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January 5, 2011

Crazy Potato Squares! (Ham and Potato Gratin)

Monkey is my #1 fan in the kitchen. I don't mean that he loves everything that I make, but every time I'm in there, he really really wants to help. He's a natural and will actually eat anything he helps make, so it's a good motivator for me to try new things with him.

For Christmas, he made an apron at a playtime, and got these knives and this cookbook from his Nana. We haven't made anything with the cookbook yet, but I promise we will and post how it went!

Last night my plan was to make a quick potato gratin - I bought 20 lbs of the suckers on impulse at my grocer when they had organic bags on sale for $3.99. It's a lot of potatoes! I also had some ham in the freezer from Christmas that my Grandmother sent home so the gratin seemed like a good idea. I also almost always have cheese and cream in my fridge. What can I say, it's a good thing I'm not lactose intolerant!

Enter my little Monkey.

He tried to help cut up the ham with his trusty knife but it was a little tough going so I helped with that. We cut up the potatoes in my Cuisinart using the julienne attachment, or as he likes to call it, the crazy potato squares! (Side note, my Cuisinart is still semi-broken and while I can get it to make salsa without too much effort, putting things through the feed tube means an entirely different headache...I put this on my Valentines wishlist...)

Anyway, Monkey assembled the entire dish with very little help from me and loved doing it. It turned out wonderful and the entire dish was gone! No leftovers! I couldn't believe it...

Crazy Potato Squares aka Ham and Potato Gratin with Cheese!


  • Approximately 5 cups of potatos cut into 1/4" julienne, from about 2.5 lbs
  • 2 cups leftover ham, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Marjoram
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 oz Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz Romano Cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp Butter


1. Preheat Oven to 375
2. Butter the inside of an 11 x 15 pan
3. In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, ham, onion, marjoram and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

4. In another bowl, or food processor, combine the shredded cheeses

5. Place 1/3 of the Potato mixture in the pan

6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top

7. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and cheese, ending with a layer of cheese.

8. Press the mixture down flat with the back of a spatula and bake in the oven for 90 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

p.s. Because he ate all his dinner and because he's so dang cute, here are a couple pictures of him eating his pumpkin pie for dessert!

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