Scalloped potatoes – that mainstay of Church Homecoming potlucks – the master of family Sunday dinners – the keystone of just about every holiday get together…
And, face it… most of them are pretty dreadful. Flaccid potato slices floating in noxious, overly garlicky gravy.
But, it doesn’t need to be that way. Let’s break away from the norm and make something a little lighter, a little more flavorful, and a hell of a lot prettier to look at.
Since I was blessed with a handful (really, out of 5 plants, I got 2 pounds of potatoes) of beauties from the garden this year, I thought I’d do something to go with the Sage Battered Pork Chops I was making. And, smashing them up just seemed a crime… you know, since I only got 8 taters from all my hard work and all. I decided to do Jane’s scalloped potatoes… except, I really didn’t know her exact recipe… just basically how it was done…
So, I did what I always do…
Plate Fodder’s rehash of Jane’s Scalloped Potatoes
2 Pounds Potatoes – Peeled and cut into 1/8″ slices
1 1/2 Cups Lactose-Free Milk
2 Cloves Garlic – Whole
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Mace (or Nutmeg. For those of you that aren’t aware, Mace is the outer coating of Nutmeg. I believe mace is a wholly underused spice. It has many of the same characteristics of nutmeg, but with peppery, citrus notes to it – and those elements work especially well with heavy, richer flavors.)
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
3 Tablespoons Cultured Butter – (We use cultured butter because of our lactose issues – but feel free to use regular butter, or a GOOD butter substitute. For day to day uses, I go with either Land o Lakes Salted Margarine or Simply Delicious ICBINB. Both are low water and a fairly even swap for real butter in recipes.)
Salt & Pepper – about a Teaspoon of Each
Tools of the Trade
10″ Deep Dish Pie Plate
Sharp Knives and Cutting Board
Medium Sauce Pan
Large Mixing Bowl
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In the sauce pan, add the milk, 2 Tablespoons of butter, whole garlic, bay leaves, thyme and mace. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Fish out the garlic and bay and discard.
Slice the potatoes into 1/8″ slices. Do not rinse the potato slices.
Add the potato slices and milk mixture to the mixing bowl, and toss for about a minute to coat each slice and to mix some of the potato starch into the milk mixture
With the remaining tablespoon of butter, grease the pan well. Layer the slices into the pan – salting & peppering each layer. Pour the remaining milk mixture over the prepared potatoes
Sprinkle 1 Teaspoon of Parmesan cheese over the top. Cover with Parchment Paper and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove the parchment paper and allow your scalloped potatoes to cool about 10 minutes before serving.