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April 7, 2010

Mid-Century Menu – Campbell’s Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

Happy Wednesday, All! Welcome to another Mid-Century Menu.  This week our adventures have taken us to Campbell’s Emergency Cookbook, a cute little pamphlet that fell out of another cookbook that I recently purchased.  This little cutie doesn’t have a date on it, but I am guessing by the illustrations that it is late sixties or early seventies.  It looks to be an advertisement for the much more recognizable Campbell’s cookbook, Cooking With Soup.

Several little cooking “emergencies” are laid out in the pamphlet with appropriate Campbell’s recipes to rescue your dinner. The sections are:

Blown your food budget? Make Frankfurter Boats or Campbelled Eggs.

Listless Leftovers?Try a Hot Meat Sandwich or Tetrazzini.

Company Coming?Meatball Stroganoff or Peachy Chicken to the rescue.

No Talent for Sauce Making? Make a Cream or Barbecue sauce with soup as the base.

No Time for Dinner?  Make Yankee Franks ‘n Noodles (you had better believe I will!) or Souperburgers.

Got a Bunch To Feed And Two Different Cans Of Soup on Hand?  Ok, they had me nodding “Yes, yes, I can see that,” right up until this one.  Why can’t you just make different soup separately?  Why do you have to throw them together into something nauseating like Puree Mongole, which is Pea soup mixed with Tomato soup. Why do that? Why? 

Anyway, my manufactured emergency for this week is Listless Leftovers.  We have the leftover Easter ham as a source of ready meat, and after I pried it out of Tom’s hands, (“Just one more piece! Just one!”) I carved up some chunks to make this:

Scalloped potatoes and ham (or their counterpart Au Gratin Potatoes) is probably one of the most common dishes to come out of a leftover ham, but my mom always scalloped her own potatoes, so to speak, with a white sauce.  So I have never tried to make it with a condensed cream soup, let alone Cream of Celery, which I am always kind of afraid off.  Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom always seem so much safer. 

So anyway, we were off!

A lot of chopping again this week. Tom was nice enough to help me chop a bunch of stuff before he went for his run.  He also took pictures, which was great!

Layer 1.

Layer 2.

Layer 3.

Now if anyone else read the recipe, which I apparently didn’t do very well, Layer 4 was supposed to be the soup/milk mixture, which was then supposed to be followed by repeated layers.  But I missed that, because I am an idiot.  So, when I finished layering all the other ingredients and realized my error, Tom suggested I just dump all the soup and milk on top. It seemed to work out pretty well.

Here it is!  Hot from the first bake off in the oven.  I was pleased to see that throwing the soup on top had appeared to work. Whew.

Covered with cheese and paprika for the final bake.


The all-important first bite.

“How is it?”

Tom nodded.  “Really good.”

I took a bite, and it was really good.  I was surprised that it didn’t overwhelm me with the flavor of celery, and it seemed to go well with the ham.  I was happy.

The Verdict:  Really Good.  Tom had to restrain himself from eating all of it and I stopped myself after my second helping.  I thought that I preferred Au Gratin Potatoes with Ham, but these were very good.  If you have any ham leftovers, I recommend it!

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5 Responses to Mid-Century Menu – Campbell’s Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

  1. Andrea_r Reply

    April 7, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I use cream of celery quite a bit (tuna casserole, as a gravy..) – doesn’t taste much like celery at all.

    For scalloped potatoes though, I just pour over a can of evaporated milk.

  2. Andrea Reply

    April 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    That one does actually sound really good! I might have to try that. I still think I would sub Cream of Mushroom soup, though, as no one in my house overly likes celery much.

  3. sablemable Reply

    April 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Wow! A recipe that both of you like, LOL!

    I have a friend who uses cream of mushroom soup to make her scalloped potatoes and they are good.

  4. Sara In AZ Reply

    April 7, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Hmmmmmm, I might have to try this with the Celery soup just to see what it tastes like!

  5. Annie B. Reply

    April 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Congrats on a successful mock emergency! I know, Cream of Celery just seems outside one’s comfort zone, but it works really well in a lot of recipes.

    I love your drinking glasses! Super atomic!

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