Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

I've had this blog for almost two years, and I can't believe I have not yet posted my very favorite dish of all time.  This is a dish that I choose to have on my birthday or Mothers' Day even when I have the option of going out to eat at a restaurant.  Since being married, I haven't made it that often, because my husband is not a fan of "casseroles."  He'll eat this, but it's not his favorite.  The reason I haven't made it in the last 6 months or so is that I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, and this is a very salty dish.  The saltiness is probably one of the main reasons that it's my favorite, I'm sure.
This is another of my mother Marilyn's recipes.  She probably got it from her mom, but I just know it as being my mom's.  It is my ultimate comfort food.  It's hot, potatoey, creamy, salty, meaty, and the top and edges that gets browned and caramelized just add another layer of flavor and texture that satisfies my soul.    It's probably better to have this on a cold winter's night, but it will be just as delicious on this warm Mothers' Day.  Plus, I'll be able to take pictures in natural light today, which I cannot do at dinnertime in the dead of winter.  Happy Mothers' Day to me.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Ingredients:
  • 7 medium russet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cans of 2% milk* (use the soup can)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ham steak
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel, rinse, and slice potatoes into 1/6-inch slices.
Trim and cut the ham steak into 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream of chicken soup, milk, pepper, and salt. (Note, you CAN use milk with a lower fat content, but the final product will not be as thick and creamy.)
Butter the bottom and sides of a casserole dish with about 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Layer half of the potatoes on the bottom of the buttered dish, making sure to cover up any blank spots.  Layer on the ham.  Layer on the remaining potatoes.  At this point, if you find that you can still see the ham, you might want to peel and slice another medium potato to cover ham completely with potatoes.
Slice the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and spread over the top of the potatoes.
Pour the soup and milk mixture all over the top of the potatoes.  Jiggle dish slightly to evenly distribute the liquid into all the nooks and crannies.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 2 hours, or until top is browned and liquid is thick and bubbly.
Serves 6



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