Thursday, April 8, 2010

Scalloped Potato Muffins




On some days self-control fails me, willpower takes a break, and I am tempted to go crazy with carbs. Wednesday was that kind of day - well, it really began Tuesday evening. Two foodblogs (especially this one) featured muffin-sized scalloped potatoes, not something that typically sends me over the edge, but the descriptions were tempting, and the photos almost drool-worthy. The combination of stacked sliced taters, diced ham, minced scallions, grated cheese, butter and a bit of cream called out to me... loudly... even insistently. So I gave in and prepared a small batch for a dinner side dish, purposely making two extra muffins. Extras, just in case RL wanted seconds, but really hoping I would have them all to myself in the morning.

My photo features the morning-after, reheated-in-the-micro, leftover serving. The taters were creamier and crispier for Tuesday’s dinner, but they still tasted heavenly for Wednesday’s breakfast. The basic technique will definitely be repeated, with a variety of ingredient swaps and flavorful herb add-ins. Garlic, rosemary, jalapenos... the possibilities are endless.

Oops! Wednesday also happened to be an impromptu pizza lunch with friends. The available salad bar provided no competition for the delicious, all-you-can-eat, try-a-variety-of-toppings pizza slices I inhaled, one after another. At least I stopped eating before it hurt.

Garlic chicken pizza plus cheesy scalloped taters with ham, sigh! Does carb loading get any better than this? (Too bad I'm not training for a marathon.) Now I’m ready for some fruit, vegies and salad to balance these choices… just not today, not yet. For now, I think I’ll let my stomach rest.


Here's the recipe (not scaled down) that I worked with. It came from The Noshery, via a post on ThePioneerWoman in Tasty Kitchen. Whatever the history, it's now a keeper in my kitchen.


Individual Scalloped Potatoes

Prep Time 20 minutes     Cook Time 25 minutes     Servings 12

8 whole medium potatoes (I used Russets)
1 stick butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cups scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cooked ham, small dice
12 teaspoons half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Pierce potatoes with fork, sprinkle with salt, wrap in damp paper towel and microwave until almost done. The potatoes should still be firm. Set aside; let cool till they can be handled, then slice.


Place 1/2 Tbsp pat of butter in each mold of the muffin/cupcake pan, then a slice of potato, a pinch of salt and pepper, then ham, cheese and scallions. Repeat layers: potato, salt & pepper, ham, cheese, scallions. (I did 2 layers, but up to 3 would work) Top each mold with another pat of butter and drizzle each with 1 tsp of half-and-half.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and potatoes are brown.

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