Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Scalloped Potatoes with Cream & Cheddar

One of the ultimate comfort foods, Scalloped Potatoes must be one of our favourite side dishes, especially when we're expecting a large group of ravenous friends for dinner. Rich, creamy and full of flavour, there are many versions of this classic gratin. My Mom used to make it using a can of Campbell's mushroom soup. Although we often add sliced onions, grated cheese, nutmeg or fresh thyme, our core recipe starts with sliced russet potatoes layered in a garlic rubbed baking dish, smothered in a combination of whole milk and cream then dotted with a butter. If I use onions and cheese, I add them with each layer of potato then cover with the cream mixture and top with a final flurry of grated cheese and sprigs of fresh thyme. Baked in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours until the potatoes are bubbling and golden brown, the wonderful aroma will entice guests into the kitchen well before the dinner bell rings.

Scalloped Potatoes
Serves 6

3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 lb yellow potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
1/4 tsp ground white and black pepper

Preheat oven to 325°F with a rack set in the lower third of oven. Rinse the sliced potatoes in cold water and pat dry in a towel. Rub a shallow earthenware dish with the garlic cloves and butter well. Arrange the sliced potatoes and onions in layers in the baking dish, starting with a layer of onions on the bottom, and season with salt and pepper. Dot with the remaining butter, pour the cream overtop and finish with grated cheddar over the assembled gratin. Transfer the baking dish to oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. During the last 10 minutes, turn the heat up to 400°F to brown the top of the potatoes so that they become golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let the dish stand for 5 minutes, before serving the scalloped potatoes directly from the baking dish.

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