Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are legendary in my family. Back in the day when we would all gather at my Grandma’s for a Sunday dinner, if a pan of scalloped potatoes showed up on the table us kids went crazy. Well, more specifically, my cousin Kristy and I would go crazy. To this day, if we’re at a holiday dinner and there are scalloped potatoes, we take it upon ourselves to sit next to each other and then proceed to put the pan of scalloped potatoes right between us. Yes, we’re 31 and 27, but there are some things you just never outgrow. Our love of scalloped potatoes is one of them. Back in the day my grandma made hers from a box mix, and they were always delicious, but nowadays I like to make them from scratch. They are so much heartier, creamier and I know exactly what’s in them. This particular recipe I broke out for Christmas this past year and it was met with rave reviews. The pan was demolished in no time.

I used a mandoline to slice my potatoes – it makes the process super quick and ensure that all of the potatoes are evenly sliced to the right size. This is the one that I have; an inexpensive investment for something that makes kitchen tasks painless, quick and easy.

Is there a traditional dish that people in your family always fight over? Hopefully we’re not alone! 🙂

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Scalloped Potatoes


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, melt butter in large Dutch oven (or large, heavy-bottomed saucepan) over medium-high heat until foaming subsides, about 1 minute. Add onion and saute until it turns soft and begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cream, milk, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a light simmer, and cook until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with some resistance), about 15 minutes.

2. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Transfer potato mixture to a 3-quart gratin dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cream has thickened and is bubbling around sides and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, February 2005)

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