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Mar 3, 2012 12:19 PM

make-ahead scalloped potatoes - is it possible? (how and type of potatoes?)

i am looking for a tried (almost typed tired) and true make-ahead scalloped potato recipe for a 9 x 13 pan

we like the type with cheddar cheese

if possible, i don't want to have to make ahead any white sauce

I DID SEE a RECIPE recently in "simple living" (a women's mag) ... i think it was the Thanksgiving USA issue 2011

it's for a special dinner for elder family member who is of the meat-and-taters generation

*make and store in fridge / freezer?
*type of taters (yukon gold? or if russet, do i have to peel them?)

for storage space reasons i do not have hte classic 9 x 13 PYREX (glass) but i do have the metal 9 x 13 cake pan which i can line with parchment

any other tips would be helpful

thank you

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  1. potato dishes like this don't freeze well, but they can be baked ahead and then reheated the next day with very little loss in quality.

    this sounds like what you're after?

    1. My family recipe for scalloped potatoes - which isn't really a recipe, just a sort of sense of direction - calls for no white sauce at all. My mom would simply butter the pan, then pour in cracker crumbs and then pour them out. This gave a good base, which she would cover with a layer of half the potato slices. Then salt and pepper, thinly-sliced onion, cracker crumbs, and repeat, dotting the top layer with butter. Her favorite variation was to layer slices of good ham between the two potato layers. Then she would pour milk until it was just beneath the top surface and bake it uncovered. I usually omit the onion and add shredded cheese on top of the potatoes, or sometimes atop the crumbs - both ways seem to work okay. Then instead of plain milk I use evaporated, which makes a richer dish without adding undue calories. If that's not an issue, half-and-half is really good …

      To do this ahead, I would assemble the dish up to the adding-milk stage, and then add that just before cooking. Of course, if you're bringing the dish to the elderly person's place for him or her to heat up later, that won't work. A different recipe that does not use crumbs for thickening would probably be called for there.

      For potatoes, I usually use peeled russets, because I like my potatoes tender. A somewhat waxier potato such as Yukon Gold or White Rose will work for most people, but I do prefer to peel them in any case. The cooking time will vary, but what we want is for the liquid to have been absorbed and the top nicely (but NOT deeply!) browned.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        sliced potatoes exposed to air will oxidize very quickly, unless submerged in liquid.

      2. I made a Yukon gold/sweet potato gratin today and the instructions said it could be made 6 hours ahead, so I did. It involved slicing the potatoes one at time and submerging them in water before drying and assembling, and there's a lot of heavy cream in there waiting for cooking time. So far, nothing bad seems to have happened. Keep in the fridge until an hour prior to cooking. This is the recipe I found:

        Even if you don't want to make such a cheesy gratin, I think it's an overall guide to avoiding disaster while making ahead.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mcf

          My dinner guests just left and I'm just checking back to tell you that the gratin recipe from that I posted above was superb, a major hit and beautiful to look at, too. The rosemary is essential... must be fresh herbs, too, IMO, always.

          1. re: mcf

            I am going to try this minus the sweet potatoes for Easter. Sounds amazing.

            1. re: springhen

              I'm making it with both of them for the holiday, and have made a half recipe for the two of us many times since with lower carb substitutions like celery root, turnip or rutabaga. It's much prettier with the sweet potato, which you could cut by a lot and arrange near the top, unless you really, really don't like it. Fabulous recipe, the only one I've left til the day of, other than my last minute green bean recipe.

        2. The hash brown casserole is very popular with us rubes here in the south.

          It really is good. Off the top of my head: a bag of frozen (cubed) hash browns, can of cream o' soup (chicken, celery, mushroom etc.) , some sour cream and grated cheddar, melted butter maybe.

          My mom made this for every holiday dinner, she liked to "get ahead of her work" and I know she made it the day before and refrigerated overnight before baking on occasion..

          It reheats very well, either the next day or after frozen and then thawed.

          1. There is a scalloped potatoes recipe floating around that uses cream and French feta that is really good and flexible prep.-wise too. I'll look for it if you wish.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Joebob

              Ooh, that sounds really, really good, please do!

              1. re: mcf

                POTATO GRATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE (I use Costco's French feta, Valbreso?)

                1 cup cream or half-and-half, divided
                1 T. all-purpose flour
                1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
                1 cup milk
                1 t. salt
                ¾ t. black pepper
                ¼ t. ground nutmeg
                1-2 garlic clove(s), minced
                5 cups Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

                • Preheat oven to 400˚.
                • Combine 2 tablespoons half-and-half with flour in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
                • Add the remaining cream or half-and-half, cheese, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic, stirring with a whisk.
                • Arrange half of the potato slices in a single layer in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
                • Pour half the milk mixture over potato slices, stirring the milk mixture immediately before adding.
                • Repeat procedure with remaining potato slices and milk mixture.
                • Bake at 400˚ for 1 hour, 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown on top.

                1. re: Joebob

                  Thank you! I've been making gratins with white turnip (bitter, but we like it) and sweet potatoes lately with good results, and Yukon golds are really yummy. Looks very good.