My favorite recipe was inspired by holiday leftovers. My mom usually made ham, scalloped potatoes, and peas for Easter dinner. The day after Easter I would take a little of each of the leftover dishes and stir them together and make my improved scalloped potatoes. With its origins in my early childhood, this recipe probably qualifies as my first premeditated leftover.
Although I often make ham and Peas with Basil, I don’t serve scalloped potatoes with holiday dinners. Primarily because I like to serve my ham with mustard sauce which also makes a delicious gravy for mashed potatoes. However, when I am doing my holiday grocery shopping I usually find an irresistible deal on potatoes (i.e. 10 lbs. for $1.69) and then have quite a few unused potatoes leftover.
The flavors from the leftover peas and ham blend wonderfully with the scalloped potatoes to create a one dish meal.
- ¼ Cup butter*
- ½ Cup onion, finely chopped
- ¼ Cup all-purpose flour**
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2½ Cups milk*(perhaps a little more)
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 Cup+ leftover Peas with Basil ***
- 1 -2 Cups leftover ham, cut into bite size pieces
- Some coarsely chopped onions (optional)
- Cook the onion in butter until it is tender. Stir in the flour and pepper. Add milk all at once. (At first there will be flour globs floating around in the milk and you will think you did something wrong – you didn’t). Cook over a medium flame until it is thick and bubbly, stirring regularly. Remove from heat. (You might need to add a little more milk if it too thick).
- Place a third of the potatoes in a large greased casserole dish. Then top with a third of the ham, a third of the peas, and a few pieces of onion. Cover with a third of the sauce. Repeat layers.
- Bake, covered at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.