It's time for this month's Improv Challenge. The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients. The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.
This month's ingredients were ham and cheese. Awesome! My husband and I have been eating low carb for over 9 months now, so ham and cheese are pretty much staples in our diet. I had lots of things I could do this month. In fact, I have another post all ready to go that also involves ham and cheese.
This is a new recipe I just tried last weekend. It's basically chopped up cauliflower, ham, and a generous amount of cheese mounded together into patties and baked. My recipe is an adaption from All Day I Dream About Food.
Baked Ham and Cheese Cauliflower Fritters
2 (12 oz.) packages frozen riced cauliflower
2 cups finely diced ham
2 tsp Sunny Paris (or other onion-y salt-free seasoning)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400°. Generously grease two baking sheets with olive oil. (I use stoneware.)
Place the cauliflower in a large microwavable bowl. Break up big chunks, if necessary. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir, break up chunks again. Microwave on high another 4 minutes, or until cauliflower is warmed through and somewhat soft.
Add the ham, Sunny Paris, eggs, shredded cheddar, and Parmesan. Stir well. Make 16 patties using a rounded ¼ cup of mixture for each one. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before serving. Carefully remove them from the baking sheet to a serving platter.
Makes 4 servings of 4 patties each.
I wasn't feeling too great the day I made these, so I took the easy way out and used frozen riced cauliflower instead of chopping fresh. I got this stuff from Trader Joe's, but I know Walmart also sells bags of riced cauliflower in the fresh produce section. If you can't find either of those handy products, you can finely chop a head of fresh cauliflower and either boil or steam it until it is softened. Just be sure to drain it well before adding the other ingredients.
The other major thing I changed was that I baked these instead of pan frying. I knew they would be too loose for me to successfully flip them in the skillet. I've never had great luck with that. So I baked them instead. Easy peasy and worry-free. I intended to flip them once during baking, but I couldn't do it without them falling apart, so I just cooked them on the one side. I think that turned out just fine. They got a nice caramelized crunch on the bottom that I found delightful. I may have had better luck if I had mashed the cauliflower after cooking it in the microwave, but I am okay with the way they turned out.
My family LOVED these. My husband raved about them. I thought my carb-loving daughters might turn up their noses at them, but I was wrong. They both loved them too. My eight-year-old had seconds.
I used Penzeys Sunny Paris as the seasoning in these. If you don't have that. feel free to use anything else you like. I would recommend a salt-free seasoning because the ham and cheeses provide plenty of salt. Something with onion and/or shallots would be great.
I list four patties as a serving size, but that is going to vary greatly depending on who you are feeding. Kids will definitely not eat four at once. I did, but that was all I ate for dinner; I didn't feel well enough to make the salad I had planned to go with them. We had some leftover, and my husband had a great idea: to serve fried eggs over them in the morning.
Like the plate? I painted it myself! :)
Yummo! They made a great breakfast.
I used up some Easter ham for this; it was so good. But it would be good with any kind of ham.
Be sure to check out all the other great ham and cheese recipes below!