Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Ham and Potato Casserole


2 lbs. Russett potatoes
2 C. cubed ham
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
3 T. unsalted butter
3/4 C. chopped yellow onion 
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. ground mustard
1 t. dried parsley (or 2 t. fresh chopped parsley)
3 T. all-purpose flour
2 C. whole milk
optional, for garnish: chopped fresh parsley, green onion, chives, or hot sauce


  1. Peel potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces. You’ll have just over 6 cups chopped potatoes. 
  2. Cover with water in a medium pot. 
  3. Bring to boil. Once boiling, boil for just 5–6 minutes. Potatoes should be only slightly softened.
  4. Drain. 
  5. Grease a 9×13-inch or any 3–4-quart oven-safe dish. 
  6. Add warm drained potatoes, ham, and 1 cup of shredded cheese. 
  7. Gently stir together. 
  8. Set aside.
  9. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  10. Melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. 
  11. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 3 minutes. 
  12. Stir in salt, pepper, smoked paprika, ground mustard, parsley, and flour until combined and flour has absorbed any liquid. 
  13. Reduce heat to low, and then slowly stir in the milk. 
  14. Simmer for 3–5 minutes or until thickened into a gravy consistency. 
  15. Remove from heat. 
  16. Taste and, if desired, add more salt, pepper, paprika, mustard, or parsley to taste.
  17. Pour warm sauce over ham and potatoes. 
  18. Toss gently to coat.
  19. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 30 minutes. 
  20. Remove aluminum foil, sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and return to the oven for 5–10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling around the edges.
  21. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley, green onion, chives, or a drizzle of hot sauce.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Radishes


1 lb. radishes, sliced thin
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, stem removed, finely diced
1 C. distilled white vinegar plus more as needed
2 T. sugar
2 T. kosher salt
1 t. red pepper flakes, optional
1 T. mustard seed


  1. Wash and dry the radishes.
  2. Thinly slice the radishes and add to a large bowl along with the chopped cilantro and diced jalapeño, set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. 
  4. Bring mixture to a low boil on the stove, then turn off and allow to cool completely. 
  5. Pack a quart canning jar to the top with the radish/cilantro/jalapeño mixture. 
  6. Pack tightly. 
  7. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes and mustard seed on the top of the packed radishes.
  8. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the top of the mixture in the jar, if needed, top off with additional vinegar and a pinch of salt.
  9. Place the lid and ring tightly on the jar and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours before placing in the refrigerator.
  10. Consume within 7-10 days.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza Stromboli


Pizza or spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Note:  Thinly sliced toppings work the best.  Also toppings that do not produce a lot of moisture also work better.

  1. Make the pizza dough and roll it out into a thin rectangle.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Cover 2/3 of the dough (left side) with a thin layer of pizza or spaghetti sauce; make sure to leave a 1-inch edge without sauce and the 1/3 of the dough (right side) without sauce to allow the dough to seal properly.
  4. Sprinkle with an even, yet thin layer of cheese.
  5. Layer on the pepperoni or other toppings.
  6. Starting with short edge of rectangle on the left side of the dough, roll the dough up and pinch the edges closed to seal in the ingredients.
  7. Place the Stromboli seam side down on a foil lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Homemade Pickled Ginger (Gari)


8 ounces fresh young ginger root, peeled
1 ½ t. sea salt
1 C. rice vinegar
⅓ C. white sugar


  1. Slice ginger into paper-thin slices. 
  2. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with sea salt, and stir to coat. 
  3. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse most of salt from ginger slices, then transfer to a clean lidded jar.
  5. In a saucepan, stir together rice vinegar and sugar until sugar has dissolved. 
  6. Bring to a boil, then pour the boiling liquid over ginger slices in the jar.
  7. Seal the jar. 
  8. After a few minutes, the liquid may change to a slightly pinkish color; don't be alarmed. 
  9. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 week.