Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes

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This aint your regular cafeteria casserole, kids.

"Yammie, you know Mrs. M. is in the nursing home right now for rehab." Mom told me the other day.

"Oh, you mean that lady from church who makes the sour cream cookies?" I asked, mouth watering at the very thought of those little white clouds of delight.

"Probably..." Mom replied, clearly affronted by my deluge of saliva, "But anyways, I think we should make her a meal." And by "we" she clearly meant me.

"I went to see her today," she went on, "she said she doesn't really like the cafeteria food there".

"Cafeteria food?!" I cried, "Horror of horrors! That sweet old cookie making machine being sustained by nothing but spaghetti surprise and eggplant lasagna?! The thought is unthinkable. What does she want? I'll make her anything! Tell me, woman!"

"Well, she said scalloped potatoes sounded good."

"Bleh! Scalloped potatoes? They'll probably be serving the same thing at the cafeteria!"

"She said she wanted ham in them too."

"Bleh Bleh!! FINE."

So, I pattered away to the pantry to forage for some potatoes, muttering under my breath that I would make it awesome somehow.

And I did.

Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes

3 tablespoons butter
Half of a large white onion, chopped
2 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup flour
7 medium sized potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
1 cup chopped ham

Preheat the oven to 425ยบ.
Saute the onions and garlic in the butter on medium high heat. Turn down the heat to low and add the half and half, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk in the flour, making sure no lumps remain.
Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour a thin layer of the half and half mixture in the bottom of the pan. Top with a thin layer of about half of the potatoes. Top the potatoes with 1/2 cup of the ham. Top the ham with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Keep layer the ingredients until you're done. Make sure you end with cheese on top. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the top is bubbly and browned.

Then you can be classy like me and serve them on your very finest cement because it's the only place that there's still enough natural light left to snap a photo. 
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