The best recipe for scalloped potatoes is classic Pommes Dauphinoise. Take the time and calories to do it right, and the dish is positively transcendent.
If you have leftovers, use the potatoes in a fritatta!
Alas, I never write any of my recipes down. However, I made a very good scalloped potatoes last winter. I made a bechemal sauce with milk and flour, then melted some odds and ends of cheese into it and poured it over sliced potatoes. I also added chopped ham to the mix. I had done a cheese try and a baked ham for my New Years Eve party, so I was using up leftovers.
My favorite is The Ultimate Potato Gratin by Tyler Florence with my augmentation.
Okay to use regular green cabbage instead of Savoy
before adding the thickly shredded cabbage to the bacon/butter in the pan, dip to wilt in the liquid in the crock pot after hours of braising a slab of corned beef.
(don't use that packaged cole slaw shredded because it is too fine a chop
sprinkle the crispy bacon bits (real bacon only) over the ingredients in layers in the pan
okay to use Fat Free Half and half
use Gouda cheese instead of parmesan
(because the dipping liquid from corned beef is salty and Parmesan brings it over the top)
(smoked Gouda okay, but not necessary).
Mom's recipe was simple; sliced potatoes (she did it by hand; I cheat and use a "V-slicer", the poor man's mandoline) put into a well-buttered casserole, layer by layer. Each layer gets dotted with butter, and dusted lightly with flour. However, she would also add a layer of ham - and I don't mean deli-shaved ham, I mean big, thick slices - every other layer. She'd fill it with milk, leaving it about an inch below the top. Cover and bake at 325 until the potatoes were tender. If the top hadn't browned enough, she'd take the (clear) glass cover off for 10-15 minutes.
Amazingly, she didn't season it with anything while it was cooking (although the ham was pretty salty, and she used salted butter). But, as a kid, I didn't care - on a cold Canadian winter's night, after a couple of hours of hockey or snowball fights, they were warm, and creamy, and comforting. There are hundreds of variations, as others have noted, but sometimes, simplest is best.
Methinks you are remembering the long lost classic dish of minced scallops, bound in a matrix of grated potatoes, shallots, and cream bechamel, enclosed in a taco-like folded flap of wafer-sliced veal, nestled in alternating series onto a base layer of meaty wall strips of tomtoes, then covered in a casserole dish with layers of mandoline-sliced potatoes and cream.
"Scalloped tomato potato scallop shallot scallopini".
I must try this dish.
The best scalloped potatoes (au gratin) they have cheese, were the ones a very good girlfriend's mom made, called Lucious Potatoes, and were they ever. She just jotted the recipe down, so nothing was exact. So mine at that time, never came out like hers.
She had five cheeses, one being cream cheese. milk/half and half. thinly sliced potatoes,onion, fresh garlic, salt and pepper, Tillamook cheddar, jack, fontina and a little parmesean. She made a roux with butter, to that she grated some nutmeg, then added her cheeses and then the milk/cream and thickened it for a sauce. A dash of sherry, and she used white pepper, not black.This cheese sauce I tell you, was decadent.
She topped with a mix of the grated cheeses and ever so thinly sliced and sauteed onion. I wish I could give you exacts, but I can't. Making the sauce ahead with the roux, helps to keep the sauce stable. Yum Yum. Laverne's Lucious Potatoes.
Put your baking dish on a paper or foil lined sheet pan, cover the potatoes, uncover the last few minutes to achieve a nice color on the top.
Bake at 350 till tender.
Try not to eat out of the casserole dish, you will burn yourself.
I had the best scalloped potatoes ever at a Thanksgiving buffet at a wonderful rest. one year. I've tried to duplicate them and have come pretty close. It's the basic recipe--thinly,evenly sliced potatoes, onions or shallots, cremeni mushrooms, cream, lots of S& P. a little nutmeg, and a mixture of gruyere and blue cheese. Layer everything, ending with cheese on top. When I make this, I serve some sort of meat with it, but we almost always just pig out on the potatoes. A great splurge!
This may be a picky point but the cook in the house ( DH) swears that u need to slosh EACH slice of potato individually in cream.. It is labor intensive but it works and he only uses cream,S&P and occasionally cheese ( gruyere) on top ...I want to eat the whole thing
Scalloped potatoes are so forgiving. This is my favorite recipe, though feel free to improvise. It is that kind of dish! I prefer using long white potatoes (or white rose) to yukon golds or russets. It depends on the final consistency that you like. Russets will be slightly grainy, yukon golds, less so, and long whites keep their toothsomeness. Slice the potatoes thinly on a mandoline. Don't worry if they start to turn color before you have assembled the dish. That will take care of itself in the baking.
Butter your baking dish. Use a bigger dish than you think is necessary, since you want to stop filling it at least a half inch from the top in your attempt to stop boil-over.
