Potato Topper & More

The Covered Dish

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This spring is definitely going to be a busy time for me, I’m traveling a great deal in March and again in April. For my Northeast Missouri friends, I’ll be speaking for a women’s event to be held April 20th, at the Methodist Church building, in Lewistown. It’s a women’s luncheon; stay tuned to the newspapers and on line for all the details. My speaking theme will be ‘Signs, Samplings & Simplicity.’ I love getting ready to inspire others with my foods and the wonderful journey that’s been presented for me. I’ll be sure to post it here in my column as the details develop.

This weekend I was flustered a couple of times with what I was going to fix for dinner. One meal I wanted to make, and didn’t get to was my mother’s recipe for Baked Potato toppers. What I love about this simple cream sauce is how versatile it can be. Not only can you layer it over a baked potato, but it isn’t too shabby over a bowl of pasta either.

I’ve implemented peas along with ham in my sauce, but there are a great deal more options. Think Easter and leftover asparagus and ham, or perhaps broccoli and ham. All will work quite well in the simple mixture. Each household is different, but creamed peas were always at the table for Easter. First, my brother, Greg, always loved them, and now my son, Phillip, truly enjoys them.

Mom used a sweet onion, but I think for presentation’s sake and taste I would use green onions. They could even be used on top of the potato at serving time. There’s also nothing to stop you from sauteing the onions in a bit of sherry or dry white wine. Mother thickened hers with flour, but cornstarch would also work, just remember to use 1/2, or 3 tablespoons instead of 6 tablespoons.

Well friends, I have mentioned Easter. It’s time to get rolling on your menu, before we blink it will be here. I got out Easter décor this weekend and started in with chores we do in the springtime. I mean with 75-degree weather, it’s pretty hard not to think spring. If you failed to look at the calendar Easter is the last weekend of the month, not April, this year.

It’s time to call my dad and see what he’s been up to, & then hit the hay! Have a grand week, and spend some time doing something for others. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Baked Potato Topper

Betty Dance

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

6 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon black pepper, (could use more)

3 1/2 cups 2% milk or milk of your choice.

1 (8 oz.) creamed cheese, softened and cubed

3 cups cooked, chopped ham

10 ounces frozen peas, cooked & drained

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Sauté onion and mushroom in butter over medium to low heat until translucent/tender, cool. Blend in the flour, mustard, pepper & milk. Cook until the mixture boils and thickens. Over low heat add cream cheese, stirring to melt. Add the ham, peas and Worcestershire sauce. Serve over 5-6 baked potatoes.

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