WHEN EASTER HAS PASSED…
All this talk about baked hams and scalloped potatoes
has left me craving Easter food.
Not those chocolate eggs
but the real food of which childhood memories are made.
I’m talking about rich creamy scalloped potatoes..
I don’t have my Mom’s recipe
but I do remember that she used to also make the best new potatoes
in a creamy parsley sauce. So I’m adding parsley.
I’m not sure if she added cheese to her sauce – probably not –
but nothing adds richness to a basic Béchamel sauce than cheese…so add it I did.
And to help use up some of that leftover ham, I added a few slices.
A complete meal in one dish (just add a little green on the side)
Cooked not in a traditional oven but – you guessed it – the Galley Kat’s stove top Omnia.
HAM & SCALLOPED POTATO CASSEROLE
4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8″)
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (stems included, they have lots of flavour too)
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup each milk and heavy cream
(or sub 2 cups evaporated milk to cut down on fats & calories)
I would suggest considering not using salt as the ham can be salty
¼ teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of cayenne
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Few grinds fresh nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
ham sliced thinly (enough to cover 3 layers of your casserole)
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese, divided
Panko crumb topping (link to my crispy topping)
Grease the cooking pan of the Omnia stove top oven
or for you oven-lucky people an 8″ x 11″ casserole and set aside.
Melt butter in medium saucepan.
Add onions and sauté until onions start to become translucent.
Add milk, cream and seasoning including thyme and parsley.
This may seem like a backward step for making the usual Bechamel sauce (adding flour first),
but simmering the milk and cream ever so slightly
gives time to infuse some of that wonderful buttery onion flavour into the mix.
Whisk flour with a couple tablespoons of water and add slowly to the milk mixture.
Stir until it begins to thicken then add 1-1/2 cups of the cheddar
Stir until cheese melts into sauce then remove from heat.
Start by ladling 1/4 of sauce into the bottom of the pan.
Layer 1/4 of the potatoes shingle style over the sauce, covering the bottom.
Cover that with 1/3 of the ham.
Next cover with 1/4 of the sauce and another 1/4 of potatoes.
Repeat with 1/3 ham, another 1/4 of the sauce, another 1/4 of the potato.
Top with last 1/3 of ham and 1/4 Swiss cheese.
Last 1/4 of potatoes.
Last portion of sauce.
Have I included all the 1/4’s and 1’3’s?
Sprinkle top with 1/2 of the remaining cheddar and Swiss.
Sprinkle a layer of panko crumbs, last of the cheese and another sprinkling of panko.
This layering of cheese and crumbs gives a wonderful crispy result.
Bake in Omnia oven for 1 hour on medium low heat
or in conventional oven uncovered at 350 ° for 1 hour.
This may seem like a lot of effort for a boat dinner
but I used just one saucepan, a grater, a ladle, cutting board and a knife
(I usually eye-ball my measurements but sometimes I use a measuring cup or two)
and keep in mind that I will have some yummy leftovers for another meal.
All cooked in the Omnia.
One of my many Galley Kat mottos:
‘Cook once, enjoy twice’