Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes And Ham
Scalloped potatoes, or dauphinois potatoes, is an old, classic potato recipe made from thinly sliced potatoes smothered in a creamy sauce. When you think about it, there is something special about potatoes. In their original form, they can be a rather bland, “blah”-ish food, but they have the capability to be transformed into some of the most mouth-watering, knock your socks off, dishes. Whether they're baked, fried, mashed or even covered in cream, potatoes are not only versatile but can also be delicious, and this Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes And Ham recipe is no exception but is a new twist on an old favorite. If you love scalloped potatoes and ham, you're sure to love this delicious dinner recipe.
The namesake of this dish can be rather confusing because scalloped potatoes have nothing to do with the shellfish, and the potato slices don't even have scalloped edges. Of course, like many old, classic recipes the origin of scalloped potatoes is widely debated and remains unknown. The best guess, however, is that it comes from the Old English word “collops”, which was a way to thinly slice meat and might have been used to describe the way potatoes were cut into collops by the cooks in Yorkshire, England. Not knowing who to credit with this delicious potato recipe doesn't make it any less delicious, however, and I will just have to add this to my list of great mysteries. A variation of scalloped potatoes that does have an origin, however, is gratin dauphinois, which is a traditional French dish based on potatoes and crème fraiche and is named after the historic Dauphine region where this potato recipe was first prepared in 1788.
This particular Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes And Ham recipe is altogether different from the scalloped potato recipes you're probably used to. Rather than serving a side of scalloped potatoes accompanied by slices of ham, the ham is thinly sliced and mixed in with the cheesy potatoes. My mind was blown the first time I saw this Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes And Ham recipe and my taste buds exploded the first time I tasted it. Now, I wouldn't do my scalloped potatoes any other way. For this Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes And Ham recipe, you will need peeled and thinly sliced russet potatoes (although any variety of potato will do in a pinch), thinly sliced ham, heavy cream as well as half-and-half, shallots (or onions, whichever you prefer, although shallots have a somewhat milder flavor profile), unsalted butter, all-purpose flour and grated sharp cheddar cheese, as well as spices such as salt, pepper and thyme.
To start, melt butter and sauté shallots, season and add sliced ham, cooking until just crisp. In a saucepan melt butter, stir in flour to create a roux (paste) and slowly add heavy cream and half-and-half and cook until thickened. Stir the cheese into your sauce and mix until melted. This is a layered potato recipe where you will alternate between layers of potato and ham, cheese and sauce – you can also throw in vegetables, such as broccoli or spinach, to add some color and extra vitamins! Unlike many scalloped potato recipes that cook for a couple of hours, you need only bake this dish for about 50 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, and the sauce is hot (the thinner the potatoes are sliced, the quicker they'll soften and cook).
This Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes And Ham recipe is delicious served as a main dish – you don't need anything else to accompany it, but it never hurts to add a couple of extra slices of ham to your plate to give you that more traditional scalloped potatoes meal that you're looking for. I probably don't have to tell you how delicious this Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes And Ham recipe is, but don't take my word for it. Prepare, serve and enjoy!
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