The Thanksgiving Leftovers Solution: Pepper Jelly Ham

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Days filled with meals from the Thanksgiving table splendor. Ham one day, turkey the next, raviolis the day after that. We cook like crazy for a week and it does pay off with at least a week of leftovers cooked this way or that. A great meal to use leftover ham is (yadda yadda, ham and bean soup) Pepper Jelly Ham. It is a simple 4 ingredient dish that I developed to be tasty and simple. It is such a change of pace during the holidays that you will forget it is actually leftovers. That’s a good thing. Served over rice this saucy meal is sweet with just the right amount of spice.

Pepper Jelly Ham
4 cups cubed ham
1- 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in juice not heavy syrup, drained, reserving juice
1- 12 ounce jar red pepper jelly*
1 T. cornstarch

In a large pot, over medium-high heat, heat ham, pineapple, and jelly until bubbly. Meanwhile stir cornstarch into reserved pineapple juice. Once the jelly is melted and bubbly, add the pineapple juice/cornstarch mixture and stir well. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce is thick and glossy. Serve over steamed rice. If you like it a bit hotter, add Sriracha to taste. Serves 6.

*Note- I used a 12 ounce jar of Cranberry Pepper Jelly sold in the cheese section at Whole Foods. It is delicious. Do try it.

A Constant Source Of Entertainment: My ICU Days

One day when I was a brand new ICU nurse, I was assisting a physician with a bedside procedure. It was during this particular procedure that Dr. Vas (name changed) was in a sterile field and needed someone to help him fill a syringe. Standing close by, I was that person.

“Robin I’m sterile.” Dr. Vas stated holding out the syringe.

“This is not the place to discuss this Dr. Vas.” I stated nervously and became quite flustered. Doesn’t he realize everyone can hear him?

“Robin I’m sterile.” He repeated, holding out the syringe.

“Dr. Vas, I’m so sorry for you but that is really none of my business.” I muttered under my breath, searching the room to see if anyone else thought this inappropriate.

“Robin I’m sterile!” He said more firmly, this time waving the syringe in my face.

“Dr. Vas, don’t you think you should discuss this with your wife and not me, especially during a procedure?” I insisted back.

My preceptor finally whispered in my ear that he was in a sterile field and that I needed to hold the non-sterile bottle of medication upside down so that he could fill the syringe without touching the bottle himself.

“Well I guess that is good news then.” I said flatly as I held the bottle for him.

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Theresa
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    What a great way to use left overs. What I great story. Gave me the chuckles this morning!!

  2. Meg
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    This is a great idea for leftovers. Reminds me of something my mom made when I was little.

  3. Ingrid
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Oh, my gosh that’s hilarious! I shouldn’t laugh as I’m fairly certain I would have thought the same thing.

    Thanks for the recipe! Sounds yummy. I haven’t tried pepper jelly yet, now I have a reason.

    Also, thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. biz319
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    That story made me laugh out loud!

    That recipe is definitely unique!

    We just had a potluck at work and a woman had a jar of jalapeno jelly to which she added frozen meatballs. Mixed them together, put them in the crock pot and three hours later, spicy goodness!

    Its amazing what you can do with a few ingredients!

    Happy Friday!

  5. Kate
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    This looks terrific. I love pepper jelly. Come Thanksgiving, try this leftovers sandwich: Dark bread, a smear of cream cheese on one side, a smear of pepper jelly on the other, and sliced leftover turkey, perhaps some stuffing and other goodies, inside. Yum!

  6. Joanna
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    i love leftovers, too. i always have a big pie of pie (or 2) as breakfast the next day. soo good.

  7. Karen
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Dr. Vas…HA! My sister is an RN and has worked in ICU and ER… she has some funny stories to tell! This ham recipe sounds so easy and good!

  8. kutiekare
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Great story! Was an RN earlier in my life. We love pepper jam. Here in the northeast, Kitchen Kettle Village in the Lancaster, PA area has the best. (No affiliation)

  9. Tanya
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    That story is hilarious! I probably would have thought the exact same thing at first!

  10. Shelly
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    My hubby would love this, he’s the one that always wants pineapple on his pizza ;)…and I know for sure her would looove those sliders. Thanks for stopping by my blog today, I’ll come back to the big red kitchen – I’m always looking for something new to make.
    BTW…very funny story, I chuckled all the way through.

  11. noble pig
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    That’s so nice looking and colorful. I ususally don’t make a ham at T-day but do a turkey and prime rib…but this is a great way to use up the ham!

  12. Kristen
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    ROFL – that sounds like a Grey’s moment 🙂 Too funny!
    The ham dish looks tasty… I love all of those flavors together!

  13. That Girl
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know how I feel about the jelly, but I LOVE the story!

  14. Joie de vivre
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    Ha ha ha ha….you think it would just be simpler for him to explain rather than repeat something you didn’t understand. I love it.

  15. Sheila
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    I think I would like to try this recipe now even before leftovers. It looks Hawaiian like and my family would enjoy something like that.

    I understand why you would think the doc was referring to something personal, they seem to be that way. I worked with doctors in offices and in the hospital lab. They always seemed to be trying to bring up that subject.

  16. Grace
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    too funny. i hope you have all these stories recorded somewhere–i’ll bet you could put together a book. 🙂
    meanwhile, i was given some pepper jelly recently and i hadn’t the slightest idea what to do with it. now i know. 🙂

  17. bigredkitchen
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    Theresa- Glad to have cracked you up, thanks for the comment!

    Meg- Yes it is like a Hawaiian ham!

    Ingrid- It was too easy to think that!

    biz319- I think pepper jelly makes a lot of nice dishes with its sweet spiciness.

    KAte- I will remember that sandwich sounds great! Thanks for telling it to me.

    Joanna- Oooh a Thanksgiving pie sounds good!

    kutiekare- Love Ktichen Kettle village, thanks for stopping by!

    Tnaya- Easy to think it!

    Shelly- You have a lovely blog! The story still makes me laugh too. I had so much fun!

    noble pig- it is a great way to use up ham very spicy!

    Kristen- I had a lot of Grey’s momments, just not rated R. Just more funny momments!

    That Girl- The jelly adds some heat and sweet. Very Hawaiian!

    Joie- They did not like to explain things, they were more into embarrassing me!

    Sheila- I think your family would like this recipe. Made your waffles today, they were great! Yes they did like to gear the conversation in that direction a lot!

    Grace- The stories are in my head for now trying to get out. Some day!

  18. Kevin
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    Ham and pineapple is a great flavour combo and the pepper jam sounds good as well.

    Posted November 24, 2010 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for linking up to This Week's Cravings. Next week will be Crock Pot recipes, hope to see you linking up again soon! 🙂

  20. Hélène
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    I am dying laughing at ur ICU horror story

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