I just realized that I haven’t posted a recipe in over a week – what’s up with that? Too much goin’ on, I guess. Well, and insomnia. But the good news there is I fell asleep at about 8 p.m. last night and didn’t wake up until the alarm went off at 6 a.m. this morning – it’s about damn time!
Anyhoo, I was going to post a recipe for chocolate bread pudding but, gee, I haven’t made it yet so you get scalloped potatoes.
I love scalloped potatoes, although for many years I only made the kind that came out of a box. Which is fine, if you’re really, really into dehydrated potatoes, modified food starch and preservatives. Nor are they necessarily economical – the box says it will serve 5, but have you ever really gotten five servings out of it? In my family, where until recently I was feeding anywhere between 5 and 8 (if not more) people at any given time, I often found myself making two boxes at a time. That’s over $5 for a stinkin’ side dish, when you figure in the milk and butter (and if you use margarine, I’m just really going to have to speak to you. Really.).
So here is my recipe for scalloped potatoes. It makes twice the amount for a lot less money, tastes better and is better for you. Yes, it is a little more work – you’ll have to slice the potatoes, although you don’t have to peel them if you don’t want to – but it’s not difficult at all and chances are you already have all of the ingredients on hand.
Note: While I prefer Yukon gold potatoes for most potato dishes, plain russets are better for this dish. For slicing them, I recommend using the slicing disk of your food processor, although you’ll probably have to halve the potatoes in order to get them to fit in the feeding cylinder. If you have one, use a mandolin – I love mine and use it to slice all sorts of things; a good one will also cut french fries. This dish also lends itself really well to modifications – the addition of some grated cheddar cheese or grated onion and minced garlic really take it over the top.
serves 6 to 8
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups milk, preferably at room temperature
6 cups thinly sliced potatoes
Preheat oven to 375 F. Soak the potatoes slices in ice water while you prepare the sauce; this will keep them crisp and help prevent browning.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; whisk in flour and stir until smooth and bubbly, about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly until thick and smooth (you’re basically making a medium white sauce). Drain the potatoes and add to the sauce; cover and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Pour into a 12 x 8 baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, for 40 – 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and the top is beginning to brown.