I wasted a good two hours of my life trying to figure out what the difference was between scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin. The only difference I came across was the type of dish used to bake au gratin and the steps are slightly different but the ingredients are exactly the same so I’m going to stick with scalloped potatoes for my recipe.
You may be sick of my potato posts but, quite honestly, I’m just getting started. My potato hacks are endless. Growing up we always had potatoes in some form but very rarely had scalloped potatoes. It wasn’t until I visited a buffet in New Jersey that I discovered scalloped potatoes and all their glory. The very next day, I went to the grocery store and got everything for the dish and made it on my own. I didn’t bother looking at any recipes. I had an idea in my head of making my mac and cheese sauce and baking it with the potatoes. Ding ding ding…. I found a winner. Ever since that day I make this dish for special dinners and my friends constantly request it. Everyone loves cheese and everyone loves potatoes so you truly can’t go wrong.
I love every kind of cheese but sharp white chedddar will always be my favorite. I use about 4 cups of shredded cheese. Usually 2 cups of white sharp cheddar and 2 cups of yellow. Oddly enough, au gratin means grated so it all makes sense. I always have grated Parmesan on hand for pasta nights so I usually sprinkle a little on top. I use the yellow cheese for color and a nice golden crust. The prep takes a little bit of time and attention but once it’s in the oven, you will have time to cook everything else.
For 6 servings you will need:
- 5 russet potatoes thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for at least a half hour then drained and dried
- 2 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup veggie stock
- 5 cloves minced 1 small diced onion
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 cups sharp white cheddar
- 2 cups sharp yellow cheddar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup panko
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add your diced onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Put in your flour until evenly combined.
- Pour in your stock and heavY cream and cook on medium high heat until the mixture thickens a little. Roughly 8 minutes.
- Add your shredded white cheddar to the mixture and reduce heat to medium. Cook until the cheese is melted. Add about a 1 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper to the mixture. Add your thyme.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your sliced potatoes (that were already sliced, soaked and dried) and add your cheese mixture.
- In a shallow baking dish (ideally an au gratin dish), layer your potatoes and yellow cheddar. Leave enough yellow cheddar for the top. Top with your panko, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 25 minutes.
*if you want a healthier version, use skim milk and low fat cheese!