Which takes me to the Big City once again, where many of my beloved friends are!
The city I feel most comfortable in, having been born and raised there!
Explain to me again why we thought that moving to another city *outside* our big city was a good idea again…? I can’t quite remember right now…
But seriously, I hope my extensive commute satisfactorily explains why I’ve been too exhausted this past week by the end of the day to drum up a blog post. But, I promise that I’ll get used to the new schedule, and start posting more regularly. I may even start bringing my laptop with me on the train to get some early morning bloggery done!
Or sleep. Yeah, that one sounds MUCH NICER.
In any case, this past weekend has been a blissful, recharge-by-puttering-around-the-house kind of weekend, and so I had both the time and inclination to make a nice dinner this evening of baked ham and scalloped potatoes.
I’ve missed scalloped potatoes; I rarely ever make them, since my husband is trying to cut back on his carbs these days and so hardly eats potatoes anymore (WHO IS THIS CRAZY PERSON I MARRIED?!?), and to be honest, they’re not something you can just whip up in 5 minutes and be done with them.
Yeah…it takes 15 whole minutes from start to finish, plus baking time. I mean, 15 minutes is practically an hour, after all…well, for very large values of an hour, anyway.
So, the next time you have 15 minutes, a buttload of potatoes, and a hankering for something a little special for dinner, I suggest you try this recipe. Your waistline may hate you, but nobody else will!
Note: this recipe is *totally* scalable! Just slice as many potatoes as will fit whatever size and shape of baking dish you want to use, use a bit more onion, cheese, and spices per layer, and trust in your ability to pull off a culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen. Go You!!!
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Baking Time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours
- 3-4 lbs yellow flesh potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled
- ½ medium yellow onion
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan, or your preference)
- 2 heaping tbsp AP flour
- Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter glass or ceramic baking dish with a good lid (or if you don’t have a lid, keep heavy duty foil handy).
Inspect all potatoes for spots or imperfections, and remove them prior to slicing. Slice potatoes about 2mm, or 1/8”; if they are small potatoes, slice them on their longest side to make the largest slices possible per potato. Try to keep all slices the same thickness. Immerse potato slices in cool, salted water, until ready to assemble.
Very thinly slice onion, preferably into whole slices for aesthetics. Set aside.
Add melted butter to warmed milk. Stir and set aside.
Assembly: Place potato slices in bottom of buttered dish in a scallop pattern, meaning circle the inside edge of the bowl, lightly overlapping each slice. Fill in the centre with 1 layer potato slices. Sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika, and a generous pinch of flour across the potatoes. Lay 1/3 of onion slices on top.
The fourth and final layer is finished without the cheese, as it has a tendency to burn and stick to the top of the lid.
Lastly, carefully pour the warmed milk/butter mixture over the top and along the side of the potatoes, avoiding spillage as much as possible. Add only to halfway up the side of the dish, or it will boil and spill out into your oven. If you need a little more or a little less milk to accommodate the size of your baking dish, that’s fine.
Cover and place in middle of preheated oven for 30 minutes; at end of 30 minutes, take off the lid completely and continue baking for another 30-45 minutes, depending on how much milk you have added, and how browned you like your top potatoes. Remove baking pan from oven and let set for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Pro-Tip: If you forgot a step, or are just super-lazy like me, you could mix the spices and flour into the *un*warmed milk as well as the melted and cooled butter — the milk must be cold so as not to start activating the gluten in the flour — and pour that mess all over the potato slices. I’ve done this before, and it’s worked juuust fine; my forgetfulness is how I learned about melting the butter and adding it to the milk, after all!