Take a minute and stop over to her site (she is just new to blogging, and would welcome your visit!) Her blog address is: http://simplyfrugalynne.blogspot.com/
One of my favorites of her recent posts was on how to take a vacation with just a few dollars! Check out her post here to see how she and her husband flew to South Padre Island for four nights for $550.00. Frugal... yeah she does it with style!
So, a week or so ago, she wrote a post on how to save money with meat here. It was a great post but the part of her post that stuck out to me was the casserole that she made with her leftover ham. I had been "hoarding" a pound or so of ham left over from Christmas in my freezer, and had been completely uninspired to use it. In fact, I had pulled it out to the front of my freezer, hoping that by seeing it every time I opened the freezer, that I would be inclined to use it. When I saw what she did with her leftover ham... it was like the lights went on in my head, and I knew I had just found a use for that leftover ham in my freezer.
Now I altered her recipe just a bit - but the foundation for this recipe was inspired by her original post. That is the fun of baking... things can be altered, changed and suited to meet the needs of your family. Since my family loves cheese... just about any casserole I pull out of the oven has to be covered ... or maybe even swimming... in cheese, lol!
What she did, and what I did was simple. I peeled about 8 medium sized potatoes, and cubed them, and placed them in the bottom of my Pampered Chef stoneware baker. Then I covered the potatoes with a layer of one diced onion. Over the onion I placed 4-5 diced fresh mushrooms, and then the cubed ham (about 1 pound) over that. Finally, I poured about 2 cups of milk into the casserole pan, and topped the casserole with about 3 tablespoons of butter, cubed. I did not stir the mixture. I did not add any salt (I figured I could add salt later if the ham wasn't salty enough, but with the ham and butter being on the top layer, the salt from the ham and butter would season the rest of the veggies). I placed the lid on my stoneware baker, and placed it in a slow oven (300 F) and left it there for 3-4 hours. (I had to run to town for a bit, and didn't want it to cook too fast.). It would also cook very well at 350 for an hour or so. After cooking for your preferred time, you can remove the casserole from the oven and stir it, taste it and add salt if necessary. Now it is was time to smother the casserole in cheese - ooh yum! I used a mixture of Cheddar and Monterey Jack shredded cheese.
Served with a salad, this made a meal that would make your momma proud, cause it is the "stick to your ribs" good kind of supper!
The flavor of the potatoes, onions, ham, mushrooms, milk and cheese make a simply divine connection!
I almost wanted to lick my plate clean... it was that good!
And the salad was a perfect accompaniment with the casserole, although any vegetable side would be wonderful.
Thanks Lynne for your inspiration on how to use up leftover ham, and for helping me to find a new recipe that my family says is "lick your chops good"!
7-LAYER HAM DINNER
8 potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 onion, diced
4-5 fresh mushrooms, diced
1 pound ham, cubed
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese