Jack's Scalloped Potatoes.
A Rich, Creamy Recipe with a Modest Aged Cheddar Kick.
(Jack sent us this recipe last year. We finally got around to trying it.)
Recipe for two. Increase proportionately.
You will need:
- two average size yellow flesh potatoes (preferred) or white russets, peeled and sliced so you get about 10-12 slices per potato.
- one medium finely diced onion and three or four finely chopped garlic cloves
- equivalent of about 4 or 5 tbsp of a sharp/old/aged cheddar, cut in small chunks
- 4 or 5 tbsp whipping cream or more if suicidal
- about a fifth of a pound of butter and two or three tbsp of good olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste.
Pre-heat an oven to 350F.
place the olive oil and a generous hunk of butter in a fry pan; add the onion, pinch of salt and pepper, and sautee over medium heat until softened; add the garlic and continue the sautee until the mixture is lightly browned. Remove the onion and garlic and set aside, leaving most of the oil in the pan.
Make a roux by adding two or three tbsps of flour to the simmering oil left in the pan. With a whisk, ensure all the flour is incorporated in the buttery oil, adding more butter if necessary. Let this bubble for a couple of minutes, then start to add small amounts of milk, while whisking constantly. As this eventually starts to thin out, add the cream and continue to whisk. What you are aiming for in the end is a bubbly thin pancake batter consistency. Add the cheese pieces, and stir until incorporated. Add the set-aside onion and garlic. Add some pinches of freshly cracked black pepper and stir.
Place your potato slices, with pinches of salt and pepper , in a baking dish large enough to leave about a third or more of the dish free to add the sauce.
Add some of the sauce to the potatoes and stir, making sure all the potato pieces have some sauce, then add the rest of the sauce. This should cover all the potatoes and more, leaving sauce about half an inch - 2.5cm - or more above. [huh? 2.5cm is one inch; I think we settled on about half an inch or a bit more than one cm.]
Place, covered with aluminum foil, in the oven, for about 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15-20 if you use white potatoes, or 20-30 if using yellow flesh ones. Check every 10 minutes to make sure they aren't getting too brown. If they are before potatoes are tender, reduce the heat and perhaps replace the foil for some minutes. Can keep in a 180F degree oven while cooking other items.