Winter has hit Indiana hard these past couple of weeks. What started out as a very mild winter has taken an abrupt turn--there's about a foot of snow on the ground right now. And all the cold snowy weather has me craving comfort foods again; right when I thought it was safe to start eating salads.
Because I was craving warm and creamy deliciousness, I pulled some of my leftover Christmas ham out of the freezer and started dreaming about how to combine it with potatoes and cheese and warmth. Scalloped potatoes came to mind-maybe because we had eaten them with the ham in the first place.
So I combined leftover ham, and scalloped potatoes and threw a leek in too for added depth of flavor and a vegetable in this 'casserole'. Add in Gruyere cheese for a salty cheese hit, Colby Jack for creamy, melty, stringy cheese, and layer it all together topped with cream and chicken broth. And this comfort food ham and leek scalloped potatoes really hit the spot--the warm and creamy deliciousness spot!
Though the scalloped potatoes may look a little intense--there are lots of layers--the most time consuming part is making sure everything is sliced and shredded. Assembling is super easy, cover the scalloped potatoes with foil, and put in a rather hot oven until the cream has thickened, the potatoes have softened, and the cheese has melted. In other words, until the ham and leek scalloped potatoes are ready to go in your belly!
Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes
author: Happy Food Happy Home
Prep Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium leek, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 teaspoons fresh herbs--I used rosemary and sage
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
3/4 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 cup diced ham
1/4 cup chicken broth
- Slice the potatoes as thinly as you can. I used the smallest setting on my mandolin. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and cover with water to keep them from browning.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the leek to the hot oil and cook until it has softened, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mince the garlic and herbs.
- Add the minced garlic and herbs to the pan and cook for 1 minute more.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
- Drain the water off of the potatoes.
- Add the leek-garlic-herb mixture, the whipping cream, and the salt to the potatoes. Toss to coat.
- In the greased baking dish, place 1/3 of the potatoes in an overlapping even layer. Drizzle some of the cream from the bottom of the bowl over the potatoes.
- Add ½ of the ham and 1/3 of the shredded cheese in an even layer on top of the potatoes.
- Gently pour half of the chicken broth over the layer.
- Add another layer of 1/3 of the potatoes. Drizzle with cream mixture.
- Top with remaining ham and 1/3 of the cheese.
- Add another layer with the remaining potatoes. Pour remaining cream on top.
- Gently pour the rest of the chicken broth over the layer.
- Top with the remaining cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the cream has thickened.
- In the last 10 minutes of cooking time remove the foil to make the cheese on top brown and delicious.
adapted from Pinch of Yum
The Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes will be a perfect way to use up any leftover Easter ham you have. It is also perfect to make any time you are craving a warm and creamy dinner. My only hope is by Easter I'll be eating this because it's delicious, and not because it is still freezing outside... Is it spring in your part of the world yet? I promise to only be a little jealous!