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Scalloped Potatoes Help

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have been trying to find a good recipe for scalloped potatoes that are rich and creamy. I have tried a few different approaches but so far haven't found the creaminess I desire. I have written the following recipe based on modifications to recipes I have found. Will someone mentally cook the following recipe and give me some feedback. Thanks


1 tsp Pendery’s Garlic Powder
1 tsp Pendery’s Onion Powder
2 tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cup 2% milk
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes- sliced 1/8” thick
8 oz. Gruyere cheese- shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese- finely grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a casserole dish. Heat first 6 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Arrange half of the potatoes in overlapping slices along the bottom of the dish. Pour half of the cream mixture over the potatoes, sprinkle with half of the Gruyere and Parmesan cheese and season with fresh ground pepper. Repeat with remaining potatoes, cream, cheese and pepper. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is deep brown and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

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post #2 of 28
Hey oh

Well, there is nothing overtly wrong with that recipe, but I would do it very differently.

1 tsp Pendery’s Garlic Powder one or two cloves fresh garlic, mashed fine
1 tsp Pendery’s Onion Powder
one medium spanish onion juliened
2 tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 - 1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes- sliced 1/8” thick
8 oz. Gruyere cheese- shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese- finely grated
1 tbsp potato/corn/tapioca starch


Cream is a thickener, and milk is a thinner. If you are getting a finished product that is too thine, use less milk, and use whole milk not 2%. The tablespoon of starch also helps to thicken it up some. Also, make it a day ahead of serving. Letting it rest overnight. Its always better the next day.

That would be my suggestions.
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post #3 of 28
as keeper said, use fresh not powdered seasonings. I go all manufacturing cream-no milk. If you do, use whole milk as said. If ya want creaminess though....

I use russets for gratins. Don't rinse after slicing, plenty of starch there. A waxy red is not the best choice IMO. And yes , let set up overnight, if possible-easy to portion and reheat without the **** things sliding all over the place.

hth, danny
post #4 of 28
Also, use real, manufacturing cream, not whipping cream or heavy whipping cream.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice, everyone. I chose reds because they seem to hold their shape better after baking but I may switch back. If I prepare the day before, how should I reheat it? Also, is manufacturing cream available at a grocery store, I've never seen it before. I'm sure that will seem like a dumb question but I am a home cook with no professional experience. Thanks
post #6 of 28
I believe manufacturing cream is more of a foodservice product, not necessarily available retail. (We have a really good thread somewhere around here about cream, maybe you can do a search.) So you just might have to go with heavy cream/whipping cream. In that case, if you can, try to find some that is NOT ultrapasteurized; the extra processing may add shelf-life, but subtracts flavor.

And if you stay with red potatoes so that they keep their shape, Keeper's addition of potato starch is a good one. I like using russets because they have more starch and naturally thicken the blend. But I can see wanting the slices to hold together, for which you want waxy potatoes. Add a little starch gives you the best of both. :lips:

As for reheating, just be gentle (low heat/longer time), and keep the baking dish covered.

Finally: you need never apologize for asking any question here! :D
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post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any specific guidelines (temperature?) for reheating the potatoes, I am going to cook today and reheat tomorrow.
post #8 of 28
if you're reheating the whole dish, cover with plastic, then foil. When hot remove covering, add cheese and gratinee if wanted. i'd toss em in at 325-350F or so. Place on sheet pan just in case and maybe double up hotel pans if cooked in that.

Individual portions i cut, put a toothpick in center, and pop in oven as is-maybe a little more cheese if needed on top.

hth, danny
post #9 of 28
Hey oh

Well, I figured I'd do an update here. Cooked me some scalloped last night and I thought I'd share the outcome.

Being on the poorer side of life I don't allways have all the nessesary ingredients to abide by the standard recipes. I have to improvise and adjust. Well, seeing as how my 6 year old shut off the frezzer for us and allowed a roast to partially thaw I decided a scalloped potato was in order. I bought some purple potatos last week, and I have been wanting to do these for a few days now.

Well, the ingredient I did not have was CREAM!! I was out (except for a tablespoon) so... what to do.

Well, I decided there was no better way than the way I earlyer here suggested, only upped a bit. I sliced my potatoes (a mix of russets and purple) and I sliced my onion (cooking) and I layered these in my high sided ceramic bowl (value village--only a couple of bucks!! Love a good deal now and then).

