I’ve never been wild about scalloped potatoes. They always seems kind of blah to me, and why have blah potatoes when there are so many non-blah ways to prepare them. Then there are the somewhat slimy boxed versions of scalloped potatoes. Those are ugh potatoes.
So, when Mike said he would like some scalloped potatoes, I figured my best bet for a good recipe was Cook’s Illustrated. I was right. These potatoes are so, so good. Onion, garlic, and thyme make them decidedly not blah. And the magical 1/8 inch slice of potato yields neither mushy nor undercooked potatoes. They recommend a food processor for the slicing, but my processor only cuts a 1/4 inch slice, so I cut my potatoes by hand. As the recipe recommends, I had a bowl set up with the chicken broth and cream, and placed my potato slices in there to prevent discoloring.
This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.
What You Need
- 2 T butter
- 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 c)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 2 1/2 lb russet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and sliced 1/8-in thick
- 1 c low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 c heavy cream
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 oz grated cheddar cheese (1 c)
What You Do
Place oven rack in the middle position. Heat oven to 425°.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onion. Cook about 4 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook 30 seconds more. Add the sliced potatoes, broth, cream, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender. Remove the bay leaves.
Transfer the potato mixture to a 8 x 8 baking dish. Smooth the potatoes into an even layer. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the potatoes. Bake 15 minutes, or until the top is golden and the the cream is bubbling. Let the dish rest for 10 minutes before serving.