My wife has mentioned scalloped potatoes several times in the last month and I can eventually take a hint. I’m in the habit of not telling her what I’m cooking. I just call her for dinner. Sometimes she loves her surprise and sometimes not so much. This brought the biggest smile in a long time. A definite “Wifo” comfort food.
I based this on a food.com recipe that has a 5 star rating and came for the 1971 Florence Junior League cookbook. I didn’t do much to the recipe. 4 cups of sliced potatoes became 6 medium potatoes. I used pre-shredded not grated cheese for ease. But mostly I expanded on the instructions to simplify and make them less intimidating.
Excellent old fashion taste. Good enough that my wife dug the recipe out of my “to post” file and made a version with ham two days ago. Yep… she loves it.
What is Scalloped vs. Au Gratin? Scalloped is anything baked in a casserole with
sauce that could be cheese or any other sauce. Au Gratin means “with cheese”. So this recipe could be called Scalloped or Au Gratin or Scalloped Au Gratin. Take the cheese out and just use a white sauce and you have Scalloped but not Au Gratin. Now you know.
A note on the baking dish. The thicker the dish, the longer the baking time. I used a backing dish that was 1 inch deep and it went well.
Preheat oven to 350 not convection.
Slice 5-6 medium russet potatoes about 1/8 inch. If you have crazy ninja knife skills you can do this by hand but a mandolin is a good thing here. The setting on mine for this is “thin”.
Start the sauce with 3 T butter over medium heat. When melted, add 3 T flour and whisk for a few minutes. Add 1 1/2 cup milk. Frequently whisk for a couple of minutes and add 1 t salt and 1/8 t cayenne pepper. Bring to a light boil and this will start to thicken in a few more minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add 1 cup of cheese. I used sharp cheddar. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat.
Layer half of the potatoes into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with PAM. Put them in individually so they are not stuck together. Do not just dump them in.
Pour half the cheese sauce over the first half of the potatoes.
Add the second half of the potatoes, then rest of the cheese sauce. Now top with 1/2 cup of cheese. Give a light sprinkle of paprika.
Bake until potatoes are “fork tender”. This will be about an hour or a little more.
December 31 2013