Monday, January 7, 2008

A post for Danielle

Recently we went over to visit some friends at their apartment and brought dinner along with us. Michael made my cheesy ham and potato casserole (like scalloped potatoes with cheese & ham) and I made some Italian style green beans. One of our friends asked for the recipes so here they are:

Italian Style Green beans a la Jennifer

Source: Me!

1 package frozen Italian style green beans

Water to boil them in (I probably used a quart)

1-2 tablespoons (depending on size of pan) olive oil to coat bottom of skillet

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons pine nuts (not roasted, raw)

salt and pepper to taste

grated parmesan cheese to top


1. Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan. Once boiling add green beans and boil until just not frozen. That was probably about three minutes for me. Meanwhile preheat skillet over medium to medium high heat (depending on your stove)

2. Drain green beans. Add olive oil to hot skillet. Allow to heat up. Add in green beans, red pepper flakes, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until done. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and serve.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole

The edited recipe that will not make Michael want to pull his hair out the next time he makes it.


2 lbs. of potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

3 medium onions, thinly sliced ( usually leave this out because Michael HATES onions and complains about them and then I sprinkle some minced dried onion flakes on each layer of potatoes but Michael went ahead and used the "real" onions)

boiling water

1 T salt

6 T butter or margarine

4 T flour

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp Paprika

4 1/2 c milk ( I usually use 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 4 cups of milk but Michael got confused and used 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream which is basically half and half)

2 cup shredded cheese (Michael used Colby Jack, I usually use half Colby Jack and half Cheddar)

1 slice of center cut ham steak, cubed (or about 1/2 pound of leftover ham)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put a big pot of water on to boil the potatoes and onions in.

2. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and paprika until smooth. Slowly add in milk while wisking. Cook over medium until just boiling. Stir about ever minute or so while you work on the rest of the steps. Once it is bubbling, add one cup of the cheese and stir until melted. Sauce should be pretty thick and smooth.

3. Spray a three quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and onions. Boil in the big pot mentioned in step 1 for about 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Do not cook until tender or they will fall apart once they have more cooking time in the oven.

5. Drain potatoes and onions.

6. Layer 1/3 of the potato onion mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with 1/3 of the cheese sauce, 1/3 of the ham and 1/3 of the reserved shredded cheese. Repeat 2 more times.

7. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until top is browned and potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.


I cook this on the top shelf and put a cookie sheet on the bottom shelf because this tends to boil over in the oven.

I tried skipping step 4 (boiling the potatoes and onions before putting them in the casserole dish) once and this did not work. The top of the dish got burned and the potatoes never got done.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

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