Scalloped Potatoes (with Ham)

3 Nov

I have had some good and bad luck with these.  They always have great flavor but I recently changed the baking time because so often they would take an extra 40 minutes over what it called for.  Because this is such a great comfort food, it is one of my go-to’s when I am transporting a meal for a friend or shut-in, and when I’m on a schedule like that, the extra cooking time just doesn’t work.  My options: be late or serve chewy potatoes.  Believe me, nobody wants to crunch their way through scalloped potatoes, so my advice to you is slice the potatoes as thinly as possible and don’t rely solely on the baking time:  test them before removing from the oven.

One more note on preparation.  I have a habit of adding an extra clove or two of garlic over what the recipe calls for.  For some reason,the garlic can become very over-powering in this dish and I have found that one clove is just right.

This makes a great accompaniment to roasted meats but I usually add cooked, chopped ham and prepare this as a one dish main dish.

UPDATE: To cut down on the preparation time and eliminate the possibility of underdone potatoes, I have begun boiling the potatoes before adding them to the sauce.  It also allows for a one pot meal if I boil and bake them in the same pan.

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 medium potatoes or about 8-10 small red potatoes
  • chopped, cooked ham (optional)

Slice potatoes thinly and, in an oven-safe pot, boil them in salted water for ten minutes or less, until they are softened but still firm.  Remove them onto a plate. For sauce, in the same pan, cook onion and garlic in butter till tender but not brown. Stir in flour, pepper and salt. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly.

Gently stir in ham and potatoes to the pot.

Bake, covered, in a 350F oven for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe and photo by me, My Little Food Spot

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