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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Scalloped Potatoes



I was always happy when I came home from school and Mom had made Scalloped Potatoes.   She didn't make them very often but they were always welcomed on my plate.  I don't think Mom put cheese on top of her Scalloped Potatoes but I like a little cheese on the top to give a nice rich topping.  Technically, any cheese added to Scalloped Potatoes would then turn them into Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin but as I only add a sprinkle of cheese on top I just call them Scalloped Potatoes.  

This recipe is fairly quick to put together as it doesn't require a precooked white sauce.  Once the potatoes are peeled and sliced it takes only a few minutes to assemble the casserole.  You just sprinkle the flour, onions, butter and salt on top of each layer of potatoes and drown everything in hot milk. Then you pop them in the oven and bake until done. 
 
Make these Scalloped Potatoes well in advance as they take about 90 minutes to bake until done.  In the potato world, there's nothing worse than half baked Scalloped Potatoes.  You can hasten the cooking process by baking them in a hotter oven but that can make for a very hard-to-clean casserole dish.  The milk bakes on enamel-hard and you'll swear you'll never make Scalloped Potatoes again.  (Hopefully, you won't really swear!)  I find the lower heat and longer cooking makes for really good potatoes. Your  dish will still need a bit of scrubbing but it won't make you say bad words.  

And if you do want to turn these into Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin add an extra cup or two of grated cheese throughout the layers of potato.  


Scalloped Potatoes
3 lbs potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 8-10 medium/large potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
2 - 2½ cups hot milk
½ cup grated cheese (your favourite)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x11-inch baking dish or one that holds about 2 litres/quarts.  

Peel and slice about 3 pounds of potatoes.  Place one-quarter of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the greased dish.  Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt, and about one-third of the onions, flour, and butter and pepper to taste.  Repeat two more layers.  You should have 3 layers of potatoes and the other ingredients.  Place the last one-quarter of potato slices on top and sprinkle with the last ¼ teaspoon of salt. 

Pour the hot milk over the potatoes.  Use 2 cups of milk if you like a thicker sauce and the 2½ cups of milk if you like a thinner sauce.  Sprinkle with the cheese.  You may use more cheese if you like a thick layer.  

Cover the dish with non-stick foil and place in the preheated oven for 75-90 minutes.  About 15-20 minutes before the potatoes are finished cooking remove the foil and let the top cook to a lovely golden brown.  

When the potatoes are baked they should be fork tender but not mushy.  Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.  

Makes 6-8 servings.




 Peel and slice the potatoes.


Layer about one-quarter of the potatoes on the bottom of a greased baking dish. 

Sprinkle one-third of the flour, butter and onions on top of the potatoes.  Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste over all.


Continue building up the layers of potatoes and other ingredients until you have three layers.  Top everything with the last one-quarter of potatoes and ¼ teaspoon of salt.  Pour hot milk over everything.  The hot milk gives everything a head-start in the oven.


The milk should come at least half way up to the top of the potatoes.


Sprinkle with cheese.  I used Swiss cheese on this dish but cheddar is my usual cheese for Scalloped Potatoes.  It's up to you.  They all taste great.


Cover the dish with foil and bake until almost done.  Remove the foil for the last 15-20 minutes of baking. 


Continue baking until potatoes are fork tender and the top is golden brown.  The potatoes can take from 75-90 minutes to bake depending on the type of potato and the heat of your oven.  You can see where the milk baked on the edge of the dish.  In a higher heat oven this bakes on almost black and it takes quite a bit of scrubbing to clean the dish. 

The potatoes are steaming hot under their blanket of golden brown cheese.  Let them sit about 5 minutes before serving.


See the layers of potatoes?  Time to open wide and get some of them in your tummy.


Layers of potatoes in a creamy onion sauce makes for great eating.

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