Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ham and Potato Bake

I meant to post this weeks ago when I first made it but I've been dealing with some health issues.  I hope I can remember all the modifications that I made to the original recipe because the one I made came out fantastic.  The original recipe is in an ancient cookbook I inherited from my Mom, The Pillsbury Family Cookbook published in 1963.  They loved their pimentos back then!

Everything except the cheese sauce can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for a day or two.  Just heat the ingredients up in the microwave before using them in the recipe.

serves 3-4

~2 c cooked ham (I just cooked up a ham steak that I got prepackaged at the supermarket)
1-2c peas
2 medium potatoes
1t parsley
1t marjoram
1/4c diced onion (frozen is fine)
2T butter
2T olive oil
1-2T corn starch
2c milk
1/2c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4c  shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4c grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat oven to 350F and grease a  2qt casserole dish.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into bite sized pieces.  Boil in water with peas until just fork tender. Drain.  It is better if the potatoes are just slightly under done since they will continue to cook in the oven.
  3. Fry up ham steak and then cut into bite sized cubes removing extra fat and center bone.  Set aside.
  4. In same frying pan add butter and oil.  Fry up onions.  Use a spoon to free up bits stuck to bottom of pan.
  5. While onions are cooking, mix 1/4c of the milk with the cornstarch, stir until well mixed and set aside.
  6. When onions are soft, add remainder of milk along with the cheeses to pan.  Also add herbs and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir constantly and do NOT let it come to a boil. 
  7. Once cheese is melted, whisk the cornstarch mixture again to make sure it isn't lumpy and slowly add it to cheese mix while stirring constantly.  Continue to stir until mixture thickens and immediately remove from heat.
  8. Put potatoes, peas and ham in casserole dish.  Pour cheese mixture over it.
  9. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

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