Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes

These potatoes are the comfort food for my husband. For those of us who have only ever had the box dehydrated scalloped potatoes, they are a kind of revelation. Layers of thinly sliced potatoes surrounded in a faintly onion scented sauce-so lovely and really pretty simple. It is this recipe that taught me how to make simple white sauce and I have found it useful as a base in all kinds of casseroles, pasta and au gratin dishes.
It is great alongside holiday ham but also a helpful way to stretch leftovers. Just layer in diced ham along with the potatoes. The recipe is from Betty Crocker's Best Loved Recipe Cookbook.

Scalloped Potatoes

6 medium boiling or baking potatoes (2 lbs)
3 tablespoons butter (I actually think 4 tablespoons is perfect)
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and side of 2 quart casserole with shortening.

2) Scrub potatoes; peel if desired. Cut into enough thin slices to measure about 4 cups.

3) Melt 3 tablespoons butter in 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion in butter about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

4) Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.

5) Stir in milk. (Stir in slowly to incorporate and make a smooth mixture. If the milk is poured in all at once, the sauce can become lumpy.) Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

6) Spread potatoes in casserole. Pour sauce over potatoes. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. (I layer the potatoes and sauce kind of like I'm making lasagna. If I'm adding diced ham, it is another layer in this process).

7) Cover and bake 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Because of demand, I can safely say I have always doubled (or tripled or quadrupled) this recipe. If doubling the recipe, I do recommend keeping it split into two baking dishes. If one baking dish is used for a double recipe, it has to bake for about 25 minutes longer and the bottom gets a tad more cooked than is generally cared for.

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