Spring without a potluck is almost like Thanksgiving without a turkey, but that’s our reality — at least for now.
Last month, Kent and Shannon Rollins, authors of a new cookbook called “Faith, Family & the Feast: Recipes to Feed Your Crew from the Grill, Garden, and Iron Skillet” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30), were scheduled to come to Austin to talk about their country cookin’, much of which is suited for feeding a crowd of hungry cowboys. Or teenagers.
They had to cancel their book tour because of the coronavirus, but their recipes (and folksy demeanor) can still provide a heaping spoonful of life on the farm. About a decade ago, Rollins started posting cooking videos on YouTube from his ranch in Hollis, Okla., which is how he caught the attention of cookbook agents and Food Network producers. He’s since published “A Taste of Cowboy” and appeared on a number of shows, including “Chopped” and “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay,” where his chicken fried steak earned top honors.
If you’re in the mood for some carb-heavy comfort food, pick up some extra milk, cheese, potatoes and French onion dip on your next trip to the grocery store to make this green onion and ham scalloped potato casserole.
Unless you’re in isolation with a large family, I’d cut this recipe in half or prepare it in two casserole dishes so you can give half of it away. It’s a good way to use a ham steak or any leftover ham you might have stored in the freezer from Easter.
Green Onion and Ham Scalloped Potatoes
A good scalloped potato recipe is a staple at any community, family or church gathering. Shannon adds layers of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, chunks of ham, and — her own distinctive spin — green or French onion dip. Your crowd won’t be disappointed when you bring this to the next social.
— Kent Rollins
3 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (16-ounce) tub green onion or French onion dip
5 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 cups chopped cooked ham
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper
Chopped green onions, for topping
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole dish.
Warm the milk and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the flour and cook just until it thickens to a thin gravy, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat and stir in the onion dip until smooth.
Arrange half the potatoes in the skillet or dish. Pour half the milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the ham, 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat the layers once more.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes soften and the cheese has slightly browned. You can brown the cheese more by broiling for a couple of minutes or moving the skillet to the top oven rack at the end of baking. Top with chopped green onions and serve. Serves 8.
— From “Faith, Family & the Feast: Recipes to Feed Your Crew from the Grill, Garden, and Iron Skillet” by Kent Rollins and Shannon Rollins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30)