Deliciously Easy: Air-Fryer Ham, Cheese, and Leek Bake Recipe

When it comes to getting the most out of your butcher’s counter investment, a large ham is a true kitchen asset. Its versatility is unmatched, and today, we’ll delve into a delightful recipe that showcases its potential while helping you make the most of leftover ham. This delectable creation is inspired by the ‘Budget Air-Fryer Cookbook’ by Jenny Tschiesche, ensuring a cost-effective and scrumptious meal. So, let’s dive into the world of Air-Fryer Ham, Cheese, and Leek Bake and uncover the secrets of making the most out of your ham.


Ingredients (Serves 2)

Cheesy baked leeks with ham recipe | delicious. magazine

  • 2 leeks
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 7 oz. (200 g) leftover cubed ham
  • 3½ oz. (100 g) slightly stale bread, torn into chunks
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ tsp. mustard powder (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated or shredded Parmesan
  • ½ cup grated or shredded Cheddar

Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Preparing the Leeks

  1. Slice each leek lengthways, then into semi-circles about ¾ inches thick.
  2. Rinse the leeks thoroughly and place them into a heatproof dish suitable for your air-fryer.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and a ¼ teaspoon of salt to the dish.
  4. Preheat the air-fryer to 350ºF and then add the dish to it.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring twice during the cooking process.

Step 2: Assembling the Bake

  1. Place the slightly stale bread in the base of another heatproof dish that fits your air-fryer.
  2. Add the cooked leeks and ham to the bread, then sprinkle ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper over the top.

Step 3: Creating the Mixture

  1. In a separate bowl, mix together 3 eggs, ⅔ cup of cream, ¾ cup of milk, and ½ teaspoon of mustard powder (optional).
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of grated or shredded Parmesan to the mixture.
  3. Slowly pour this mixture into the dish, ensuring it seeps into all the nooks and crannies of the bread, leeks, and ham.

Step 4: The Final Touch

  1. Preheat the air-fryer to 325ºF.
  2. Add the dish to the preheated air-fryer and cook for 12–14 minutes.
  3. After 7 minutes, sprinkle ½ cup of grated or shredded Cheddar over the top.
  4. Allow it to continue cooking until perfection is achieved.

Serve your Air-Fryer Ham, Cheese, and Leek Bake either hot or cold, and revel in the sumptuous flavors that arise from this creative use of leftover ham.

This culinary masterpiece, drawn from the ‘Budget Air-Fryer Cookbook’ by Jenny Tschiesche, demonstrates how a humble ham can transform into a gourmet experience. By following these straightforward steps, you can effortlessly create a delightful dish that is both delicious and budget-friendly.

So, next time you’re at the butcher’s counter, consider investing in a large ham. With the Air-Fryer Ham, Cheese, and Leek Bake in your repertoire, you’ll have a versatile, crowd-pleasing recipe at your fingertips, ensuring that no ham goes to waste. Enjoy your culinary journey with Air-Fryer Ham, Cheese, and Leek Bake!

Note: All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Common Questions on Perfecting Air-Fryer Ham, Cheese, and Leek Bake

Can You Put Cheese in an Air Fryer?

In short, yes, you can cook cheese in the air fryer. However, there’s a simple rule to follow: be smart about it. When using your air fryer for cheese, keep these tips in mind:

  • Moderation is Key: Cheese can be air-fried in small amounts to achieve that delightful crispy texture.
  • Prevent Oozing: Ensure that the cheese cannot ooze onto the air fryer’s interior, as this can lead to sticking.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy air-fried cheese without any hassle, savoring its crispy and gooey goodness.

Why Can’t You Cook Cheese in an Air Fryer?

The reason you should avoid cooking cheese in an air fryer is because of its low melting point. Here’s why:

  • Low Melting Point: Most cheeses have a low melting point, causing them to begin melting in the air fryer before they can achieve that sought-after crispy exterior while remaining soft inside.

As a result, it’s best to steer clear of cooking cheese in the air fryer, as it’s challenging to get the desired texture without over-melting.

What 5 Foods Should You Not Put in an Air Fryer?

When it comes to using your air fryer, certain foods are best avoided to ensure optimal results. Here are five foods that you should steer clear of when using your air fryer:

  1. Battered Foods: Avoid placing foods with wet batter in the air fryer, as it can result in uneven cooking.
  2. Fresh Greens: Leafy greens like spinach may cook unevenly in an air fryer due to the high-speed air circulation.
  3. Whole Roasts: Cooking large roasts in an air fryer may lead to uneven cooking and a less desirable outcome.
  4. Cheese: Melting cheese in an air fryer can be problematic as it may melt too quickly and not achieve the desired texture.
  5. Raw Grains: Air frying raw grains is generally not recommended, as it may not yield the expected results.

By avoiding these foods, you can make the most of your air fryer while ensuring your dishes turn out perfectly.

Why Can’t You Put Pasta in an Air Fryer?

Cooking pasta in an air fryer isn’t recommended due to the appliance’s primary cooking method. Here’s why:

  • Boiling or Steaming Limitations: Air fryers are designed for high-speed air circulation and crisp, dry cooking methods. They lack the capacity to boil or steam foods effectively. Pasta, like raw grains, requires boiling in water to cook properly.

As a result, it’s best to stick to traditional methods for cooking pasta to ensure it’s perfectly cooked and not underutilize your air fryer.

Can I Put Aluminum Foil in an Air Fryer?

Yes, it is safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer, provided you adhere to these three fundamental guidelines:

  • Avoid Heating Element Contact: Never allow the foil to come into direct contact with the air fryer’s heating element, as this can pose a risk.

  • Weight the Foil: Ensure that the foil is properly weighted to prevent it from blowing around in the air fryer basket during cooking.

  • Avoid Acidic Ingredients: Steer clear of using aluminum foil with acidic ingredients, as they can cause the foil to leach onto your food.

By following these simple rules, you can confidently use aluminum foil in your air fryer without any concerns.

What Can Ruin an Air Fryer?

An air fryer’s longevity and performance can be compromised by certain practices. Here’s one key factor to avoid:

  • Moisture in the Basket: Returning a damp basket to the air fryer can lead to various issues, including prolonged heating times and potential damage to internal components. Remember, water and electricity are not a harmonious combination.

By steering clear of moisture in the air fryer, you can preserve its functionality and enjoy consistent, reliable results.

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