Happy Friday my friends!
This has been a crazy and fun week. I was a little MIA this week because I was helping plan Kellen’s Fall Fest for his school. The party was last night, and went great! It was my first event I had an opportunity to be part of since he started Kindergarten, and it went really well.
There is one solution when you are tired and need a day of television, a walk outside, and comfort food. That solution is Pioneer Woman’s Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. I have made a few scalloped potato recipes, and this one is my favorite because it is tried and tested, and it is decadently delicious.
I know some people think of scalloped potatoes to be something that is made after Easter or Christmas, but I love to have scalloped potatoes in the fall. To me, it is such a cozy meal, and a perfect way to hunker down at home. This recipe is my favorite because it is very simple, and can be prepped in advance to make assembly even faster. I like to use a skin on russet potato. Skins are of course optional, but I like the rustic feel they give the meal. I also like to dice my ham into smaller pieces, but if you prefer larger that will work fine. The original recipe calls for cream and half-and-half, but I use whole milk versus the half-and-half with great results. I use a little more flour to thicken the sauce because the milk is a little thinner.
This recipe also advises a mandolin and I prefer this method over slicing by hand because it results in more uniform slices of potatoes. If you do not have a mandolin hand slicing works just fine, but make an effort to have your slices uniform and make sure not to cut them too thick because it will result in longer baking time
The cheese blend is cheddar and monterey jack, and is easily to use one type of a combination of other cheeses. However, I would make sure that whatever cheese you prefer melts well, and somewhat uniformly to the other cheese you use. For example, I am not sure using parm and cheddar would give the same gooey texture as cheddar and monterey jack.
I mean, look at that delicious crust….how can you resist? Plus, the gooey cheese, salty savory ham, and sliced potatoes warm and bubbly ready to eat under there. Perfect meal on a cold fall evening.
We are enjoying a relaxing day today because the kids are off school. There was some excitement because we are finally getting the gas line put in and I can order my gas range! I have cooked with gas for a long time, and when we moved our new house did not have gas, and we has to get a line put in. However, that was to be done after our kitchen remodel and since that is finally done I can place my order, and I am so excited.
Are you a gas range devotee or do you use electric (or maybe you don’t care)?
Pioneer Woman's Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Servings 8 people
- 3 lbs Russet Potatoes ,
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cups Diced Ham
- 1 1/2 cups Whole Milk
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/3 cup Flour
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish with butter.
- Heat butter in a large rimmed skillet. Add diced onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add diced ham and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine milk and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for a minute until it is no longer cold. Whisk in flour and black pepper. Set aside.
- Mix both shredded cheeses together. Set aside.
- Using a mandolin or slicer, slice potatoes into 1/8-inch slices (very thin.) Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish. Next, sprinkle on 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture, then 1/3 of the cheese, then pour on 1/3 of the cream/milk mixture. The potatoes can be sliced by hand, but make sure they are thin as it will impact cooking time.
- Repeat this layering process twice more and end with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Allow the casserole to sit on the counter to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Adapted from Pioneer Woman