Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ham and Cheese Scallop Potatoes

I'm back home from my long road trip to Montana and back, but I haven't been able to keep up with my blogging the way that I would like. I figure the best way to get caught up is to just start, and keep going. So, here is me starting . . . .
   While visiting my in-laws we had the need to use some ham. My mom-in-law suggested doing scalloped potatoes with ham. There's nothing wrong with that. In my book, any ham goes with any potato. They just love each other that way - they are compatible no matter what. 
  So, nothing left to do now but cook them. This turned out to be a collaboration meal. Both my mother-in-law and I were working on this dish simultaneously. She makes scalloped potatoes differently than I do but that's o.k. The coming together worked out nicely.  The sliced potatoes and chunks of ham cooked beautifully in a creamy sauce, and topped with cheese of course. When it was done it was bubbly and brown. Russet potatoes would have been better to use than the reds we had, but it still worked out fine.

Here's what we did:

I washed some potatoes (I only ended up using 7 - about 1 per person).

Then sliced the potatoes 1/4-1/8 inch thick. This would be much easier to do if you are blessed with a mandolin. My in-laws are not (at least not to my knowledge). A knife worked o.k. too.

I then generously buttered a casserole dish and placed one layer of potatoes, slightly overlapping.

I sprinkled on some salt - potatoes love salt,

and some black pepper.

Next came the ham. I probably cut up about 3 cups. I sliced it off the whole ham, and then cut it into chunks. Uniformity isn't so important here.

The ham pieces got sprinkled over the salt and peppered potatoes, and the layers were repeated again. (You could also add cheese to every layer if that tickles your fancy.)


salt, pepper and ham.

While I was assembling, my mom-in-law worked on the sauce. She used a can of condensed cream of chicken soup, about 1/2 can of milk and the same amount of sour cream.

The sauce was mixed together and poured over the top layer of the casserole (you begin and end with the potatoes).

The top is covered with cheese - about a cup,

and it is covered and placed into a 350F oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

When it's done it looks like this. The cheese is melted, the edges are browned, and it's bubbly.

I checked the potatoes by inserting a fork into one of the larger slices. If it goes in a comes out easily, it's done!

It might not be the prettiest dish to look at on the plate, but it's certainly tasty! (I think my father-in-law even ate some of the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.)

Here's the recipe:

7 small to medium potatoes, washed and sliced 1/4-1/8 inch thick
butter (to grease the casserole dish)
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
3 cups of ham, cut into chucks/cubes
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 said can of sour cream
1/2 said can of milk
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter a casserole dish (I think I used a round 2 qt dish). Lay down one layer of potatoes, slightly overlapping. Salt and pepper the potato layer. Sprinkle on 1 cup of ham. Repeat the layers two more times, ending with potatoes on top. Pepper the layer of potato slices on top. Mix together the soup, milk and sour cream until smooth and pour over the casserole. Cover with cheese. Put a lid on the casserole and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

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