Round Rock, Texas
This is a recipe for 5 lbs. of potatoes. I double this to 10 lbs. of potatoes plus 3 large potatoes to feed 25-28 people. It is good and they usually eat it well.
5 lbs. russet potatoes (peeled and diced in approximately one inch cubes)
2 cups Shredded mozzarella cheese (regular…not smoky)
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 yellow sweet onion (medium) diced into good size dice…because you are sautéing it…it will be sweet and delicious in this dish.
3 T. real butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 quart cream
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2-T. extra-virgin olive oil and 1 T. butter to cook onions in
This is the key!
A. I have found that scalloped potatoes can taste fantastic, but not be done even after hours of cooking. Personally, I don’t care for crunchy scalloped potatoes. Since it seems potatoes will just lay on each other and not cook one another for some reason I have started cutting my potatoes either into dice or rounds about ½ inch thick (which I prefer) and steaming them in my steamer first. They could also be boiled on top of the stove until just fork tender but not falling apart if you don’t have a steamer like mine (Emeril’s that holds 10+ lbs. Of potatoes at a time!) This will make fabulous potatoes everytime!
B. Put your olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a non-stick pan and get it good and hot. Cut your onion in the size pieces you want people to eat and sauté the onions. (Now, some people don’t want color on theirs, I do. It gives a depth of flavor that adds to this dish…so I sauté mine to a deep brown color…but certainly you don’t want to burn anything!)
Remove from the heat…and just set everything aside. You will add this all to the potatoes in the middle between the two layers of this dish.
C. Take the 3 tablespoons of butter and the 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and crumble that ice-cold butter into nice pea size crumbles. Now, gently toss the butter with the flour. It will mix with the cream as the potatoes
D. bake and make it’s own thickener without breaking since you coated the butter with the flour. It also keeps everything smoother and not lumpy.
E. Mix the quart of cream and 2 cups of milk together and keep cold until you are ready to assemble the potatoes to cook.
To assemble the potatoes:
1. Spray your pan with whatever spray you like best. Be sure you like the taste it will leave on your potatoes. There is one that is an olive oil spray that is good and will marry well with the cooking of the onions that goes in this dish. (Some of the butter flavor sprays leave a bitter taste.)
2. Lay down one layer of potatoes…, which would be ½ of the potatoes. Salt and pepper the potatoes with 1-teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. I just use my fingers to sprinkle it evenly over these potatoes.
3. Sprinkle one cup of the mozzarella cheese over the potatoes.
4. Sprinkle one cup of the sharp cheddar cheese over the potatoes.
5. Take 1.5 Tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle it over the potatoes.
6. Use 2.5 cups of the cream/milk mixture and ladle over the potatoes.
7. Sprinkle the onions you sautéed, with their butter and oil or without as you choose, over the potatoes. Use all the onions here. This goes in the center of this dish.
8. Layer on the remainder of your potatoes. Salt and pepper your potatoes with 1-teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
9. Sprinkle the remainder of the butter/flour mixture over the potatoes.
10. Layer on one cup of mozzarella cheese over the potatoes.
11. Layer on one cup of sharp cheddar cheese over the potatoes.
12. Pour the rest of your cream/milk mixture over the potatoes. You should be able to see the cream/milk mixture halfway up the top layer of the top of the potatoes.
13. Put the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese on top of the dish.
14. Bake in a 350-degree oven until bubbly and the top is browned to your liking. The ingredients are all done…they just need to marry and the cream and flour thicken around the potatoes with the cheese. This is a delicious dish.
I cover with foil 25 minutes and then uncover.
TO MAKE THIS DISH LIGHTER IN CALORIES:
This dish can be made the exact same way with fewer calories. It will not taste as rich…but it will still be great! I use ½ the cream and use ½ and ½ and 2% milk. I use low-fat mozzarella and low-fat sharp cheddar cheese. I make a SMALL amount…infrequently!
Photo courtesy: Avoir Chaud