Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Easiest Scalloped Potatoes in the Whole Wide World

And maybe the most delicious too.

I can be a pretty lazy cook. I like short cuts when they yield good results. We raise wheelbarrows full of 'taters in our garden and we love scalloped potatoes so when I learned of this easy way to make them, it was over. Making the roux and white sauces came to an end. There no longer was a need to spend extra time on sauces and we could enjoy creamy hot potatoes more often.

I made them tonight for the crowd that came to dinner. Eight little kids, one teenager and six adults were banging their forks on the table, clamoring for more of these. I forgot to take pictures of the steps of assembling this dish, but since there are so few and it is so easy to make I don't think you'll miss the pictures.

This is more a method than a recipe so you can very easily adjust the amounts according to the number of people at dinner. Whether you are cooking for two or twenty, be sure to make extra because people will want seconds.

The Easiest (and most delicious) Scalloped Potatoes

You will need:

Potatoes (one or two per person)
salt and pepper
heavy whipping cream

Start by peeling and slicing the potatoes. I almost always make these for a crowd so I use my food processor to slice about six or seven pounds of potatoes. A mandolin or a knife works just as well. It is best to keep the slices as uniform as possible so they cook evenly. Chop some onion. For my large pan I used one half of a large onion. Choose a deep dish baking pan or cassarole and butter the inside generously. Layer potato slices in the buttered pan and spread some chopped onion over the potatoes ( this amount is according to how well you like onion, that is- judge according to taste). Sprinkle this heavily with salt and pepper. No matter how much salt I put in this dish I have never over-salted. The potatoes absorb a lot of salt without getting very salty. Spread another layer of sliced potatoes, more onion and more salt and pepper. Do not fill the dish to the top. Leave room for saucy bubbling so there are no messy spillovers in the oven. I speak from experience here. A good inch from the top is sufficient. Finally, pour heavy cream over the potatoes until the cream reaches the top of the potatoes, still leaving room for bubbling in the pan. I used three pints of cream for my large pan.

That cream is all that is needed for the sauce. It will bubble and thicken as the potatoes cook.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the potatoes are tender (pierce with a fork to test) and the sauce is bubbly and golden, 45-60 minutes for a small dish of six potatoes, 90 minutes for a large dish like mine. The oven temperature and time can be adjusted according to need if it is cooked with another dish like a meatloaf or roast.

A great variation would be to add shredded cheese to the layers. A sharp cheddar or gruyere would be divine. I've also added sliced ham pieces or smoked turkey or sliced kielbasa to the potatoes for a one dish meal.


1 comment:

  1. Oh Kielbasa, you make my heart sing. This looks like a great meal.


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