LINDA'S MOTHER'S HAM CASSEROLE

We had so much left from the whole pig we had catered at the Northland New Neighbors' Luau recently, everyone was encouraged to take a "doggy bag" home. It was so good...I didn't have to be encouraged much to take a container.

I didn't really have a recipe to use the ham, but I knew sorta what I wanted to do with it. Anyway, I spent an hour or so looking through some of my many cookbooks until I found what sounded like the perfect recipe.  

And what happened next? I looked up and my husband was eating a sandwich he had made with the leftover ham. I jumped all over him....well, not really, but you can imagine my reaction.  

Fortunately for him, there was more than enough left for me to chop up 2 cups for the recipe. (I even made myself a small sandwich.)

I found the recipe in my Best of Country Cooking 2002 cookbook. It was submitted by Linda Childers from Murfreesboro, TN.  She said, "One of my mother's favorite dishes, this recipe always brings back fond memories of her when I prepare it. It's a terrific use of leftover ham from a holiday dinner."

As we were enjoying it for dinner, my husband and I decided you could use leftover rotisserie chicken or turkey. It is a really good pot pie without the crust.





MOTHER'S HAM CASSEROLE
2       cups cubed peeled potatoes
1       large carrot, sliced
2       celery ribs, chopped
3       cups water
2       cups cubed fully cooked ham
2       tablespoons chopped green pepper
2       teaspoons finely chopped onion
7       tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
3       tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/8    teaspoon pepper
1       cup (4 - oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2    cup soft bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 1-1/2 quart baking dish.


Prepare veggies....
In a saucepan, cook potatoes, carrot, and celery in water until tender; drain. 





In a skillet, saute ham, green pepper and onion in 3 tablespoons butter until tender.


Add to potato mixture. Transfer to baking dish.


In a saucepan, melt remaining  butter;








stir in flour until smooth. 








Gradually add the milk, salt and pepper.  







Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  






Stir in the cheese until melted; 







pour over the ham mixture. 









Sprinkle with bread crumbs. 







Bake, uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes or until heated through.