For the liquid, I mixed 2 cups 3.25% Milk with 2 tablespoons Corn starch and 1 x-large egg (the x-large eggs were actually cheaper on grocery day so...). Salt pepper ground thyme and dried parsly for flavour and appearance. Onto the potatos it goes, the last nog of cheeder grated on top, and the last tablespoon of cream drizzled on the cheese.

I put it in with the roast, 400 for 30 min, 325 for about 2 hours. I removed the cover of the scalloped potatos for the last 15 minutes or so.

It was fabulouse. It didn't have the same richness that cream would have given it, but it was not runny, it set nicely without being a brick.

Well, there you go. It can be done without cream, and without it wanting to run away on you. I guess this could work all the way down to skim milk, or even if I were to have used stock instead of milk. Good way to reduce the fat content anyway. I don't know if the egg had a big effect or not. Really, I just added it for good measure.

My only dissapointment were the purple potatos. The colour blead out and they were but pale memories when I sliced and served. I have done the purples before, and sometimes they just don't retain their colour. Oh well..... Ah, but for those that do, what a visual of white and purple striations...
Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of KeeperOfTheGood. His lifetime mission: to explore strange new worlds of flavour, to seek out new life and and ways of cooking it- to boldly grill where no man has grilled before.
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Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of KeeperOfTheGood. His lifetime mission: to explore strange new worlds of flavour, to seek out new life and and ways of cooking it- to boldly grill where no man has grilled before.
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post #10 of 28
I agree with everyone here that fresh ingredients are the only way to go. As for creaminess, I would be inclined to melt some scallion cream cheese in with whole milk, the butter, and the cream. I would add 2tsp. of corn starch to the recipe as well if not switching to russet potatoes.
post #11 of 28
The late Laurie Colwin had a great and simple method for making scalloped potatoes both rich and creamy: Slice your potatoes (nice starchy Russets are best), put 'em in a pot along with the cream, s&p and garlic, and bring it all slowly to a boil on the stovetop. Cook until the spuds are just short of done, then pour or spoon into your baking dish. Do several layers with the desired cheeses and herbs in-between. Top as desired, and finish in the oven.

The advantages to this method are several: the potatoes cook more evenly than when layered raw; the final dish tends to be neater, with fewer boil-overs; and last-but-not-least, it's a whole lot faster, so your oven space is freed up for other things.

The disadvantages: you have to be careful not to let the potatoes get too done/soft on the stove, or they'll crumble when moved to the baking dish (although once it's all baked into a wonderful gratin, you really don't notice imperfect slices); it's harder to arrange the slices into perfect patterns.

It's easy to use this method for smaller batches. For larger ones, I use a hotel pan across two burners, so the potatoes can cook evenly w/out having to be stirred too often.
post #12 of 28
Have always used milk, but today had extra whipping cream so used it so it wouldn't go to waste. However, now too rich is there a way to salvage it do family will eat it?
post #13 of 28
At this point your only solution is to boil some rice.
post #14 of 28
I dont think scalloped potatoes can ever be too rich. I would simply serve smaller portions of the rich potatoes, along with a lightly dressed green leaf salad.
post #15 of 28

The usual advice on how to fix a recipe is to make another half or full dish (or sauce) depending on how bad your situation is.

The potatoes would just fall to mush if you had to stir them around to mix them perfectly.

I am with FF on this one but if it is just too nauseatingly rich make potato soup or chowder using 2% to thin the mixture down.

 

mimi

post #16 of 28

I steep garlic, onion, bay, and herbs in the milk/cream.  Then I make a little bit of roux and stir in the hot milk, making a very loose bechamel.  I then stir in the cheese, seasoning and a little nutmeg and pour it over the potatoes then bake.  It's important not to make the bechamel thick.  It comes out very rich. 

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post #17 of 28

This question comes up often but in regards to too much salt, garlic or whatever. All you can really do is make some more minus the concentrated ingredient and thin out the first batch.  Which with scalloped potatoes is more troublesome than some other dishes. 

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post #18 of 28

     As I understand the terms, Scalloped potatoes have a bit of fresh onion mixed in with S&P.  When you add cheese, those same potatoes become Au Gratin potatoes 

I've always used Russets, thinly sliced, not rinsed. layered, sprinkled with about a tablespoon of flour and whole milk, then baked for about an hour or more. 

