Monday, December 8, 2014

dinner: ham and potato casserole

I made this casserole last week.  It was very easy and I had all the ingredients on-hand, something that almost never happens to me.  Actually, I had another recipe, but it called for a few things I didn't have, like sour cream and Velveeta cheese.  When I looked at the second recipe, it called for making a cheese sauce from scratch, but I had all the ingredients.  I decided that making a cheese sauce wasn't hard and it was probably not quite as caloric as the first recipe.

It came out really good and didn't take long at all.  It took longer to heat up than it did to make the cheese sauce and put it together.

I had just one scoop.  I try not to eat too many carbs, like potatoes and bread, but they're kind of hard to avoid with this casserole.  You just have to decide that one serving won't derail you and stick to it.

Recipe below.

Ham and Potato Casserole

1 32 oz. bag of frozen diced hash brown potatoes 
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped fully cooked ham
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% milk (or whatever you have)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp spicy brown mustard (more if you want a stronger flavor)
8 ounce package of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs, optional
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the ham and onion.  Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir potatoes into ham mixture and then transfer to the baking dish.
  5. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk flour into melted butter until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute, whisking a couple times.  
  6. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture.  Season with salt and black pepper. Add the mustard Continue cooking and whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in Cheddar cheese until melted.
  8. Pour sauce over ham and potatoes.
  9. If desired, sprinkle bread crumbs and more cheddar cheese over the top.
  10. Bake uncovered until sauce is bubbly and browned, about 30 minutes.

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