Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Early in my high school days, my mom made scalloped potatoes.

From scratch.

I had no idea such a thing existed up until that point. All I knew were boxed scalloped potatoes, which tasted exactly the same as the boxed au gratin potatoes to me. And, honestly, I wasn't a huge fan.

So, when she came to the table with something similar to this:

Thick cut potatoes and diced ham soaking up  luscious creamy sauce
I was a bit surprised. There weren't any paper thin, slightly under-cooked potatoes (the re-hydrating process never really brings those dehydrated potatoes back to their former glory) swimming in an unnaturally colored orange sauce.

Instead, there were thick slices of tender russet potatoes from our garden. Little bits of onion, garlic, and mushroom. Large chunks of diced, meaty ham. And a topping it all off, just the right amount of freshly shredded cheddar cheese.

It was so flavorful. And the leftovers were even better. It was a recipe I had to add to my favorites cookbook when I moved away from home.

It remains of my favorite winter comfort foods to this day. Thank you, Mom!

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Mom's Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Serves 6

8-10 oz smoked ham, diced large
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thick
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, diced fine
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup*
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Boil potatoes, onion, and garlic for 12-15 minutes. Drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl combine soup, sour cream, garlic salt, garlic powder, Italian herbs, cayenne, and pepper. Stir in half the cheese.

In a prepared casserole dish, layer potatoes, ham, and sour cream/soup mix. **Top with remaining cheese.

Microwave 5 minutes. Cover and bake 20 minutes until bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes to thicken before serving.

*If you are gf, be sure your cream of mushroom soup is gluten free. 

** My mom layers 1/2 the potatoes, 1/2 the ham, 1/2 the sauce, then repeat. I choose to do a single layer for quicker prep. In the dish in the photo I simply folded everything together and poured it in. Whichever way you choose is fine, just do what works for you. :)

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