Monday, March 10, 2014

Joey's Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

 When my friend Michele and I decided to have a Disney movie night, of course I decided to make it a dinner and a movie night. So, I asked her what some of her favorites are and she mentioned that she loves scalloped potatoes. I immediately thought, ok, lets do a meat and potatoes thing with some yummy roasted vegetables. EASY! And then I realized that I didn't really have a go-to recipe for scalloped potatoes. It was always something that I just threw together, but I never really paid any attention to what I was throwing. Sometimes I'd throw chives in, sometimes garlic, sometimes I'd even crumble some bacon over the top. So I made it a few more times, just to see which was my favorite version, and this is it! This is the definitive recipe! It's creamy and cheesy and comforting and rich without being too heavy, and it goes perfectly with any meat. Add any kind of veg, and boom, there's your dinner!
 Michele absolutely LOVED it! I also made it for Chris and Claire who gave it two big thumbs up! And actually, now that I think of it, I'll definitely have to make it for my BFF Paul, because potatoes are his all time favorite food. So, give it a try! I KNOW you'll love it!

3 lbs baby red potatoes
1 small onion, finely minced
4 tbs butter
4 tbs flour
2 1/2 cups milk
a splash of dry white wine (optional)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs melted butter

Heat oven to 350ºF.
 In a large pot of salted boiling water, par boil the potatoes until they're cooked about halfway through. Slice them into small disks about 1/4 inch thick.
 Meanwhile, in a saucepan, over medium heat, saute the chopped onions in butter until they begin to soften. Add the flour and whisk together to make a paste. Let it cook for another minute or two. Add the milk, shredded cheese, and the wine, if using, whisking until smooth and thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
 Toss the potato slices with the sauce until well coated, then place in a buttered 9x13 casserole dish. Stir together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

-Be sure to taste the cream sauce before you toss the potatoes into it. It will need more salt than you think it will! 
-If you're not a fan of Swiss cheese, use another kind of cheese such as Cheddar or any other cheese that melts nicely and has a nice sharpness to it.
-That little splash of white wine really brings a lot to the party. It elevates the flavor to a whole new level, so if you happen to have some on hand, DEFINITELY use it!
-If you'd like to add garlic or crumbled bacon, or chives, go for it!
-You can absolutely assemble it a day or two in advance, and then just pop it in the oven an hour before dinner.
-I didn't bother to peel the potatoes, but if you feel so inclined, knock yourself out!
-You don't really have to par boil the potatoes. You can slice them raw and then proceed as directed, only bake them for a longer period of time until they're tender. Use a fork to test them for doneness.
-Oh one other thing... it's not a bad idea to place the casserole dish on a tray when you place it in the oven, just in case anything bubbles over..... not that I know this from experience or anything....

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