I’m making this comfort food dish today and am looking for some suggestions to jazz it up a bit. I was thinking of perhaps a bit of ground allspice to complement the ham, or perhaps a bit of masala spices, which would work well. Any tried and true recipes that have more than the traditional potatoes, ham, white sauce, onions?
Oh yeah… I have a version I do that was originally because I wanted a lower-carb, healthier version, but honestly, I like it better than the original.
First off, instead of using all potato, use half or more parsnips or turnips or celery root. I cook all the root vegetables on the stove, in butter, with whatever herbs/spices you want, and half heavy cream, half chicken stock. I throw the non-potato veggies in a few minutes before the taters cuz they seem to take longer. Add in the ham at the end. Or whenever - just adapt your recipe as needed, it’s not a hard science.
Then I take the baking dish I’m going to use, spray it with nonstick spray, and layer it with cooked spinach. Fresh that I’ve sauteed if I have time, but frozen works well too. Just make sure it’s hot, and if you use frozen, squeeze out all the extra water. Pile it 1/2" deep or more in the dish.
Add the potato/root veggy/ham/sauce on top, cook as normal.
Better for you, just as comforting, and tastier IMO.
I don’t make them often, so I don’t really have a recipe, but I will give this tip.
Definitely parboil the potatoes. The slices will cook MUCH MUCH MUCH faster on the stovetop than in the oven.
Some recipes call for this, some don’t. Some that don’t do not allow nearly enough time for the potatoes to cook thoroughly in the oven.
Why, yes, yes, I did, thanks for asking.
Barefoot Contessa alternates layers of potatoes with layers of sauteed thinly sliced fresh fennel & onions. It’s quite good - the fennel doesn’t taste sharp and licorice-y after a nice sautee, it’s lighter but still rich.
The recipe doesn’t specially call for ham, but that doesn’t stop me.
Couldn’t wait any longer. I went with my original idea of a bit of marsala spice. Came out very good, but I’d use more next time.
Man, that’s one of those dishes I eat once every decade or so, so I want it to be just the way it’s supposed to be. Not a big fan of messing with classic dishes anyway, though. Scalloped potatoes and ham, I want some now!
Same here. I used some Cure 81 smoked ham, russet spuds, and onion. A mixture of milk and half & half, some flour and butter for the white sauce. 350F, 30 minutes covered, an hour uncovered and it was done perfectly (no parboiling).