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~ Boxed Scalloped Potatoes, Ham & Peas Casserole ~

IMG_6393The day after a big holiday, us cooks aren't typically motivated to do much more than reheat some leftovers, put our feet up and relax.  My mom made this super-easy day-after-the-holiday main-dish casserole twice a year, after Christmas and after Easter, when she had leftover ham.  Our family of four loved it -- creamy-cheesy scalloped potatoes chocked full of diced ham and tender peas.   It's almost too easy to be a recipe, but, it's so easy and comforting-good it's worth sharing.

So easy & comforting-good this not-a-recipe is worth sharing:

IMG_63631  7-ounce boxes Betty Crocker's cheesy scalloped potatoes

2 1/4  cups whole milk, heated on the stovetop or in the microwave until steaming

2  tablespoons salted butter, sliced or cubed

1 1/2  cups diced ham (6 ounces)

1 1/2  cups frozen and thawed peas (6 ounces)

IMG_6366 IMG_6366~ Step 1.  Place the  2 1/4 cups milk and 2 tablespoons salted butter in a 2-cup measuring container (or in a small saucepan on the stovetop).  Heat until milk is steaming hot and butter has melted into the milk.  While milk is heating:

IMG_6374 IMG_6376 IMG_6378 IMG_6378 IMG_6383 IMG_6383 IMG_6383~Step 2.  Place dehydrated potatoes in a 1 1/2-2 quart casserole, then, scatter the dry cheese-sauce mixture over the top of  potatoes.  Scatter the diced ham over the top followed by the thawed peas.  Add the hot milk to the casserole.  Using a large spoon, give the mixture a thorough stir.  Bake on center rack of preheated 375° oven 40-45 minutes, until top is nicely browned and bubbly.  Remove from oven and rest about 15 minutes prior to serving -- mixture will thicken a bit more as it cools a bit.

Steamy & creamy on the inside w/a crispy top: 

IMG_6397Boxed Scalloped Potatoes, Ham & Peas Casserole:  Recipe yields 2-4 main-dish servings.

Special Equipment List: cutting board-chef's knife; 2-cup measuring container or small saucepan; 1 1/2-2 quart casserole; large spoon

6a0120a8551282970b026bdeb699da200cCook's Note: I know I was not alone on this point,  Covid changed what I kept stored in my pantry -- truth told, it's not bad, just different.  In preparation for the lock down that occurred two years ago, I stocked several boxes of Rice-a-Roni, four boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese, a big box of Hungry Jack instant mashed potatoes, and, a few boxes of Stovetop stuffing mix and Betty Crocker cheesy scalloped potatoes.  Thanks to them being staples in my mom's pantry, I knew these easy-to-make convenience-food side-dishes not only have a long shelf life, they're tasty. Be sure to try my not-a-recipe for ~ Doctoring Up a Box of Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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