Cheesy Ham and Potato au Gratin with Peas

Cheesy Ham and Potato au Gratin with Peas:

This indulgent dish is a comforting symphony of flavors and textures, blending tender slices of ham, creamy potatoes, and vibrant green peas, all smothered in a rich and velvety cheese sauce. Each layer of thinly sliced potatoes is carefully nestled between generous portions of savory ham and plump peas, creating a hearty and satisfying dish that is sure to delight the senses.

The star of this culinary masterpiece is the creamy cheese sauce, a decadent blend of sharp cheddar, creamy Gruyère, and velvety béchamel, infused with aromatic spices and a hint of garlic. As the dish bakes in the oven, the cheese sauce envelops the potatoes, ham, and peas, forming a golden crust on top while infusing every layer with its rich and savory essence.

With each forkful, you are treated to a symphony of flavors and textures. The tender potatoes, cooked to perfection, melt in your mouth, while the savory ham adds a delicious smokiness to every bite. The peas, bright and vibrant, provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the cheese sauce, adding a burst of color and flavor to the dish.

As you savor each spoonful, the creamy cheese sauce coats your palate, leaving behind a lingering warmth and satisfaction. This dish is the epitome of comfort food, a hearty and indulgent meal that soothes the soul and satisfies the appetite. Whether enjoyed as a cozy family dinner or served at a special gathering with friends, Cheesy Ham and Potato au Gratin with Peas is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, earning rave reviews and leaving everyone craving seconds.

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Servings: 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pounds potatoes, sliced thin (about 1/8 inch)
1 cup cooked ham, diced
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a baking dish with butter.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute to remove the raw flour taste. Gradually whisk in the warm milk and cream, bringing it to a boil. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

4. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

5. Arrange half of the potato slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the ham, half of the peas, and half of the cheddar cheese. Pour half of the sauce over the layers.

6. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, ham, peas, cheddar, and sauce.

7. Sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan cheese.

8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.

9. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are tender.

10. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Variations & Tips

For a vegetarian version, omit the ham and add sautéed mushrooms or zucchini. You can also swap out cheddar for Gruyère for a nuttier flavor or include breadcrumbs mixed with herbs and butter on top for added texture. For those who enjoy a spicier dish, a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce in the cream sauce can add a pleasant heat.

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