Friday, March 22, 2024

Three of My Favorite Scalloped Potato Recipes

  • I was middle-aged when I discovered there was more than one way to prepare scalloped potatoes. Below are three of my favorite, all wonderful for an Easter or Holiday table--or to embellish a simple meal to extraordinary. And, seriously, they are inexpensive to prepare. With a mandolin, prep goes fast (always wear a glove and use that protective finger guard!!!) The more fat in the liquid you use, the creamier the potatoes. Do not use low-fat anything. Scalloped potatoes bake for a long, long time, so plan accordingly. It's always better to overcook, than undercook. Which will be your favorite?

Potatoes with Leeks and Mushrooms


This dish blew me away. It's a keeper and my new go-to potato dish. I kept going back for more and more. The depth of flavors was incredible. It's a classic and simple pairing of leeks and mushrooms tucked between thin-layered potatoes and cheese.

It's important to use a mixture of mushrooms for this recipe. I used a pre-packaged blend I bought from the grocery store that included crimini, shitake, and oyster mushrooms. They have a woodsy flavor you can't get from white button mushrooms alone. And don't sub onion for the leeks.

Serves 4-6
  • 2 cups mixed, chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
  • 1.5 pounds potatoes
  • 3/4 cup cheese (I used half white cheddar and Parmesan)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Cut off root ends of leek and slice off to area that is just beginning to turn green (see picture above). Slice in half lengthwise. Peel apart and check for sand and grit. Wash if necessary. Pat dry and chop. 

Add about 2-3 teaspoons olive oil to a pan and sautee leeks just until they begin to brown. Remove to a plate and set aside. 

Add a bit more olive oil to pan and add mushrooms. Cook just until they begin to give up their juices, 5-7 minutes. Add leeks to pan. Stir. Add garlic and stir just until fragrant, about one minute. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper and to taste.

Microwave cream just until warm, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Peel and slice potatoes into 1/8-inch rounds using a mandolin. Save largest rounds to be placed on top last.

Butter or spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Gently layer half of the potatoes into dish in overlapping rows, like shingles. Do one row horizontal, the other vertical. Give a slight sprinkle of Kosher salt and pepper. Spoon mushroom and leek mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle with half the cheese and then layer rest of potatoes on top, ending up with largest slices. Drizzle in the cream being sure to coat top layer of potatoes. Cream will not rise to cover the entire dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 400 F. degree oven for 35 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake uncovered for another 30 minutes or so until potatoes are tender and top is golden. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes to allow potatoes to re-absorb juices. Cut and serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Notes: if you use a shallow dish, spray the foil so the cheese doesn't stick.

Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Garlic


I just kind of assume it's the French who had the culinary genius to bake ultra-thin layers of potato in cream. I mean, just look at that photo. Magnifique, n'est pas? It's a work of art!

Three kitchen utensils make this recipe a breeze to prepare: first and foremost is a mandolin. No kitchen should be without one. Next is a scale. How many times have you told yourself you were going to get one? You need two pounds of spuds. And last, but not least, a garlic press. Or a micro-plane. Okay, that's four.

A mandolin makes easy work of slicing potatoes. Always guard your fingers
and never look up while slicing. Keep your eyes on the task at hand.

Use large starchy Idaho potatoes, not red or yellow waxy ones. Use a good goat cheese. People who don't like goat cheese will love these potatoes. Trust me. This is Bon Appetit recipe. I used a flavored goat cheese instead of plain it called for and changed the process of preparing a bit.

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 5-oz. log garlic and herbs goat cheese, softened
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons regular table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon regular black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (do not omit)
  • 2 pounds starchy potatoes, such as Idaho or Yukon Gold

Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter or spray a glass baking dish 11 x 7 x 2, which I prefer. But mine was out of commission at the time so I used an 8 x 8 which also worked.

Measure your milk and cream into a glass measuring cup and microwave until warm (not hot). Add your softened goat cheese and with the tines of a fork begin working it into the cream mixture so it dissolves. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and re-adjust seasonings, if necessary. Set aside.

Scrub and peel your potatoes. I don't peel, I just use a metal scrubbie to wash them well which removes some of the skin. Slice 1/8-inch thin. Save the largest slices to place on top of dish as the last layer.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes on bottom of dish, overlapping slightly but neatly in rows. Whisk cream mixture and pour 1/3 on top. Continue layering and adding cream mixture 2 more times. I use the smaller pieces to place around the perimeter of the dish.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes. Allow to rest a bit before serving.

Scalloped Potatoes with Three Cheeses

Tender, soft pillows of potato and onion quilted with cheese and cream. What is not to like?

Use fresh, not packaged, cheeses for a great scalloped potato dish.

The first time I made this was for a family Christmas served alongside a beef tenderloin. Relatives still talk about it. What's not to like? Creamy potatoes baked with cheddar, Parmesan and blue cheese. Use quality cheeses that you grate yourself. If I use blue cheese, I generally use Maytag Blue, but it's getting difficult to find.  For the recipe below, I used Gorgonzola. Instead of using all milk, I use about 2/3 whole milk and 1/3 half-and-half. Either way, don't use reduced-fat milk. It's not unusual for the potatoes to look "curdled" during baking. That's okay. It generally works into a creamy sauce with the cheese. I generally use a mixture of shallots and yellow onions. 

A mandoline makes easy work of grating the potatoes. Do not use boiling or waxy potatoes. You want starchy Idaho spuds. 

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
  • 3/4 cup grated (packed) extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces) I prefer white, not yellow
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or Gorgonzola (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup grated (packed) fresh-grated Parmesan (about 1 1/4 ounces) do NOT use the canned stuff
  • [I probably use a bit more of all the cheeses]
  • 4 pounds Russet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch rounds (I think 1/8 is better)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided (I prefer Kosher)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion (I use a combo of onions and shallots)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups whole milk (I've never used just milk. I use a combination of whole milk and half-and-half or all half-and-half or, if I have it, heavy cream with a combo of milk and half-and-half)

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Butter or spray a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish (I recommend spraying with Pam).

In a medium bowl, mix together all the cheeses. Set aside.

Grate potatoes. Set aside. Either grate or finely chop the onion/shallot. Set aside.

Measure milk/cream mixture in a glass measuring cup. Microwave until warm. Set aside.

Using half of the potatoes carefully arrange them in rows in the baking dish, overlapping slightly. I go one row down the length, and then the second row across the width. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Evenly sprinkle the onion mixture over it then the flour. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over this and reserve the rest of the cheese. 

Now top with the rest of the potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and dot with remaining two tablespoons butter.

Pour warmed milk over the potatoes (it will not cover them completely). Tightly cover the dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil (liquid may look curdled, that's okay, especially if using all whole milk). Evenly scatter the rest of the cheese over casserole. Bake an additional 45 minutes, uncovered until cheese is a deep golden brown and potatoes are tender and creamy.

Oh, my!

Remove from oven. Let sit a good 20-30 minutes before serving.

This recipe is easily halved. Bake in an 8 x 8 dish and adjust cooking time accordingly. I bake it covered for about 35 minutes and then uncovered for about another 40 minutes or so.

(This may be prepared two hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Cover and re-warm in 375 F. oven for about 20 minutes)

NOTES: People always love to add more cheese. Be careful. More cheese may add more oil and grease, not necessarily taste. A little cheese with potatoes goes a long way.

Cover with milk just until the top is barely covered or it will boil over. The trickiest part of scalloped potatoes is bake time. It's easy to underbake them. 

How much milk you use depends on the thickness of your potatoes. 

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