The Cycle of Ham

With the whole family coming in for the holidays, heaven forbid we’d run low on food. One of the provisions was a large spiral sliced ham, at a terrific price. I tossed it in the freezer.

That was a month or two ago. Since then, that slowly dwindling ham has made a few cycles back and forth from the freezer, to the refrigerator, the table, and back again. On each succeeding appearance, my smiles of anticipation have become more of a grimace.

I pulled the last pound or so out today. I eyed it suspiciously, trying to determine how to best mask its all-too-familiar flavor into something new and exciting. As I spied the leftover King’s Hawai’ian rolls, the perfect recipe dawned on me: it was time for ham salad. Served with crunchy potato chips, that grimace turned back into a smile.


2 cups leftover ham, chopped in a food processor

1 cup finely diced celery

2 TBS finely minced sweet onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

1⁄4 cup sweet pickle relish, drained

1/4 cup finely chopped green olives (w/pimiento OK)

1⁄2 cup good quality mayonnaise

couple of dashes Frank’s or other hot sauce

King’s Hawaiian rolls

Sea salt potato chips

Warm the King’s Hawai’ian rolls in a 200º oven as you mix the ham salad. Spoon the finished salad into the rolls and serve with potato chips. Never hurt anybody to put a few potato chips right on the sandwich, or even lay a slice of Swiss cheese on there.

A frosty beer helps you forget exactly how long you’ve had that ham.   

 Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel, PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and wrote a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.