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Scalloped Potatoes

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Scalloped potatoes are a classic comfort food that features layers of tender potatoes in a creamy, cheesy sauce. This dish is perfect as a side for family dinners, holidays, or any occasion that calls for a delicious, hearty accompaniment. With its golden, bubbly top and rich, flavorful interior, scalloped potatoes are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar or Gruyere) for topping
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Slice the Potatoes: Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Aim for uniform slices to ensure even cooking.

Step 2: Make the Creamy Sauce

  1. Melt the Butter: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the Flour: Stir in the flour to create a roux, cooking for about 1 minute until the mixture is smooth and bubbly.
  3. Add the Milk: Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add Cheese and Seasoning: Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the grated sharp cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Add salt to taste and a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Step 3: Assemble the Dish

  1. Layer the Potatoes: Arrange half of the sliced potatoes in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. If using green onions, sprinkle half of them over the potatoes.
  2. Add Sauce: Pour half of the creamy cheese sauce over the potato layer.
  3. Repeat Layers: Add another layer of the remaining sliced potatoes and top with the rest of the green onions. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top.

Step 4: Bake

  1. Top with Cheese: Sprinkle the additional 1/2 cup of grated cheese (cheddar or Gruyere) over the top of the assembled dish.
  2. Bake the Potatoes: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the potatoes are tender.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Cool Slightly: Allow the scalloped potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. This helps the sauce to set and makes serving easier.
  2. Serve: Serve warm as a side dish to your favorite main course. Enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness of classic scalloped potatoes!

Cooking Notes and Variations

Tips for Success

  • Uniform Slices: Ensure the potato slices are uniform in thickness to promote even cooking.
  • Roux: Cook the roux (butter and flour mixture) for at least a minute to remove the raw flour taste before adding milk.
  • Cheese: Use a good-quality sharp cheddar for the best flavor. Gruyere also adds a wonderful nutty taste if you choose to use it for topping.

Variations

  • Garlic: Add 1-2 minced garlic cloves to the roux for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary can be added to the cheese sauce or sprinkled between the potato layers.
  • Ham: For a heartier dish, add cooked ham slices or cubes between the layers of potatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use a different type of potato?

Yes, you can use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes. Yukon Golds are creamier, while Russets are starchy and will result in a fluffier texture.

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2. How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

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3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the dish and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. Allow the dish to come to room temperature before baking.

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4. Can I freeze scalloped potatoes?

While scalloped potatoes can be frozen, the texture of the potatoes and sauce may change upon reheating. If you do freeze them, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven.

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5. How do I make the sauce thicker?

For a thicker sauce, you can add an additional tablespoon of flour to the roux or reduce the milk by 1/4 cup.

Classic scalloped potatoes are a timeless side dish that combines tender, thinly sliced potatoes with a rich and creamy cheese sauce. Whether you’re serving them for a holiday meal or a weeknight dinner, these scalloped potatoes are sure to satisfy. Enjoy the comfort and deliciousness of this classic dish!

Happy cooking!

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