Family · Family Favorites · Home

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham in comfort food for the soul.  My Mother often made a version of Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and I have made in in the crock pot for years.  I wanted a new version, and loved this recipe.

While perusing the reviews, several people added additional seasoning to the sauce, parboiled the potatoes, added broccoli, etc.  This is a solid base recipe that you can use to get creative.  In the photos below, I did not cover the dish while baking and it took a solid hour to cook.  It is delicious ad comforting…just what we all need!

SCALLOPED POTATOES WITH HAM

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
12 ounces 1/4 inch sliced baked ham, cubed
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking dish.
  • In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in milk. Return pan to heat and bring to a simmer while stirring. When sauce has thickened remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In a skillet, cook onions in melted butter until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread 1/3 of the white sauce in bottom of baking dish and top with half of the potatoes. Spread out half of the onions, ham, cheese and another third of the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Continue layering ingredients, ending with the remaining cheese on top. Bake, covered, for 45 mintues.  Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
New Favorite · New Traditions

Hungarian Goulash Soup

Hungarian Goulash is different from the Midwest Goulash I grew up with.  The Midwest version was always elbow macaroni, hamburger, tomatoes and sometimes, cheese. I experienced the traditional version in a Hungarian restaurant in Denver and again in Eastern Europe.  Goulash (Gulyasleves) is one of the national dishes of Hungary.  It reminds me of our traditional Beef Stew, although not as thick as stew and uses different spices.

This recipe is an adapted version of the recipe from a tour guide, Food Tour Budapest.  We had a marvelous tour of wonderful restaurants, meandering the streets of Budapest experiencing traditional food and drink in historic and unique restaurants.  How I wish I could travel again and experience such a tour.  Some day… In the meantime, I can recreate the food memories in my own kitchen.

HUNGARIAN GOULASH

2 tablespoons lard or cooking oil (I used Olive Oil)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika; add a bit of spicy paprika if desired
1 pound cubed beef stew meat or pork shoulder
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons caraway seed
4 cups water (I added a bit more as the goulash cooked)
1 whole red pepper, chopped
1 whole tomato, peeled and chopped (or a can of tomatoes)
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, halved and sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
Optional:  small bits of pasta

  • Add the lard or oil to the stew pot.
  • Add onions to the hot lard or oil.  Cook the onions until they are glossy and saucy.
  • Remove from the fire and add the paprika.  Mix with the onion.  Add a bit of water, to prevent from burning.
  • Add the meat cubes and put back on the fire.  Sprinkle with salt and caraway seed.  Add more or less, depending on your tastes
  • Add the chopped carrots and celery.
  • Once the meat has a bit of color, add water, chopped pepper and tomatoes. Lower heat to simmer and cover. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • After one and a half or two hours, check the meat. Add the chopped potatoes and cook through, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the pasta pieced (optional) when the potatoes are almost done.
  • Taste the broth and adjust seasoning as desired.

Serve with bread (white or rye).  Optional: add freshly ground paprika or spicy green pepper.

Recipe adapted from FoodTour Budapest and Hungarian Cooking Goulash Soup.

 

 

Family Favorites

Low Country Boil

Many years ago my husband’s family had a large family reunion on the North Carolina Beach.  Each family took turns cooking dinner.  My brother-in-law, Ron, and his wife, Cathy treated us to a Low Country Boil.  It was wonderful and something our family still loves.  While we are landlocked, we can still enjoy a good Low Country Boil.

LOW COUNTRY BOIL

5 quarts water
2 pounds Kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut in 1″ pieces
4 pounds small new red potatoes
6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked and cleaned
4 pounds fresh shrimp in the shell
1 red onion
Old Bay Seafood seasoning
Cocktail Sauce

Optional:  Add fresh, cleaned mussels or crab at the same time as the shrimp.

  • Bring 5 quarts water and 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning to a rolling boil in a large covered stockpot.
  • Add potatoes and onion; bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or
    until potatoes are tender.
  • Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with Old Bay Seasoning and cocktail sauce.
  • Serve all on large serving platters. Dig in!
Family Favorites · My Roots · Vegetarian

Fresh New Potatoes and Peas

Fresh New Potatoes and Peas were a summer treat on the Iowa farm.  My Mother would dig potatoes and shell peas from her large summer garden.  I cannot verify the origin of this recipe but Mom always said it had Dutch or Pennsylvania Dutch roots.

While I do not grow potatoes in my garden, I prepared with red potatoes from the grocery store and peas from my CSA weekly bounty.Fresh New Potatoes and Peas

This recipe can easily be prepared with frozen peas as well.  It’s a wonderful side dish with steak, hamburgers, or fish. My oldest daughter, Megan, suggested it would be great with a little Parmesan cheese.  I’ll be trying that next time!

