From my previous post you know that I use the ham bone from my Easter ham to make bean soup. Now this recipe will show you what I do with all the leftover ham.
This dish is pure comfort food for me. It’s one of my most favorite meals from childhood. Problem is that for years, each time I made it, I would do it differently (that’s because I’d call my mom the day after Easter each and every year and she would give me suggestions on how to make this dish, but I never wrote it down and would alter her recipe in the attempt to make it better or easier or quicker or whatever, and therefore it didn’t always turn out well nor exactly how I remembered it). So after years of making scalloped potatoes in various ways, I’ve finally found the way to make it that reminds me of my mom’s delicious after-Easter scalloped potatoes with ham, and I’ve written it down and now I only call my mom the day after Easter to ask how her Easter was, instead of bothering her for the recipe.
Scalloped Potatoes With Ham
Heat oven to 350F.
Butter a deep casserole dish.
Clean and slice 6-8 potatoes. I use medium size white potatoes.
Cut leftover ham into small cubes.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and whisk in 2 tablespoons flour.
When a nice paste is formed (takes about 1-2 minutes) lower heat and whisk in 2 cups whole milk.
Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Add a small shake of nutmeg.
Allow to heat through over low heat, stirring often.
In the buttered casserole dish, layer half the potato slices, then cover with all the ham.
Distribute about 1 cup shredded cheese over the potatoes and ham. (I use a combination of Monterey Jack and cheddar.)
Layer the remaining potatoes on top.
Pour heated white sauce over all.
Add 1 more cup of the cheese.
If the white sauce doesn’t cover all the potatoes, add extra milk to the casserole dish until the potatoes are completely covered. You may find you’ll need to add a cup or two of extra milk. (*Note: I could have added the extra milk before adding the cheese.)
Crush Ritz crackers on top. (No picture for this step … oops.)
Place casserole dish on a large baking sheet (to catch any liquid that bubbles over the edge of the casserole dish) and bake uncovered for about an hour. Depending on how deep your casserole dish is, you may need to bake for a bit longer than 1 hour. When a fork can go through the potatoes without much resistance it’s ready for the next step.
Raise oven temperature to 375F and bake for an additional 15 – 30 minutes, until it is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
This is the hardest part: Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Leftovers are terrific (if you manage to have any leftovers).
*Note: There isn’t a picture of a serving of this, because I am very impatient and couldn’t bother with taking photos before diving in. Sorry!
*Edited on 4/23/13 to increase baking time and to note the use of the baking sheet under the casserole dish.