I sure can't remember the last time I had scalloped potatoes, but I'm very positive they didn't taste this good. I was trying to figure out what to do with this honking potato (the size of my arm), and somewhere along the way, the scalloped potatoes idea came into play. Suddenly I was searching for real, true, scalloped potato recipes, which ultimately led me to this one from Cook's Illustrated.
Though I'm not a scalloped potatoes veteran, I have nothing bad to say about these. Too often scalloped potatoes come out greasy and bland. Here, the cheese is minimal, and the broth, herbs, and onions made this an immensely flavorful meal. Though I'm sure it wasn't the healthiest thing I've eaten in a while, it was so fun to revisit the childhood classic—and discover it could still surprise me.
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is the co-founder of The Paupered Chef and spends most of his time playing with the new cooking gadgets he got from his wedding.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8th inch thick
- 1/2 medium onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Heat a large iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter. When melted, add the onion. Cook for 4 minutes, or until soft.
Toss in the garlic and thyme, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Dump in the potatoes, chicken broth, cream, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the cover, sprinkle the cheese on top, and place the iron skillet in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.