the perfect potato

I did a terrible thing. A few weeks ago, as the cool air began rolling in and I started craving autumn meals. All I could think of was the scalloped potatoes my Grandma Sue used to make when the nights turned chilly. I’m certain they were the good ol’ boxed kind and so I caved in the name of reminiscing. BIG mistake! Not only weren’t they the ones I remembered, but they were terrible! Runny, under cooked, so bland not even my husbands usual dowsing of salt and garlic could save it. But I wasn’t giving up. A few fresh ingredients and a recipe even simpler than the prepared ones saved my memories and gave me a new must have (and must share!) dish. Here’s my take on Tyler Florence’s Scalloped Potatoes.

Oh, potato!

Oh, potato!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 dried bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more to finish
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Unsalted butter
3 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan

Shred good parm for a creamier result

Shred good parm for a creamier result

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a saucepan, add the cream, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, nutmeg and a dash of salt and pepper. Heat slowly.

Rich, creamy sauce spiced with earthy undertones makes the perfect taste for fall

Rich, creamy sauce spiced with earthy undertones makes the perfect taste for fall

Meanwhile, butter a casserole dish. Remove the bay leaves and thyme after about 5 minutes, once the cream is warmed. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and pour the cream over. Mix gently to coat. Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently.

Sauce and toss!

Sauce and toss!

Spoon a small amount of the cream into the bottom of the casserole. Then add the potatoes, being careful not to splash the cream. Level out the potatoes. Pour the remaining cream at the bottom of the bowl over the top. Top with remaining Parmesan. Cover with foil pulling back one corner for the steam to escape. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of thyme leaves. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

So much better than the boxed!

So much better than the boxed!

While this may not be the “classic” recipe my grandmother used, it has become an instant favorite in our house! Serve it with hearty meatloaf for a traditional combo. As a chef’s note, Tyler Florence peels the potatoes but I like the rustic feel of leaving them skin on. I hope you’ll love welcoming autumn with this savory side!

Eat Well,

Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian

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