Enhanced Scalloped Potatoes & Ham - © cpnscdn.com via Pintrest

Leftover Rhapsody: Scalloped Potato Entrée

I eluded to one of my fave leftover recipes in my Friday Post about lack of inspiration at supper time. I didn’t make it then because my leftover New Year’s Ham was deep frozen and time was short. But I did make it last night, and I even added some new goodies to make it a true one-dish meal!

Enhanced Scalloped Potatoes & Ham - Lg - © cpnscdn.com via PintrestJust like mine, except these guys didn’t use mushrooms. I feel Mushrooms are essential
to the depth of the umami component of the dish’s flavour profile.

My Leftover Scalloped Potato Casserole has been a faithful standby for me in the post-Holiday weeks since I first started hosting Family Feasts. It’s easy and hearty, and – if it’s at all possible – it tastes even better than the original Potato side dish.

Here’s how to do it…

I had about 1/3 of a Pyrex Lasagna dish of Scalloped Potatoes left over after my New Year’s Festive Feast this year. I froze it and forgot about it – until late last week. You know the story. I also had a big chunk of Roast Ham left over and it, too, was frozen. I reasoned – as many other cooks have before me – that, is if Ham and Scalloped Spuds are best buddies on a plate, they should naturally be best buddies on a casserole. Lots of cooks add Ham to their Scalloped Potatoes when they make the dish. I add a bunch of other things and follow-up with Ham for the ‘encore’ incarnations.

My basic Scalloped Potatoes

I start with Russet (Idaho) Potatoes sliced 1/8 in. / 4-5 mm thick and a generous amount of Bechamel (White) Sauce. I grease a suitable Pyrex baking dish generously and lay in a layer of large Potato slices all over the bottom, overlapping so that there are no visible holes. Then, I pour in enough Bechamel Sauce to cover the Potatoes. On top of that, I place a layer of slivered Onions, a layer of Grated Swiss or Provolone Cheese and another layer of Potatoes. I repeat those layers ending up with a final layer of Cheese on top of the last layer of Potatoes.

This thing needs lots of time to cook, to make sure the Potatoes are fully cooked (fork tender) in the middle. I usually let it cook, covered with foil, for at least an hour before trying a toothpick test on the spuds in the very middle of the dish. I can take an hour and a half at 325 F or 350 F for the dish to be properly cooked.

Scalloped Potatoes Encore

First, I scoop out the leftover Scalloped Potatoes into a smaller baking dish. A 9 in. / 23 cm square or round one will do the trick.I cover the new dish with plastic wrap and microwave it on high for 10 minutes. This loosens the sauce and cheese in the Scalloped Potatoes so additional ingredients can easily be folded in.

Then, I dice up two cups (or more, if you wish) of leftover Ham and a few nice Mushrooms. Cubes 1/2 in. / 1.5 cm in size are good for both. I also shave the florets off of a fist-sized head of Broccoli. You can use leftover Asparagus to great advantage in place of the Broccoli! All of these I fold gently into the softened Potatoes. Then, I arrange the mixture in an even layer in the dish, cover with Grated Swiss Cheese and cover with foil. An hour at 350 F should do it. Watch for bubbling along the sides of the baking dish (this is why we use glass!) and check for temperature in the middle of the dish. You want at least 165 F.

Then, dig in!

It’s easy, delicious and more-ish. If you’re feeding four at supper, you won’t have any leftovers left over!

~ Maggie J.