Grandma Kate’s Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

Zippy Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes and Peas

Zippy Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes and Peas

We are currently in Montana just outside of Glacier National Park. After two days of rain, clouds and cooler temperatures, some comfort food was in order for dinner. Since I had a basket of gold potatoes, one of my grandmother’s recipes came to mind. My Grandma Kate always made the most delicious Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole and passed the recipe down to my Mom. I recently got it from my sister. The rich creamy taste is comfort food at its best and brings back some special childhood memories.

I didn’t have any ham on hand, but did have some really nice boneless pork chops and four slices of bacon that needed to be used. The original recipe is actually for a casserole with ham. I adjusted some amounts, left out the ham, added bacon crumbles and ended up with a delicious side dish to accompany the pork chops and peas for a complete meal.

The scalloped potatoes recipe may seem like a lot of effort. With the right tools it is easy and definitely worth the time. I also found an interesting and very easy recipe for the pork chops on the Taste of Home website which complimented the potatoes in both taste and effort.


To make the baking easier, I used my Convection/Microwave with 2 different height racks and placed a sheet of aluminum foil under the rack (instead of a baking pan). Since the potatoes will bake longer than the chops, start the potatoes on the shorter rack and then transfer them to a higher rack when you add the chops on the lower rack and raise the temperature to 425. (Keep an eye on the potatoes). After removing the potatoes, turn the oven up to 450 degrees for the last 5 minutes to crisp the chops.

Grandma Kate’s Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter
1/4 cup flour
3 Cups Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. of Coleman’s dry mustard
5 Medium Potatoes sliced thin
1 Cup of Fully Cooked Ham cut into thin bite sized pieces

Directions:

Melt butter in a Dutch oven.

Stir in flour, salt, pepper and dry mustard. Easy on the salt – its in the ham.

Add 3 cups of milk and cook stirring until it thickens slightly.

Add sliced potatoes (I use my KitchenAid mixer with slicer attachment).

Cook covered over low heat until the potatoes are slightly softened.

Layer potatoes and ham in a greased 2 quart casserole dish.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees till bubbly and brown 45 minutes to an hour. (Just keep an eye on it)

For a side dish:

2/3 Stick of Butter
Scant 1/4 cup flour
2 cups of milk
5 potatoes sliced thin
Salt and Pepper to taste
Scant 1/2 tsp. of Coleman’s dry mustard
4 Slices of bacon cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)

 

Zippy Breaded Pork Chops Recipe

Ingredients:

1/3 cup prepared ranch salad dressing
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick and 8 ounces each)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place salad dressing in a shallow bowl.

In a separate shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs and cheese.

Dip pork chops in dressing, then in crumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere.

Place on a rack in an ungreased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145°.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings.

Originally published as Breaded Pork Chops in Country Woman May/June 1995, p37

Vanilla Substitute – Jack Daniels Single Barrel

Cook and Bake with Jack Daniels

Cook and Bake with Jack Daniels

Did you know that you can substitute Jack Daniels Whiskey for Vanilla? I’m a big Jack Daniels fan. Besides ‘on the rocks’ it can do wonders to add unique flavor to many recipes.

We recently had the opportunity to tour the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. If you get the chance, GO!!! The Basic Tour is FREE and if you are over 21 you can sign up for the Sampling Tour for a mere $12.00 per person. When you go, don’t skip the town of Lynchburg. Park and walk around. It’s small enough to walk the whole square and stop in one of the restaurants for a nice lunch. You won’t leave without stopping at one of the several unique culinary/candy shops where you can get your specialty chocolates incorporated with Ole’ Jack! Mmmmm.

There are several different varieties of this amazing whiskey as well as multiple uses besides the old-fashioned ‘medicinal’ one on the rocks. Jack Daniels Single Barrel is a perfect one for one substitute for Vanilla in your baking and cooking. It has deep rich color and flavor. I don’t ALWAYS have Single Barrel on hand as it is a bit expensive. BUT Jack Daniels Old No. 7 will work too. If you are looking for sweetness, then the Tennessee Honey Whiskey would be a good choice. Jack Daniels Fireball will add a boost of hot cinnamon to your recipes.

When grocery shopping, take note of the items boasting Jack Daniels in its ingredients. It isn’t a well-kept secret, but one that is often overlooked. From Barbecues to Cakes and Cookies and Candy. You just can’t beat a good shot of Jack Daniels to add flavor and excitement to your culinary crafts.

Beans and Greens – A New Twist

A New Way to Serve Beans & Greens

A New Way to Serve Beans & Greens

Heres a new way to create a Beans and Greens dish that is packed with protein. By adding an egg on top with some homemade salsa it becomes a healthy meal.

Yesterday my RV Park neighbor with a small garden gave me a bundle of fresh picked kale. He knew that I liked to put it in super-shakes. The bundle was much larger than I would ever use up in shakes. DH likes Beans and Greens but I didn’t have everything needed (including time) to make it.

I found the answer in this month’s Cooking Light Magazine. Peppered White Bean, Kale and Egg Stack. It took me a bit longer than the 30 minute total prep and cook time as published, but in the end it was worth it! This is a really tasty meatless dish that is packed with protein and fiber and could actually work for ANY meal. You will use multiple pieces of cookware and utensils, so be sure your counters are clear before you start.

The recipe calls for fresh Cilantro and Parsley. I rarely have fresh herbs on hand. They tend to be too expensive and go to waste before I could ever use them up.

TIP: Go to AMAZON.COM and get Litehouse FRESH Freeze Dried herbs for your pantry. These are not dried and crushed, but are fresh when rehydrated. Now I have the fresh herbs I need always on hand.

Another note: I took the time to read the recipe from beginning to end. That’s an important thing to do whenever you tackle something new. I realized that it made more sense to do Step 4 first.

Peppered White Bean, Kale and Egg Stack

INGREDIENTS:
1 (14.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
5 cups chopped kale
1/2 teaspoon salt divided
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine beans and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in rind, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cheese; coarsely mash.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes or until kale wilts, stirring frequently. Remove kale from pan’ keep warm.
  3. Wipe Dutch oven clean with a paper towel; return pan to medium high heat. Add water to pan, filling two-thirds full; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer. Add vinegar. Break each egg into a custard cup. Gently pur eggs into pan; cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove eggs using slotted spoon; place on a towel-lined plate.
  4. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 14 teaspoon salt, onion and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
  5. Divide bean mixture evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with kale, eggs and tomato mixture.

Serves 4

Calories 264; Fat 10.5 g (sat. 3.2g, mono 4.1g, poly 1.6g); Protein 16g; Carb 28g; Fiber 9g; Sugars 2g

Recipe by Tiffany Vickers Davis as published in January/February 2016 Cooking Light Magazine