Best Smoked Potato, Ham, and Cheese Casserole Recipe — Are you tired of the same old leftover ham recipes? Looking for a delicious and creative way to transform your leftovers into a mouthwatering meal? Well, look no further! In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to take your leftover ham and turn it into a delectable smoked potato, ham, and cheese casserole. With the perfect combination of smoky flavors, creamy sauce, and cheesy goodness, this recipe is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
Seizing Leftovers’ Potential: Ham’s Encore in a Casserole
As an avid cook, there’s a certain thrill in transforming leftovers into a dish that can rival, or even surpass, its original form. Such is the tale with the spiral ham that has graced many a holiday table. While delightful in its prime, the leftover ham beckons with the promise of culinary creativity. And what better way to honor its delectable potential than by crafting a smoked potato, ham, and cheese casserole that is both comforting and sophisticated?
The Transformation: From Oven-Baked to Smoker-Infused
While the conventional oven does a splendid job of melding flavors and textures to create a bubbling hot casserole, the introduction of a smoker takes this dish to an unparalleled level of gastronomic pleasure. The smoky notes that infuse each bite are not just an afterthought—they become an integral part of the experience, a dimension of flavor that elevates the humble casserole into a symphony of taste.
Smoking Techniques for the Perfect Casserole
- Set your smoker to a precise 350°F to ensure even cooking.
- For an all-around feast, consider smoking other vegetables alongside your casserole. Asparagus and green beans do particularly well at lower temperatures, absorbing that smoky goodness without losing their snap.
- Maintain food safety by placing your casserole above any raw meat in the smoker. This will prevent any juices from dripping into your dish, ensuring a safe and savory meal.
Preparation Essentials: The 3-Quart Baking Pan
Choice of cookware is paramount. A 3-quart baking pan offers the perfect vessel for this recipe. Not only does it accommodate the ingredients snugly, but it also allows for a golden cheese-topped crust. If you’re planning ahead, double up the recipe. Freeze one casserole for a later indulgence—a practical tip that promises future ease and enjoyment.
Building the Foundation: Potatoes and Onions
Begin with 2 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes, chosen for their buttery texture and ability to hold shape. Washed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes, these golden gems are parboiled with chopped yellow onions for about 12 minutes. They should be just tender, providing the perfect bite that will stand up to the additional cooking in the smoker.
The Smoker Setup
Let’s turn our attention to the smoker. The stage is set by preheating it to 350°F. A water bowl filled with a mix of water and apple cider vinegar awaits, ready to introduce moisture and a subtle tang. Wood chips nestle in the tray, poised to release their aromatic magic. This is where culinary alchemy begins.
Crafting the Creamy Sauce
In a medium saucepan, the harmonious blend of butter and olive oil melt into readiness. Flour is whisked in to form a roux, the thickening agent that will carry the flavors of milk, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika into a creamy, luxurious sauce. This sauce is the glue that will bind our ingredients into a cohesive, mouth-watering whole.
Layering the Casserole
A 9 x 13 inch aluminum foil baking pan is prepped with a spritz of vegetable oil, setting the stage for the layers to come. Half of the cooked potatoes and onions form the first layer, followed by a generous sprinkle of cheese. Diced cooked ham adds a salty, savory layer, topped by the remaining potatoes. This stratified approach ensures that every forkful contains a bit of everything.
Pour and Top: The Final Touches
The white sauce is lovingly poured over the layered potatoes, ham, and cheese, seeping into every crevice. A final layer of cheese crowns the dish, followed by breadcrumbs for texture, and diced butter for rich, melting pools of flavor. Into the smoker it goes, where it will transform over the course of an hour into a hot, bubbling masterpiece.
Post-Smoke: The Perfect Rest
Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to casserole. A rest of 5 minutes allows everything to settle, for flavors to meld, and for the casserole to achieve the perfect serving temperature. This brief pause is the final, crucial step in achieving casserole perfection.
Complementary Sides: Enhancing the Main Event
No casserole is an island, and the right side dishes transform a great meal into an unforgettable one. For a touch of acidity to cut through the richness, consider a tomato sauce or fresh diced tomatoes. A simple side salad offers a crisp counterpoint, while grilled or smoked fresh vegetables echo the smoky theme of the main dish.
Easy Cherry Tomato Salad: A Burst of Freshness
A salad that promises to be as vivid in taste as it is in color, the Easy Cherry Tomato Salad is a harmonious blend of sweetness, tang, and freshness. Here’s how to bring it to your table:
- Whisk together extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard, seasoned with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes, which will act as juicy vessels for the vinaigrette.
- Toss the tomatoes in the dressing until they glisten with flavor.
- Roll and slice basil leaves, then sprinkle them over the salad for a fragrant finish.
- Serve immediately, or let it chill while your casserole smokes to perfection.
The Easy Cherry Tomato Salad not only complements the casserole but also adds a refreshing burst to cleanse the palate, readying you for the next smoky, savory bite.
Bringing It All Together
What we have here is more than a recipe; it’s a narrative of transformation and harmony. From the repurposing of leftovers to the careful layering of flavors and textures, this Delicious Smoked Potato, Ham, and Cheese Casserole Recipe is a testament to the joys of cooking. Each step, each ingredient, contributes to a dish that is sure to become a treasured addition to your culinary repertoire. So gather your ingredients, fire up the smoker, and prepare for a dining experience that celebrates the best of what’s left, what’s fresh, and what’s smoked to perfection.
FAQ & Common Questions
Q: What are the ingredients needed for the Smoked Potato, Ham, and Cheese Casserole recipe?
A: The ingredients needed for the recipe are 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onions, sea salt, butter, olive oil, all-purpose flour, whole milk, Worcestershire sauce, whole grain mustard, freshly ground pepper, paprika, vegetable or olive oil, shredded mild cheddar cheese, diced cooked ham, breadcrumbs, cold butter, water, and apple cider.
Q: How can I prepare the Smoked Potato, Ham, and Cheese Casserole?
A: To prepare the casserole, you need to wash and chop the potatoes and onions. Then, make a white sauce using butter, olive oil, flour, milk, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika. Layer the potatoes, cheese, and ham in a casserole dish, and pour the white sauce over them. Top with more cheese, breadcrumbs, and diced butter. Finally, smoke the casserole until it is hot and bubbling.
Q: Can I freeze the Smoked Potato, Ham, and Cheese Casserole?
A: Yes, you can freeze the casserole. If you plan to freeze it, leave the breadcrumbs and diced butter off until right before smoking. This will ensure that the casserole stays fresh and the toppings don’t get soggy.
Q: How long should I cook the Smoked Potato, Ham, and Cheese Casserole in the smoker?
A: The casserole should be cooked in the preheated smoker until it is hot and bubbling. The exact cooking time may vary depending on your smoker, but it is recommended to cook it until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.
Q: What can I do with leftover spiral ham?
A: Leftover spiral ham can be used in various recipes. You can make sandwiches, soups, salads, or casseroles like the Smoked Potato, Ham, and Cheese Casserole. The salty and sweet flavors of the ham make it a versatile ingredient for creating delicious meals.