I didn’t actually realize that scallops were a seafood dish until recently. Growing up at home, we had scallops every Easter, and fairly regularly other times, in the form of thinly-sliced potatoes with onions, white sauce, and of course, muchos au gratin. My mom always gave the impression that they were fairly time consuming and fiddly, two things that aren’t high on my cooking to-do list, so I didn’t make them for awhile.
The first time I did try to make them I undercooked them, and crunchy scalloped potatoes = bad news. I have since mastered scalloped potatoes, and they don’t actually take very long to prep, but they DO take a long time to cook. While I’m getting better at meal planning, I don’t often remember to start the potatoes at exactly the right time, and potatoes have a tendency to turn an unattractive brown when prepped too far in advance.
Enter slow cooker scalloped potatoes! My aunt made these at Christmas this year and they were both delicious and inspiring – I could make potatoes in my slow cooker?! Let’s do this thang.
My sister-in-law gave me a slow cooker cookbook for my birthday a couple months ago and I am determined to put that kitchen device to better use in my life. Combined with my aunt’s inspiration, I searched for, and found, a recipe to try and it may be the last one I try, because why mess with a good thing?
When it comes to slow cooker cooking, I am picky. If something requires me to cook things in my frying pan before transferring them to my slow cooker HELLO I WILL JUST USE MY FRYING PAN AT DINNER TIME.
Can you tell I have feelings about this?
To me, slow cooker means chop, stir, cover, leave. I want it to be legitimately easier than making dinner, not just me making dinner early in the day – I can prep any kind of dinner that way.
Chop potatoes, then an onion or leek or green onions, grab cooked ham, stir up a sauce and TA-DA! Let it turn itself into scalloped potatoes! While these have that unique slow cooker quality of no-real-texture-left, it works. The ham flavour permeates everything in a good smoky, salty way and the potatoes still hold their shape enough to be recognizable. Every slow cooker is a bit different – check an hour before “done” time and if the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork, simply switch the slow cooker to keep warm. Soul-warming, easy, and your house will smell as it should when there’s a slow cooker working its magic.
- 6 large russet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, sliced in ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced (or substitute leek or green onion)
- 2-3 cups cubed ham
- 1 can condensed cream of mushroom, cream of potato, or cream of celery soup
- 1 soup can of water
- 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
- Grill seasoning (I used Montreal Steak Spice)
- Spray inside of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange sliced potatoes, onions and ham in slow cooker in alternating layers.
- Whisk together soup, water, cheese and seasoning in a medium bowl and pour evenly over potatoes. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or until potatoes are just fork-tender. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 1 more hour.
Adapted from Crockpot The Original Slow Cooker Recipe Collection.