Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Old Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes

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I guess everyone has what is called a favorite recipe.

This is one that my mother made.
It is one that has been passed down, by word of mouth for a long time.

 Old Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes

Just to let you know, this does take a little work
but the rewards are great.
These are a sure winner with 
Pork Roast
(what's left?)

I don't personally make this for Mr and I as a side dish,
probably because if I am going to go to the effort,
I make enough to feed a small army.

Let me give you the cast of characters

We have potatoes in the background - for this size dish I used probably about 5 lbs
(notice the precise measurement? Sorry, it's like that throughout)

You need shredded cheese, here is mild cheddar and some leftover pepper jack
Salt and Pepper
Sliced onion
And, flour - I used rice flour today to make this gluten - free.
But, "normally" I would use regular flour.
Your choice.
I get mine in the bulk section of my favorite grocery store.
Gotta love the bulk sections, right?

There is a scientific explanation as to why you use flour, butter and milk.
All I know is that they work together to make a sauce.
It bathes the potatoes and onions, to make your mouth sing,
add cheddar cheese and you will be joining the choir.

My little work horse of a peeler.
It not only peels apples, but also potatoes.
If you run across one in a yard sale, thrift shop, I consider this worth
more than a handful of silver coins. 
Mine is well over 20 years old and it keeps on giving.
A little like the Energizer Bunny
Poor box, it has seen lots of years.

Another beauty shot

You do need to unscrew the corer part and drop it down,
but even if you didn't, the potatoes would turn out OK.
The main idea is to get them into slices.

And, sure, they have some funny ridges and the ends need to be 
trimmed, but overall, it is worth it to me.
Not everyone is perfect.
You could leave them unpeeled, if that is your thing.

OK, now, slice those potatoes and layer them in your dish.
(Some graters have a side that slices, I don't use mine because
I am deathly afraid that I will slice off a digit or two)
It is a good idea to spray the dish before so that you don't have to
dump out what you put in it and spray it and then reassemble.

Here are potatoes, salt and pepper, onions, rice flour sprinkled on,
"dots" of butter and ready for a layer of cheese.

Now after everything is layered in,

carefully pour in milk on the corner.
You don't want to mess up your creation.

Pour, pour, pour until you just see the milk peeking around the sliced potatoes.

Not over the top, because that is too much, but just enough...

I have made these in shallow dishes and deep bowls.
It is always the same as to the milk, just when you see it, stop.
I prefer the shallow bake pans, because then there is more of the
cheese baked to a dark brown to eat.

Bake, bake, bake. It will seem like forever, so allow that much time.
At 350'.

A word to the wise, put a baking sheet under
the pan. There have been more times than I want to
remember of having these bubble over and splash onto the floor of my
oven and make smoke... not a good sign for your guests...

If you have ham going, put them in with it.
Meatloafs take around an hour and half to bake, so bake these too, if it is a smaller dish.
Turkeys, chickens, the idea is to use the same oven temperature and save
a little energy in the making of these.

Mine, in this dish were finally finished about 2 hours later.
And, that is a long time to smell those onions baking, nothing better.

A word, as they are "nearing" the end, they will show a watery
bubbling around the edges, let them cook more.
Even if your fork or knife tester shows that the potatoes are
done, Let them cook more til the water is absorbed.
You will thank me for that.
No one wants watery scalloped potatoes.

I'm sorry that I don't have a picture of the finished product.
That alone would sell you on these.
The same my mother made, perhaps she got the recipe from her mother...

Just old fashioned cooking.

P.S. they are great left-over

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