Do you enjoy a good helping of Scalloped Potatoes? Below are a few recipes and tips.
Go for Russet potatoes or Yukon Golds. Russets have the most starch and make the creamiest sauce, but Yukon tends to hold their shape a little better (although your sauce will be slightly milkier). Cut the potatoes to between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick.
If you have a dark, cool closet away from the heat of the kitchen, store them there. Also, it's best to take them out of the plastic bag and put them in a basket or breathable cotton sack. And finally, make sure they are totally dry before storing long-term. Damp potatoes will rot or sprout faster.
You can make potatoes au gratin in advance and then reheat them on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave, making it easier to plan and cook for a large dinner.
If raw, once the potato is cut you can store in the refrigerator, covered with water for 12-24 hours. Be sure to keep submerged in water to prevent slices from turning gray or brown. Add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or concentrated lemon juice to a gallon of water to help keep the potatoes from turning dark.
There are almost no recipes for Scalloped Potatoes in my cookbooks and food textbooks. The reason: There is no classic recipe. You can do whatever you want. So I decided to make Scalloped Potatoes that are rich in cheese. I used mild cheddar, but you can use any cheese you prefer. With no traditional recipe, you are free to experiment.
21⁄4 pounds (1kg) potatoes, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
11⁄2 cups (~350ml) milk or cream
11⁄2 cups (4 oz./113g) shredded cheddar cheese Salt & pepper to taste
Optional (to be added to the white sauce): The leaves from a few sprigs fresh thyme Chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Any ingredients of your choosing
Slice the potatoes about 1/8 inch (3mm) thin and place in a large bowl of cold water. Set aside. Butter a shallow baking dish.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and then add the flour. Mix until combined. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. This is a “white roux”.
Add the milk or cream and whisk until blended to create a “white sauce” (one of the “mother sauces”). If thin, the sauce can be cooked over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add two thirds (1 cup) of the shredded cheese and stir until the cheese melts and is thoroughly blended into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add other herbs you like. Set aside.
Heat your oven to 400°F (200°C) with a rack in the upper third.
Drain the sliced potatoes thoroughly. Arrange a layer in the bottom of the baking dish, using about a third of the potatoes, and then spoon about half the cheese sauce over the slices, spreading evenly. Arrange a second layer of potatoes, like the first, and cover with the remaining sauce. Finish the dish by arranging the remaining potato slices in a scalloped pattern on top (you might not use all the potatoes, depending on the size of the baking dish). Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, distributing evenly.
Bake on the upper rack for 50 to 60 minutes, until the potatoes in the center are tender and the cheese is browned on top. Start watching the dish closely after about 30 minutes. If the cheese appears to be browning too rapidly, cover the dish lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest about 10 minutes, and then serve.
RECIPES IN THIS VIDEO
Scalloped Potato Roll
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
The most important ingredient in this recipe is heavy whipping cream. Great scalloped potatoes must have both a slightly crunchy top and a truly creamy texture inside, this can only be achieved with heavy cream. Do not substitute milk or half and half. Also, there is something about leaving the potato skins on that deepens the potato flavor. Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
6–7 large russet potatoes – skin on (optional), sliced wafer thin (a mandolin is a must) 2 cups imported Gruyere cheese, grated
11⁄2 cups imported Cave Aged Gruyere, grated
11⁄2 pints heavy whipping cream
1/3 stick butter, plus more to coat baking dish Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper fresh thyme (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350°
Butter a 9 x 12 baking dish.
Sprinkle the garlic in the bottom of the pan.
Using a mandolin, slice potatoes, as you go, layer by layer (try to do 5–6 layers).
Start layering potatoes. After each layer sprinkle a little Gruyere cheese mixture, some pepper and a touch
of salt, and small sprinkles of thyme leaves (first layer only, less is more) Pour a little cream over each layer.
Continue for 5–6 layers
Pour one pint of heavy cream over–jiggle into potatoes–add more as needed. Top with generous amounts of Gruyere.
Dot all over with bits of butter.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
Uncover and continue to bake for 20–25 minutes more, or until the top is browned, don’t rush. Important: let rest, for at least 15–20 minutes before serving, to set.
Basic Scalloped Potatoes
1⁄4 cup onion, chopped
1⁄4 cup butter or margarine
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
11⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
11⁄2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream (a half pint)
5 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (5 cups)
To make the sauce, in a saucepan cook onion in butter or margarine till tender but not brown. Blend in flour, salt, and pepper; add milk. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes more; remove from heat. Place half of the sliced potatoes in a greased 2-quart baking dish. Cover with half of the sauce. Repeat layers. Bake, covered, in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring once. Uncover and bake about 30 minutes more or till potatoes are done. Yield: 4-6 servings
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