Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ham and Spinach Casserole

(based on a recipe from Magic with Leftovers, by Lousene Rousseau Brunner, 1955)

2 c cooked ham, diced small
1 lb frozen chopped spinach
3 T butter
3 T flour
1-1/2 c milk or cream
Salt to taste
1 c grated sharp cheese
2 T buttered bread crumbs

Thaw spinach, then drain thoroughly. It’s easiest to do if you put it in three or four layers of paper towel and squeeze it hard. It works better if you use a cloth towel, but it stains the towel.

Meanwhile, make a white sauce with the butter, flour, milk and salt. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and whisk in the flour until it’s smooth. Slowly add the milk, whisking or stirring as you go, so it stays smooth. If it’s lumpy (which does happen, even to people who cook a lot), just dump it in your blender and whirl it around a bit. Put one tablespoon of the grated cheese with the bread crumbs, and add the rest of the cheese to the sauce.

Mix half a cup of the sauce with the spinach. Make a layer of half the ham in the bottom of a casserole, then all of the spinach, then the rest of the ham. Then pour on the rest of the sauce. Finally, top it with the cheese and bread crumb mixture, and sprinkle it with paprika.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400, or until the crumbs are brown and the sauce is bubbling.

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