I’ve been reading Julia Child’s book My Life in France. That led me to order “The French Chef”, her cooking show on PBS, from Netflix. What fun!
I have to say that I’m surprised how many of the recipes she shares are accessible for the average cook at home. I’m not sure why it surprised me, because that is who she wrote for. She aimed to bring French cooking to American kitchens.
This dish is based on one that Julia Child shared on her TV program. She used smoked sausage in hers, but I substituted cubed ham. I don’t remember what kind of cheese she used. I admit that I have some more tweaking and trying to do on this recipe. The sauce didn’t thicken like I’d hoped. I’m pretty sure I did it like she said, but something didn’t work. It may have been that I used milk along with the half & half. Julia Child said that would work, but I only have 1% milk instead of whole.
However, the taste was wonderful! I could really taste the potatoes. You know how sometimes they are just there and you don’t really notice them? Not so with this dish. The ham was a nice complement and it was all underscored with Swiss cheese, garlic and onion.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
- 1-2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1-2 cups diced ham
- 5-7 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
- 1-2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (plus extra) milk or half & half
- 1 Tbs. butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook onion, garlic and ham in oil in a large skillet. Remove from the skillet when onion is soft. Starting with the sliced potatoes, layer potatoes, ham and cheese in the skillet.
Stir the egg and milk together and pour over the potatoes and ham. Add more milk or half & half to nearly cover the potatoes. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.