Devilish Ham Spread

Slightly sweet, slightly spicy.

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I taught Lithuanian cooking classes for years and actually studied Lithuanian at the University of Vilnius in Lithuania. I had come up with this recipe years ago, for a party, to be served with fresh cheese scones. Then I was looking through ‘Treasures of Lithuanian Cooking” and saw an almost identical recipe. The only difference really is that they quote mustard and Tabasco and originally I used a Sara Lee pepper mustard. I also like to add green onion for flavor and interesting color.  The recipe has now evolved even further.

“Treasures of Lithuanian Cooking” states that this is a good way to use leftover ham. Best served with “Carr’s” wheatmeal biscuits, an English slightly sweet biscuit (cookie) also known as a digestive and great with cheese. (I haven’t seen gluten-free digestives in America. Some American recipes will tell you that Graham crackers are the same as digestive biscuits… absolutely no way. I do make good gluten-free Graham crackers, but they’re still not digestive biscuits.) I also put the spread on toasted gluten-free bagels for breakfast or lunch or anytime. Think of serving it with gluten-free mini bagels at a party. Spread in a gluten-free wrap with salad, in a gluten-free sandwich with meats, or on a gluten-free English muffin with chips Pipe squiggles through a Ziploc bag onto gluten-free crackers or toasted slices of Against the Grain French bread for easy appetizer. Spread on top of a burger, serve with gluten-free crudités.

It passed the taste test with some wheat eating girlfriends, and included Tracy who lived in San Antonio and likes a 10 alarm chili. This is nowhere near a 10 alarm as my husband can’t tolerate spicy heat.

Note that flavors will vary depending on the ham, mustard, hot pepper jelly, how much herbs you add, etc. Play with it to your own taste. Flavor does develop.

Ingredients: 

  • 8 oz (225g) Gluten-free ham roughly chopped or torn up. You could try other hams you prefer, I also use turkey ham. Carando have a gluten-free brown sugar spice boneless ham that we’ve been enjoying.  Don’t buy your ham from deli slicer.
  • 1 x 8 oz (225g) cream cheese, softened. I use lite, and it makes a softer spread.
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) Hot Pepper jelly – must be hot pepper jelly or you just get sweetness without heat. I use local Trappist brand, about $3 for 12 oz jar.
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Koops Arizona Heat mustard, certified gluten-free. ALL their mustards are labeled gluten-free.
  • ¼ c (60ml) fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c (60 ml) fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
  • green of 4 green onions

Directions:

  1. Put parsley, green onions, cilantro and ham in food processor and chop until reasonably smooth.
  2. Add cream cheese, pepper jelly and mustard.  Run processor until mix is as smooth as you want.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning.  I don’t add any salt or pepper.  Increase or decrease amount of mustard to your taste.  I find that even though I know how much mustard I want to add, if I measure too generously, it can be just that bit too spicy. But everyone’s taste is different.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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