I’ve always loved scalloped potatoes–they turn up often at potlucks, and yum, I go after them like the deviled eggs. However, when attempting to recreate the dish at home, I always had trouble. Until I stopped following the directions I found in every recipe for scalloped potatoes. Then it worked just perfectly!
Now I make scalloped potatoes on a regular basis and Morgan will stand at the refrigerator with a spoon eating the leftovers like candy whenever she needs a bite of yum.
The trouble I used to have with scalloped potatoes? No matter how thinly I sliced the potatoes, the potatoes never seemed to cook through and soften enough. Never. Maybe this works for you, but it never worked for me.
The solution? Thinly slice then parboil the potatoes before assembling the casserole. Works every time, for perfect scalloped potatoes–every time.
How to make Perfect Scalloped Potatoes:
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled potatoes
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup diced onions or peppers*
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (any kind)
*You can combine onions and peppers, or just one or the other. Peppers can be sweet or hot. Spicy is good! Though if you’re taking it to a potluck, you better include a warning label.
Parboil the potatoes. This means bring them to a light boil. For thinly sliced potatoes, parboiling only takes a couple of minutes. The edges will be cooked but the centers should still be firm. Take them off the heat and drain the water. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt the butter. If adding onions and/or peppers, add them now while the butter is melting to saute them. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Add pepper and garlic salt to taste. (I add them quite generously!)
Gradually add milk, a little at a time, stirring as you go to make a sauce that is not lumpy. Cook and stir til thickened and bubbly.
If adding cheese, add it after the sauce is ready. You can just turn off the heat and let the cheese melt as you stir. Use any kind of cheese. Typically, I use a combination of shredded Cheddar and Velveeta–because why do you think Morgan eats this dish like candy?
But for something different and special, sometimes I use shredded Swiss or Monterey Jack. Think outside the Cheddar!
Lightly grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Add one-third of the potatoes, then one-third of the sauce.
Repeat until the sauce and potatoes are all in the dish. I like to top it with some dried parsley.
Or–use any kind of herbs, or french fried onions, or some seasoned bread crumbs for the topping. Bake at 350-degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Serves 8 (which is why we always have leftovers for Morgan to spoon in to at the refrigerator door). You can cut it in half or multiply it. I never cut it in half–we like leftovers, and we especially like scalloped potato leftovers!
Using different cheeses and toppings, you can really create a special dish that is fit for a holiday table, or make it simple and it’s a favorite everyday supper side dish not to mention a popular showing at potlucks–trust me.