To cut the richness, you could combine them with something acidic/vinegar based. Mustard, pickled vegetables, chopped pickles like potato salad, pickled herring. they won't be scalloped potatoes anymore but at least you won't throw them out. 

post #19 of 28

As for gratin dauphinois, if you're interested, it was originally made with only potatoes and milk, bit of garlic, S & P, that's it, and when done right, the result is VERY thick and creamy. No cheese, no cream, no butter: gratin dauphinois was a peasant dish and peasant couldn't afford any of those. No corn starch, no flour, no thickener: would you put corn starch or flour in your risotto? Naaaaahhhh.... the thickness and creaminess comes from the emulsion of the potato starches and the milk, period. The secret is to never let the milk come to boiling temp, or that 'sauce' is going to split. So cook the gratin low and slow. 3 hours or more of cooking time for a regular sized gratin dish is not unusual. 

 

Even in the Dauphiné where I was raised, everybody argues about the right ingredients and the right technique. Typical additions are cream and/or grated Gruyère cheese (no parmesan), even though purists frown upon the addition of cheese.... some people cook it all in the oven while others pre-cook the potatoes on the stove top as mentioned in this thread. Typical additional flavorings are bay leaf or thyme. 

post #20 of 28
Interesting, FF. Very consistent with what I learned at my mother and grandmothers apron strings... Even though that was in New England where we called them scalloped potatoes and never used the French words. Even our French Canadian neighbors seemed to call them scalloped potatoes, at least the did in front of us. smile.gif
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Interesting, FF. Very consistent with what I learned at my mother and grandmothers apron strings... Even though that was in New England where we called them scalloped potatoes and never used the French words. Even our French Canadian neighbors seemed to call them scalloped potatoes, at least the did in front of us. smile.gif


I'm not sure what goes into making something a "specialty" of a region or country. This reminds me of hash browns - I mean Rösti - sorry I meant Rapée Stephanoise - Oops my wife just entered the room and said that's really a Crique Ardéchoise.

post #22 of 28
One has to be able to define "region" to answer that kind of question! Often they are a lot more localized than we imagine. Your potato latkes example is a classic!!!
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post
 

No corn starch, no flour, no thickener: would you put corn starch or flour in your risotto? Naaaaahhhh.... the thickness and creaminess comes from the emulsion of the potato starches and the milk, period. The secret is to never let the milk come to boiling temp, or that 'sauce' is going to split. So cook the gratin low and slow. 3 hours or more of cooking time for a regular sized gratin dish is not unusual. 

 

Oh I did not know that.  That's why I add the flour, because the sauce always splits if I don't.  I'm going to try it low and slow (3hrs yowza?!) next time without the flour, but with the cheese.  Covered I assume?  And how low would I keep the temp?  I'm curious what will happen.

 

Also, how tall do you make your gratin?  One inch? Is 2 inches too much?

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post #24 of 28
Mine always curdles and splits too without flour.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #25 of 28

I forgot about another classic flavoring for gratin dauphinois: nutmeg. 

 

@Koukouvagia  , when time permits I bake mine covered at 300F, but it obviously depends on the oven. Toward the end I remove the parchment paper and add a bit of cream to make the crust. 

 

1" tall is too small for my taste. I like 2".

post #26 of 28

Thanks I will try your method next time @French Fries 

I love nutmeg in creamy things.

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post #27 of 28

For many, the ultimate dish of baked potatoes is a gratin Dauphinois made simply with cream, whole milk, butter and Yukon Gold (waxy) potatoes, salt and some white pepper all baked slowly in a flat single layer. To quote Fernand Point (1897– 1955) considered to be the father of modern French Cuisine, “There is no place for cheese in gratin Dauphinois.”

 

Point, Fernand (2008) Ma Gastronomie, Rookery Press.

post #28 of 28

Interesting discussion but, sadly, this old thread was revived by a one-time poster, kimmitone, who has not been participatory in getting his/her question answered. One item I'd like to mention (mention again, perhaps) is that depending on where one lives there may be a big difference between what is called "scalloped potatoes" and "gratin Dauphinois".  Where I grew up scalloped potato was a thick casserole of starchy potato baked in slightly seasoned and buttery milk until mushy and featured a "burnt milk" or buttery bread crumb top. The sauce was starchy but still rather liquidy. As I got older and more cosmopolitan my version evolved from that to more the classic style of a gratin Dauphinois. I'm wondering what kimmitone's relatives are expecting.

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