Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

The Monday after Easter my mom used to chop the leftover ham into cubes and toss it with a box of scalloped potatoes for dinner. It was a delicious way to use the leftover ham without eating ham sandwiches for weeks.
This Easter when Jarrod and I were talking about what we'd do and eat, I knew immediately I wanted to make scalloped potatoes and ham. Jarrod said he wasn't a scalloped potato fan (something about the texture...) but I convinced him that ham, potatoes, cheese, and butter was delicious no matter what the texture. Couple that with the fact that I don't have a lot of family traditions and I convinced him it was a great idea.

I scoured pinterest for good recipes and finally settled on this one. I adapted it slightly - I made it gluten-free, added ham (and bacon!) and used gouda with the cheddar. What I didn't do was add salt. I should have known better - potatoes beg for salt! We salted after it was done, but it would have been much better if the potatoes were salted before baking.

Here's what I did...

To make the sauce I used bacon. First I cooked 4 slices of bacon, retaining the fat for later. Once it was cooked to crispy, I removed it from the pan. I put the fat back in the pan and added 2 tablespoons of butter. Once that was melted, I added a whole chopped onion. I usually chop the onion in the food processor and to make things easier, I added the garlic to that as well. Worked just fine!
I cooked the onions in the fat for about 3-4 minutes before added 3 tablespoons of corn starch. This began to thicken the sauce. Once it was mixed well, I added two cups of 2% milk. I continued to stir the sauce as it started to bubble. As it thickened, I removed it from the heat and added 2 cups of shredded cheese.
It's time to layer the potatoes! I used about 2 small potatoes for each layer, overlapping slightly. At this point you should add salt - just a pinch after the first and last layer.
Between each potato layer, add chopped chives. I copped them with scissors right into the dish. You can add sparingly or liberally depending on your taste.

I added the ham on the third layer and the chopped bacon after the fourth (and final) layer. Once I had the potatoes, chives, ham, and bacon layered, I poured on the sauce. I shook it up a little bit to distribute the sauce. It seemed very thick and I was worried that it wouldn't make it to the bottom of the pan, but it did!
I added about 1/4 cup of cheese to the top and baked at 350 for one hour.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Adapted from Family Feedbag

4 pieces of bacon, cooked with fat reserved
7 ounces of ham steak or leftover ham
2 tablespoons of butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tbsp corn starch
2 cups 2% milk
2 1/4 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and gouda), divided
1/3 cup chives, snipped
8 small yukon gold potatoes, skins on, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13" casserole dish.

Heat the bacon fat and butter in a large pan. When hot, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add corn starch to thicken the sauce and whisk well. Add milk and stir until thick. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of cheese. Set aside.

Layer potato slices in the 9x13" pan. Between each layer of potatoes, add a few pinches of chives. After the first layer and the last layer, add a pinch of salt. Add bacon and ham before final layer. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and shake slightly. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and bake for 1 hour or until cheese is brown and bubbling. Enjoy!
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2 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, this sounds so good! I wanted to get a ham for Easter, but Andy declined. Now I wish I had to have leftovers for this yummy dish.

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  2. It was incredible! I am not a huge ham fan so we didn't add much. Wes even ate it, although only every other time we tried to feed it to him...kid keeps us on our toes! :)

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