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Easy casserole makes most of leftover ham, early spring produce

Recipe: Ham and baby potato casserole with glazed carrots

Perk up leftovers with fresh produce in this cheese-topped casserole. Glazed carrots are a delicious accompaniment.

Perk up leftovers with fresh produce in this cheese-topped casserole. Glazed carrots are a delicious accompaniment. Debbie Arrington

This time of year – the week after Easter – I always seem to have an abundance of leftover ham.

The same goes for the first crops of the season: Baby potatoes and spring onions.

Casserole dish
This easy casserole is like upgraded scalloped
potatoes with lots of ham.

Ham, potatoes and onions are a classic casserole combination, smothered in a rich, creamy sauce and topped with cheese. This version is sort of like upgraded scalloped potatoes with lots of ham. The baby potatoes cook faster than their mature counterparts and almost melt into the sauce.

Glazed carrots (recipe at bottom of post) are a perfect seasonal accompaniment to this hearty main dish.

Ham and baby potato casserole

Make 4 to 6 servings


Butter or cooking spray to prepare baking dish

3 cups baby potatoes, thinly sliced

2/3 cup spring onions, thinly sliced

3 cups cooked ham, diced

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 tablespoons flour

1 chicken bouillon cube

1-1/2 cups milk

1 cup cheddar and/or jack cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray 9-by-9-inch baking dish; set aside.

Clean baby potatoes of any eyes, but do not peel. Thinly slice potatoes and spring onions (white and green parts or white only).

In the bottom of the baking dish, layer half the potato slices. Scatter half the onion slices over the potatoes. Spread half the ham over the onions. (Reserve the remaining ham.) Top with another layer of potatoes and scatter the remaining onions over the top. Set aside.

Make sauce: Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and crumbled bouillon cube. Over medium heat, stir flour-butter mixture until it bubbles. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens.

Pour the sauce over the top of the potato-ham layers, gently shaking the dish so the sauce spreads throughout. Add remaining ham around the top edge. Cover casserole with foil.

Bake covered in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Top with grated cheese in the middle of the casserole. Return to the oven and bake 30 more minutes uncovered or until the potatoes are tender when tested with a thin-bladed knife.

Remove from oven and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Glazed carrots

Makes 4 servings


4 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins

2 cups water


¼ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar


Prepare carrots. In a saucepan, bring water to boil; add salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon) and orange juice. Add carrots; cover and reduce heat. Simmer until carrots are fork tender.

Drain. To carrots in saucepan, add butter and brown sugar. Cover. (Butter will melt over the carrots in the warm saucepan.) Stir to mix the butter, brown sugar and carrots.

Serve warm.


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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