stopping for the gardener -- and, of course, my neighbor will share in its bounty (not to mention being a taster for my recipes, as well).  So, with the bounty of herbs and spices, onions, and squash, dinner was a snap. Uh-oh! No, it wasn't...

Crushed Pineapple Will Not Stand On Its Own
Normally, this recipe uses pineapple slices between the ham loaf patties -- not tomatoes.  But age has apparently done me in and I inadvertently picked up a can of crushed pineapple instead of sliced, and that is the how and why of your seeing tomatoe slices brightening up a rather beigy meal. The zucchini is going to be used as a brace to hold the entree in place during cooking, and is up for grabs for anyone who wants it at dinner.  The summer squash is for the casserole and the tomatoes are, well, think of them as, uh, sliced pineapples...
Ham Loaf Pattie Mixture:  Not wanting to waste the great taste of pineapple, I used the crushed pineapple in the mixture, and I was a happy camper.  Blend together in the processor the following: 1 lb. ham steak cut in pieces, 2 Tablespoons crushed pineapple, 1 Tablespoon chopped onion, 1 Tablespoon chopped banana pepper. Add the following fresh herbs: 1 Tablespoon each of fresh rosemary, lemon thyme, tarragon, Greek oregano, and sweet basil; power pulse to totally break down herbs. Add the following spices: salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 teaspoon mild curry, 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot (corn starch), 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger. Blend to a fine mixture that will hold its shape. [NOTE: If using pineapple slices, use 1 Tablespoon of juice in mixture and reserve slices for separating patties.]

Slice zucchini in half, lengthwise, cut off ends and discard (yipes!) or reserve for a soup blend. Remove stem end of tomato and slice in 1/2" slices.  Shape ham patties to match size of tomatoe slices and alternate in lightly-greased pan. Brace patty combination with zucchini, cut edge toward roll.

Summer Squash Casserole: There's nothing fancy, here.  Just thinly sliced the summer squash and a Vidalia onion, alternating layers in the loaf pan.  Blended 1 cup of whole milk with 1/4 cup whipping cream (that's what I had in the fridge), added some salt and pepper, a touch of mild curry and ground ginger, and poured it over the squash.  Sprinkled some Panko bread crumbs over the top and dabbed some butter over the crumbs. I preheated the squash in the microwave on high for four minutes. Both pans were placed in a cake pan and then in an oven bag.  Transported in SolarWear(tm) to the solar oven and baked for about 2-1/2 hours at 300F.  Conventional BTUs - 15,000; solar energy - FREE!


Pour the juices from the cooked ham loaf into a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, add the drained pineapple juice, return to a simmer and thicken with a little corn starch. Plate with tomatoe on the bottom and ham loaf on top, and just a Tablespoon of gravy. Yummy.

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