Scalloped Potatoes

Left Over Ham

In addition to bean soup, if you still have some left over ham you can make scalloped potatoes with it.  Growing up on a farm country meat and potatoes diet and having to extend our meat to feed a family of 10, this was a common dish at our house.  So I thought I’d share it with you.  

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Ham pieces (You don’t have to have left overs, they now sell ham in chucks in meat department also)
Potatoes of your choice
2% Milk (You can use whole, but skim lacks flavor so I’d stay away from it)
Mild Cheddar Cheese (I like mine cheesy so do not use sparingly)
Grated onion or onion powder
Salt and pepper (Taste before salting.  You may not need it at all)
Corn starch
I like to use russets for scalloped potatoes because they are starchier.  I clean and peel enough to fill the baking dish I’m going to use.  Sometimes I don’t peel them.  I really like the skin so it depends on if I’m feeding company.  I might fuss a little more and peel them. Slice them as thin as you can or you can use a grater so they are more consistent.  Let the potatoes soak in water while making the sauce so they do not turn black. 
In a sauce pan, heat over medium heat about 2 to 3 cups of 2% milk (3 cups if you are filling a 9 x 13 baking dish), a package of grated mild cheddar cheese (save a little back), grated onion (or onion powder to taste) and chunks of ham.  I add any ham juices I might have for extra flavor.  I make a slurry of 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and water and stir until it is all liquid. When the milk mixture just begins to simmer, add your cornstarch slurry and stir until it thickens. Grate a little nutmeg into your béchamel (white) sauce to add a little more flavor.  Taste one last time for seasoning.  I’m not afraid to use pepper in this dish.  Potatoes just seem to demand pepper.  Salt if it needs it. 
Drain your sliced potatoes well and put in a sprayed baking dish.  Pour your béchamel mixture over the potatoes until they are all well coated and stir it a bit so it is well distributed.  Put in an oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.  About 15 minutes before taking out of the oven, top with some more cheddar cheese and let brown on top.

This week end I made dried apples in my oven, so I’ll share that with you tomorrow.

Be happy and God bless you and yours.  

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