Saturday, December 13, 2014

Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes are so dang versatile.  You can cook up so many different dishes with them.  Baked Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, French Fries, Tater Tots—the list goes on and on.  Here at An Eat’n Man, we like our taters pretty much any way we can find ‘em, from the aforementioned more ubiquitous ways to some of the fancier forms that potatoes can be lifted up to.  With that in mind, we’re going to start a series of some of the more ‘gussied up’ variety of potato dishes, starting with this one, Scalloped Potatoes. 

This dish is actually about half way between scalloped potatoes and potatoes ‘au gratin.’  What’s the difference, you ask?  Well, scalloped potatoes are potatoes cooked in a milk based sauce, and au gratin potatoes are potatoes sprinkled with cheese and breadcrumbs and baked.  In the former, the milk is what does the ‘scalloping,’ and in the later, a broiled cheese and breadcrumb topping is what makes something ‘au gratin’ or ‘gratinéed.’  If you do both, then you should call them ‘scalloped potatoes au gratin.’  In this version, I’ve done the scalloping, but I left out the bread crumbs, so it’s not a true ‘au gratin.’  Okay, enough definitions, let’s get to cooking!

Scalloped Potatoes

3-4 Large Potatoes, Thinly-Sliced
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cups Milk
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon White Pepper
2 Cups Grated Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
Dash Paprika

Peel your potatoes and slice them thinly.  This is best done with a mandoline, which can make paper-thin slices quickly and easily.

Just be sure to use the cutting guide and perhaps a knife glove like this one here as well.  Never cut bare-handed like you see ‘em doing on the cooking shows.  Trust me, I can tell you from experience that these babies are very sharp.

When you’ve finished with your taters, melt the butter in a skillet,

then sift in the flour, let cook a minute or three, then stir.

Next, slowly stir in your milk and whisk to combine.

Season with the salt and pepper, then cook on medium heat until just boiling.  Turn off heat. 

Layer some of your potato slices into an oven-proof dish.

Sprinkle some of the cheese over them,

and then ladle some of your milk sauce over that.

Repeat with another layer of potatoes, cheese and sauce.  Keep doing this until you fill up the dish, probably six or seven layers.

On the last layer of potatoes, just add cheese on top—no sauce—as this is what is going to form a nice, melty, golden-brown layer on top. 

Sprinkle on a little paprika if you like, then bake the potatoes uncovered for about an hour at 350˚F, until they are cooked through and golden brown on top.

Let potatoes rest for ten minutes or so out of the oven, then serve.

Until next time,



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