Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ham & Egg Cakes

Previously I have mentioned a little gem of a book that I found while scouring an antique store.  It is a compilation of recipes from the intrepid pioneers of the Australian Outback.  I have to say, there are more unique recipes in this book than nearly any other tome I have encountered.  I have only tried a few, but they have been memorable.  I found the Witchety Grub recipe in said book (although I  must admit I have never been brave enough to try it!).

Knowing that food prices are skyrocketing and wanting to be a good steward of our food budget, I have been experimenting with leftovers.  We are mostly a meat and potatoes family, so we frequently have a mess of a mashed potatoes left after any given meal.  Generally we will add a bit of egg and a smidgen of flour, slap patties onto the griddle and eat potato pancakes.  They are good and satisfying, but nothing really to write home about.  And then I found the recipe for Ham & Egg Cakes.....

One of the things I love about this recipe is that it can be tailored to whatever leftovers you happen to have in the fridge.  Here is the gist of the recipe.

Ham & Egg Cakes
8 oz. ham
8 oz. mashed potatoes
1 T chopped parsley
1 egg yolk
4 rashers (slices) bacon
4 eggs

Finely dice the ham.  Mix together the mashed potato, ham and parsley, add one egg yolk to bind.  Divide the mixture into four.  Shape into round flat cakes about one inch deep.

Wrap a rasher (slice) of bacon around each cake; fix with a toothpick.  Place in an overproof dish and bake in a moderate oven (about 350°) for 20 to 25 minutes.  Poach the remaining eggs and serve on top of the ham cakes.

Wrapped in bacon and ready for the oven

When I made this delectable dish, I went without the ham as I didn't have any leftover.  I would think that leftover bacon, sausage, ham - just about anything would be great.  I added chives rather than parsley and diced an onion and threw it into the mix.  I think green pepper, onion or cheese all would be wonderful additions.  This recipe is limited only by your imagination and your pantry.  You could use any left over bits of this or that.  I used a larger quantity of potatoes, since that is what we had, and we have a lot of mouths to feed.  I didn't measure a thing but really, a recipe like this doesn't really require precise measurements.  I did use the egg yolk (it really does help bind the potatoes).  I formed the cakes right in the pan I was planning on baking them in so that I didn't have to transfer them, and wrapped each with a "rasher" of bacon.  I didn't have any toothpicks, so I didn't use them, which resulted in the bacon shrinking, but no bother, it certainly didn't affect the taste.  I went a little wild and placed a third of a piece of bacon on the top of each cake, just because.

Rather than poaching eggs (I don't have those nifty cups and I hate it when the whites spread out in the water - I know - use vinegar!) I decided to quickly fry them on the griddle.  The children prefer their eggs to be "over hard", so I made theirs first and put them in on a plate and put it in the warming oven.  Just before the cakes were done, I made two eggs "sunny side up" for Sir Knight and I.  Pulling the cakes from the oven, I placed an egg on each cake and oh, a perfect, simple, thrifty and cheery breakfast!

We highly recommend Ham & Egg Cakes.  They are a little dodgy to eat, being mashed potatoes and all, but they are well worth the effort!


  1. Enola,


    As usaul, your cooking skills are impecable.

    In a few minutes I will heat a couple of frozen sausage patties in the microwave and add two pieces of bread and make it a "makeshift hamburger"

    Maybe I should write book and call it"Bachelorhood cooking' Fine Dining while standing over the kitchen sink and eating alone.

    1. Enola,


      that "makeshift hamburger" was'nt half bad. I do the same thing for hot dogs. I get those "Hebrew Natioanal" wieners and heat a couple of those up in a pan of hot water (thats something evan I can do) and use a couple of slices of store bought bread with mustard and relish and Im going to town.

      One interesting thing to mention. Some more "Yankees" from New York city moved to my area of Texas and opened a New York City styled Pizzaria about five miles from my house. I had a few slices of that pizza at a nieghbors house and its better than "Pizza Hut" (I just hope they become conservative gun owning Texans) too many people moving to Texas and bringing thier politics and socailist attitudes.

  2. This sounds really good!!!

    I use the ring from my canning jars for poached eggs. Just lay the rings in the water and when water is ready crack your egg in a cup and dump right in to the ring, It will fall right in. They say together perfect no whites floating.

    Amber (ky)

  3. i really like this take on potato pancakes...and for breakfast too!

  4. Ma'am,

    I have to say I do like your blog and try to read it most nights during breaks at work. But I am afraid I am going to have to stop reading it. You are costing me too much money and the wife is really getting mad (I could use words to describe how she feels, want to keep this clean)... I had read that article you did about your father and saw the photos of the Vapo Cresoline mini lamp. I am 58+ and grew up down South in Tenn. we did not have a lot growing up and I have seen a lot and used a lot of what I had seen from grandfather and some of my hillbilly relitives that had no running water or electric even in the first part of the 1970's.. But I had never seen one of those lamps and remeber using a vaporizer with Vicks both when I was a kid and when my daughters were kids. This lamp was just too cool and way too useful. So I HAD to look for and buy one which I did last week on ebay including shipping it was I think like $70.00 AND it was in near perfect condition, only some rust on the plate on top but normal for it's age. Which considering it was made in 1889 was really not bad. Not that I have money to burn (although with the government doing as they are it may only be worth buring in the near future). So now I have one of the mini lamps for vaporizing Vicks or essential oils or other herbs for my familiy (wife, kids and grandkids) when and if they are needed. Hech even though the wife was mad I bought it she could get over "how cute it was". So all that long point made. I must now not ever again step foot (or keyboard) into your blog site again... At least not until the next time of course. (I'm still looking for one of those dang waffle iorns you had)... Geeze... ;) Thank you ma'am...