Lola's Victory Garden

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes And Ham

This is one of my favorites my Mom used to make. It uses leftover ham and potatoes. When potatoes are $2.99 for 10 pounds, this is a real inexpensive meal. When I bake a ham for the holidays I cut the leftovers into cubes and put into zip-top bags. Each bag contains enough for a large batch of Scalloped Potatoes And Ham. I also take the bone and put it in a zip-top bag and throw it in the freezer for a future date for making Split Pea Soup.

When my Mom used to make this, it wasn't a side dish, it was dinner. When I make it for my family I use a large baking pan in the hopes of having leftovers the next day. Every time our son manages to eat all the leftovers before I look for them in the fridge the next day for lunch. I guess that tells you how good it is.

Lola's Scalloped Potatoes And Ham
Russet Potatoes (peeled and sliced thinly)
Ham (cubed)
Milk (you can use Cream, Whole Milk, 2%, 1% or Skim Milk.)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Non-stick cooking spray

If you slice your potatoes very thin, the top layer gets very crispy. If you don't care for that, slice them about 1/4 inch thick. For the Milk, you can go full fat with the Cream, or you can even use Skim Milk, it still turns out delicious.

Spray your baking dish or pan with non-stick cooking spray. Layer sliced potatoes in bottom of pan. Lightly sprinkle with Salt, Pepper and Flour. Sprinkle some of the Ham pieces. Cut the Butter into small bits and dot the mixture in the pan with some Butter. Add another layer of sliced Potatoes and continue layering until you reach the top of the pan. Add Milk, being careful not to overfill your pan. You want enough liquid to make the creamy sauce, but not so much that it bubbles over while cooking.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees about 30-45 or until done. You may want to take off the cover for the last 5 minutes or so to brown the top layer.

Lola's Victory Garden

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pantry Porn

This is my canned good pantry. I have all my dry goods in a slim tall pantry cabinet in my kitchen, which I will not photograph because even though I painstakingly re-organized it about a month ago, the kids have trashed it. I'm sure my canned good pantry will shortly experience the same thing. (Note: This is not the way I would have organized the canned goods, you can't see what's behind things. See that beige shelving unit? It's empty. I would have utilized that so I could see everything I had, like grocery store shelves. But beggars can't be choosers, the kids organized this with some supervision by Anastasia. It definitely is better than bags of canned goods on the floor, like it was before they re-organized it.)

Storm @ Confessions of A Psychotic Housewife posted awhile back asking for photos of pantries. So I'm a little late!

As a kid my Mom always had a well stocked pantry so that she always had basics on hand and didn't have to run to the store all the time. I've learned it comes in handy when I've experienced issues with delayed disability checks too. I always know I have food on hand. Last November when my check was delayed we had a full pantry and freezer to keep us fed. Had I not planned ahead, we would have been without food. Keeping a stocked pantry also helps me take advantage of sales too. I replenish items as they go on sale, so I'm paying the lowest price.

Lola's Victory Garden

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

I've had a taste for Chicken Cacciatore lately and since cut-up chicken was at a fairly good price I decided to made it on Sunday. Oh my! I've forgotten how good it is.

The recipe amounts are estimates, as I did not measure, I did it from memory from when my Italian Mom used to make it. Well, not exactly...I cheated and used canned Hunt's Traditional Sauce.

Lola's Easy Chicken Cacciatore
1 cut-up chicken (or whatever chicken parts are your favorite)
Olive Oil (a couple tablespoons for browning the chicken)
Flour (about 1 1/2 Cups for dredging the chicken)
Rosemary (about a teaspoon, crushed)
Basil (about a tablespoon)
Oregano (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
Pepper (about a 1/2 teaspoon)
Kosher Salt (or regular salt, about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
Your favorite tomato sauce (about 32 ounces)
3/4 Cup Dry White Wine

Mix together the Flour, Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Pepper and Salt thoroughly. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. In a large skillet, heat Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute until brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Make your own sauce, or use prepared sauce. Pour into your crockpot. Adjust the spices if you like. I jacked up the canned sauce with about 3 tablespoons of garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of Basil and 1/2 a teaspoon of Oregano. Add 3/4 cup of Dry White Wine to the sauce. Stir thoroughly. Use tongs to transfer the browned chicken pieced into the crockpot. I set the crockpot for 4 hours and then turned it down to keep warm until dinner time.
(Sorry about the lousy photo. This was part of the leftovers. I should have taken the photo on Sunday, but I forgot.) I served my Chicken Cacciatore with fettucine, but you can serve it with your favorite pasta. (Sadly it was from a box, I had no time to make fresh using my pasta maker. I had to run errands all afternoon for my sick partner. Next time I hope to make my own fresh pasta to accompany this.)

Lola's Victory Garden