FRESH NEW POTATOES AND PEAS

1 1/2 quarts new potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups new peas, cook until done
1 cup sweet cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup grated carrots (optional)
salt and pepper

  • Cover potatoes, peas, and carrots with water and cook until tender. Drain.
  • Combine cream and flour until smooth. Add to potatoes and peas and add butter, salt and sugar.
  • Cook and stir over medium-low heat until thickened.
Family Favorites · Holidays

St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage is an Irish-American tradition, not one commonly found in Ireland. None the less, it is a tradition many of us treasure and cook only 1 time a year. I prepare this dish in my trusty Crock Pot and it’s perfect every time. This time I chose to omit the carrots and go with a basic beef, potato, onion, and cabbage meal.

Pair this dish with Irish Soda Bread and a beer (green) and have yourself a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

1 raw corned beef roast (3-4 pounds)
1 head cabbage washed and cut into wedges
8 red skinned potatoes, washed
3 carrots (optional)
2-3 medium onions (optional)
1 cup water
salt and pepper

  • Place corned beef brisket in crock pot and top with vegetables, water, salt and pepper.

  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • If you like your cabbage a bit crisper, you can add the cabbage 2-3 hours before serving.

 

Czech Heritage · My Roots

Sauerkraut Soup

My Czech roots are precious to me and this week I enjoyed a hearty stock of Sauerkraut Soup.  This recipe was one of two recipes my Mother made and she was given this recipe by our dear Bohemian friend, Blanche.

I understand that many families serve a Sauerkraut Soup as a traditional Christmas Eve meal but I enjoy it anytime!

After the rich, sweet treats of the holidays, the hearty sauerkraut soup was a welcome change allowing me to walk down memory lane once again.

SAUERKRAUT SOUP

1 pint sauerkraut (add extra caraway seed if desired)
1 cup finely diced ham
1 quart cooked and drained diced potatoes
1 quart Milk (more or less)
chunk butter
1 egg yolk
1 heaping tablespoon of flour
salt and pepper
dill weed garnish (optional)

  • Put enough water on sauerkraut to simmer slowly with ham.
  • When tender, pour milk over and a chunk of butter. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Break egg yolk into small bowl and whisk.
  • Add flour and mix together.
  • Drop small pieces of the dough into the soup until cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
  • Add cooked, drained potatoes to the soup.
  • Heat until low boil. Serve or cool to serve next day. The flavor is even better the next day!
Gluten Free · New Favorite · Skinny

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Chicken is a new favorite recipe.  I love rosemary with chicken anyway so I knew this would be a winner!  The potatoes also roasted beautifully and complimented the chicken and sauce nicely.  I served this dish with my slow cooked green beans.

The leftovers were wonderful resulting in a fabulous chicken, pesto sandwich (see pesto recipe post of 10/19/12).

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 pound potatoes (small red-skinned) or large cubed potatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
1 clove smashed garlic
pinch red pepper flakes
juice of 2 lemons (reserve the squeezed half lemons)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water.  Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender; 8-12 minutes.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • Place the rosemary leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt on a cutting board. Mash the ingredients until a paste-like mixture. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and olive oil. Coat the chicken breasts in this mixture.
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken , cover and cook until browned. Turn the chicken and brown the other side.
  • Add the potatoes to the chicken and drizzle with the juice of the 2nd lemon and any remaining paste.
  • Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeeze lemon halve to the skillet.
  • Place skillet in preheated oven and roast, uncovered until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes.

Adapted from eatyourselfskinny Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

Family · Family Favorites · My Roots

Old Fashioned Roast Beef Dinner

I was spoiled rotten, at least food-wise, growing up on the Iowa farm.  Much of the meat my Mother cooked was either raised on our farm (chickens, ducks, hogs) or purchased from local farmers or butchers (beef).  We had a large chest freezer at the farm-house and it was always well stocked.  My Mother probably had a year’s supply of meat, vegetables, fruit, home-made breads and cookies.  She was ready, at a moment’s notice, to whip up a wonderful meal for friends and family that may drop by.

Roast Beef was a staple at our house and usually prepared in a cast iron dutch oven. The beef was local, flavorful and tender, always served with mashed potatoes and brown gravy (never from a can or box).  This week, I was craving Roast Beef and was anxious to try a Chuck Roast I purchased from a small, local market.

The beef lived up to my tough Iowa beef standards.  It was so moist and tender, you could cut it with a fork.

ROAST BEEF WITH BROWN GRAVY

  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add two tablespoons olive oil and brown a 3-4 pound roast on all sides until brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add 2 cups of water and reduce heat.  Cover tightly and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until tender.  Add water, as needed, to prevent the roast from sticking.
  • When the roast is tender, remove to platter and cover to keep warm.

  • In a covered container add about 1/4 cup flour and 3/4 cup water.  Stir or shake until flour is dissolved.  Pour the flour mixture into hot skillet with roast drippings.
  • Quickly whisk to blend the drippings with the flour mixture.  Cook until bubbling.
  • Add water from boiled potatoes to thin the gravy (or tap water).  Simmer for 3-4 minutes, adding additional liquid as needed.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable or your liking.

So yummy…just like Mom (or Grandma) used to make!