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Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes

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Serves 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

To my surprise, 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.

Ingredients:

2¼ pounds (1kg) potatoes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1½ cups (~350ml) milk or cream
1½ 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

Directions:

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.