Have ready chopped shallots. Onions will do if shallots are not available, but, in that case, add a bit of chopped garlic, too. Shallots are easier. Also have ready a whole nutmeg and grater, and cream and half and half or whole milk.
Layer potatoes, overlapping in the dish. Sprinkle with chopped shallots, salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Pour over all cream to almost cover. Repeat layers of potatoes and seasonings. Pour milk or half and half, or a mix of both over the middle layers to almost cover. After the final layer of potatoes and seasonings, pour cream over all to almost, but not quite cover. If you are using cheese, top the dish with it now. I only like cheese if the dish is to be served with ham.
Bake at 350° for about 75 to 90 minutes. Thinly sliced potatoes cook in less time than thicker sliced ones. No covering required. This dish is best made a day or two or three ahead. In that case, bake for 60 minutes initially, cool and refrigerate. Reheat for an hour (or less if the potatoes have been brought to room temp.) at 350°.
If you are worried about boil-over, place your potato pan on a slightly larger pan, to catch the overage. It is a pain to clean it off the oven floor.
The very best potato gratin/scalloped potato dish I've made, and the best I've had outside of restaurants, is from Cooks Illustrated, November & December 1999: Holiday Potato Casserole with Gouda, Garlic and Thyme.
Here's the link, unfortunately only available to those who are CI-online members:
Whenever I've made this everyone clamors for the recipe.
I slice Idaho potatoes and one sweet onion on a mandoline. Put them in a large sauce pan, and add heavy cream to cover with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I bring them to a light boil and pour them into a buttered baking dish and cover with shredded Gruyere cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until bubbly and brown. I used to add garlic but I find that it overpowers the other, more subtle flavors. We usually like to eat scalloped potatoes with a roast beef and I will roast a head of elephant garlic on the side to spread on the sliced meat.
No, I did a search on it and that came up. I used to belong to Cooks Illustrated web site, but when my year expired and it went up to $24, enough is enough. To me, that is a big rib off, especially since that is the "special rate" for those who also subscribe to the magazine. I'm at the point where I am mad enough to not renew my subscription.
here is the cook's illustrated recipe from someone's blog. although i don't see the gouda cheese....
do people ever layer the slices vertically, like cds in a jukebox? iirc, i've had them like this, though they were on a slight angle (60 degrees?), as i recall....
I always use baking potatoes, because that's what Mom used, and because I like'em soft. She never used flour, just cracker crumbs, thin-sliced onion, butter, salt, pepper and milk, laying the potato slices in three layers, with crumbs etc. topping each one. Her killer version had two layers of potatoes, with a layer of thinly-sliced ham* between them. Then she'd pour in enough milk to come up JUST to the top layer of crumbs (easy to do if you use a glass pan) and bake it until it was brown and the milk was all absorbed.
I like to incorporate cheese - sharp cheddar, maybe pepper jack - into mine, and use panko crumbs (sometimes) instead of cracker crumbs. I also like to use evaporated milk.
* If you DARE use Spam in here you're probably going to Hell, but go ahead and invite me over anyway...
i'm looking forward to this thread. i love scalloped potatoes. the best i ever had were so lusciously tender, and the creamy component was in perfect balance with the potatoes. the dish was served with a beautiful rare tenderloin, with a horseradish sauce. i was a shameless piggy-poo that day.
Not an exact art...
you will need:
thinly sliced yukon golds(or other waxy potato)- I use a mandoline for this task. 6-8 potatoes will generously serve 6 people(I mean generously- and with leftovers)
minced garlic(to taste)
herbs(thyme, rosemary and chives are great), optional
1. Toss sliced potatos with garlic, onion and herbs 1-2T of flour in a bowl. Season well with S&P.
2.. Liberally oil your baking dish( and cover with a layer or overlapping potatos.Make certain the onions and garlic are evenly scattered among the slices.
3. Fill to 1/2" of the top of your dish(as the dish bakes, layers will soften and collaspe some- the 1/2" gives enough room to turn the dish in the oven without slopping the dairy all over the place.
4. Cover potatoes with at least 1 cup cream, and continue with milk until entirely covered. Use all cream if you like, but don't go with all milk- not as rich, and the sauce tends to be runny.
5 Bake at 400 on a sheet pan on the lowest rack. Cover with foil for the first 30 minutes of baking and then continue to bake uncovered for 1 more hour- the dairy will bubble up and spill over. Total cooking time: 1.5 hours
6. Potatoes are done when you can easily insert a knife into the potatoes(no resistance) and the top is unformly brown and crispy.
You can add a hard cheese like parmesan to the potatoes layers without changing the cooking time or consistency. Play around- I don't have a recipe that I always follow because this is a flexible, rustic dish. Add herbs or don't. Add bacon or don't. Cheese? If you please. Leftover are just as good, so make plenty!
Hope that helps!