Cooking: Down Home Ham Salad

When I lived in Ohio, there was a grocery store that sold the best Ham Salad ever. I know, I know. You’re thinking “Ham Salad? Ick.”. And, honestly the first time I heard of it, I was most definitely NOT interested in trying it. But, after several friends shared their love of this particular ham salad, I had to try it. (By the way, the salad isn’t actually made at Dots. It’s made by Yoders/Orval Kent Foods and is described as “Delicious smoked ham, celery, sweet pickle relish, onions and bell peppers tossed in a sweet and creamy dressing”
I’m glad I did! I was hooked, just as my friends were.
But, then I moved to Texas and stores here just don’t get ham salad. They don’t get several “Ohio” foods. But, that’s beside the point.
I did what everyone expected me to do; I made up my own recipe. Actually, I took several recipes that I found, tried them out and took the best features of each one to create my own. Personally, I think it rivals the down home ham salad found at Dots in Riverside, Ohio (Dayton suburb), and I’m totally okay with that!
I’ll share my original recipe, and then the healthy changes I incorporated – not much of a taste difference really. But oh how the calorie count has changed!
3 c fully cooked ham, finely chopped
3-4 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
1/4 c finely chopped celery
1/4 c finely chopped green peppers
3 T finely chopped onion
2 t sweet pickle relish
1/2 to 1 c mayonnaise (it really depends on how “combined” you want it to be)
2 t prepared mustard
1 t celery salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t black pepper
In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then; add to ham mixture and mix well. Refrigerate until serving.
Some serve it with crackers. I serve it with rolls for sandwiches. I'll be honest... i eat them both ways... all the time.
You really want the ingredients finely chopped. I’m talking tiny, miniscule pieces. The ingredients become more of a spread than a chunky salad – and I WAY prefer it as a spread.
Let the salad sit together for a few hours, even 24. The flavors blend and become so much better!
Onto my healthy changes… I only added the yolks from two of the eggs, and traded the mayo for plain, unflavored fat free yogurt. YUM!

1 comment:

The Rambling Papercrafter said...

My mom has made this for years. An easy way to get the spread texture is run the ham thru a meat grinder. It makes it so easy when you mix it up. I think she also runs the eggs thru the grinder. Ham salad is the best. I think it's a midwest thing :)