Holiday Scalloped Potatoes

My youngest son loves mashed potatoes, so I have never rocked the holiday boat by making scalloped potatoes for him. But for Christmas dinner this year I made these holiday scalloped potatoes. At first Nico refused to eat them. But eventually after a bit of cajoling he tried them. After declaring that he loved them, he reminded me that I have made them before. His culinary memory is amazing, almost 2 years ago I made this similar mashed potato casserole. Overall, I’d give these scalloped potatoes 4-stars, a nice alternative to mashed potatoes (especially when there’s no gravy). The heavy creams gives them a richness perfect for a Christmas dinner.

Scalloped potatoes made rich with heavy cream

The original recipe, which is double what I’ve listed below, says it will feed 8 to 10 people. I cut the recipe in half, because I wasn’t feeding a crowd.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $4.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 4:45 PM. Finish time 6:15 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 pounds russet potatoes
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Peel 2 pounds of potatoes. For faster and more consistent slices, cut them into 1/8″ thick slices using a food processor. Mince your 1/2 onion.
  2. Adjust and oven rack to Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Melt butter in large Dutch oven for 1 minute over a medium-high burner, until the foaming begins to subside. Saute the minced onion for 4 minutes, until they soften and begin to brown. Press garlic clove directly into Dutch oven and saute for only 30 seconds. Add cream, milk, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, table salt, ground pepper, and sliced potatoes. Bring up to a simmer. Cover the Dutch oven and cook for between 20 and 30 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. You may need to adjust the burner in order to keep the potatoes cooking at a light simmer.  You can test doneness by inserting a paring knife into the center of potato; it should meet just a little resistance.
  4. Find and remove sprigs of thyme and bay leaves. Put the potato mixture into a 3-qt gratin or Pyrex baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheddar with cheese, and bake for 20 minutes. The cream will have thickened and the cheese will be bubbling and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes prior to serving.
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