Icelandic Asparagus & Ham Bake

Total Time
45mins
Prep
15 mins
Cook
30 mins

This tasty & versatile dish is very popular in Iceland & uses common ingredients. It is ideal for a brunch, luncheon entree or potluck occasion & also works for a dinner meal when combined w/a salad & crusty bread. Another popular variation skips the use of bread + the reserved liquids & combines the remaining ingredients to use as a filling for tartlet shells that can be served as a starter course or brunch & luncheon entree ... hence its versatility. I hope you will give this dish a try & enjoy it as we do here in Iceland. :-)

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • 4 slices sandwich bread (white or wheat, lrg size & not thin-sliced, cut or torn in roughly 3/4 in pieces)
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 12 lb ham (diced, Deli-type pkg is fine & a larger or smaller amt is fine as well)
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 (8 ounce) can mushrooms (stems & pieces, chopped, drained & liquid reserved)
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can asparagus (cut spears, drained & liquid reserved)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (finely shredded)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) w/oven rack placed in the center position of the oven.
  2. Lightly grease a 9-in rd baking dish (or spray w/PAM type spray) & set aside.
  3. Place cut or torn bread pieces in a lrg mixing bowl & add liquid reserved from draining the mushrooms & asparagus.
  4. Allow bread/liquid mixture to sit for a short time while liquid is absorbed & stir as needed (May add milk if more liquid is required to completely moisten the bread pieces, but it is unlikely to be needed.).
  5. Add eggs to bread mixture & mix well.
  6. Add cream cheese, ham, mayo, mushrooms & asparagus to the bread mixture & mix very well to combine (This will break up the asparagus pieces & is what you want to happen).
  7. Pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle surface evenly w/shredded cheddar cheese & use your hand to press it lightly into the surface.
  8. Bake for 30-40 min or till golden brown & tests done using a sharp knife in the center. Tent w/foil as needed during baking if browning faster than expected. Serve at once or set aside at rm temp & reheat in microwave as needed.
  9. NOTE: Seasonings of choice can be added to suit individual preferences (esp pepper & garlic). My experience was the combo of canned mushrooms & asparagus + the reserved liquid used + the ham meant that no added salt was needed.