Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The best scalloped potatoess I've ever had!

I know I have said many times how sorry I am that I am so slack I swear I have good intentions about this blog.! My very good friend reminded me yesterday that I have neglected my blog so I am here today to make up for it with a new recipe I discovered this week. I am a huge fan of scalloped potatoes! When I was a child my mom would ask me what my favourite meal was and it was always ham with scalloped potatoes. I don't get to make it very often because they are so time consuming. With all the peeling and chopping and slicing and baking it used to take a good hour and a half to make this creamy comfort dish. I'm not complaining, with all that hard work comes reward when you bite into it in the end. But this week I found a solution to the time crunch with this recipe I found in the latest issue of Food and Drink Magazine. I also now own a food processor which makes the slicing of potatoes go from 1/2 hour to 1 minute of work! You have got to love kitchen tools like this!(By the way: for those of you who don't know, every season the LCBO creates this beautiful magazine free for the taking. It is chalk full of gorgeous recipes that are perfect for any occasion. It is one of my favourite mags and I love that it is absolutely free!)

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to show today, we were so greedy last night. As soon as the potatoes came out of the oven both Patrick and I were over the dish scarffing them down. We couldn't resist, they smelled so good! You will just have to make them yourselves to understand what I mean.

Scalloped Potatoes with Porcini & Bacon
from: Food & Drink Magazine

(I didn't have porcini mushroom so I just used 10 large button mushrooms)

1 pkg (14 g) dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
6 strips bacon, thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes (I used three very large potatoes), preferably Yukon Gold
2 cups (500 ml) milk, 2 % or homogenized (I used 1% it was all I had - I don't think it affected the dish at all except make it a bit more healthy)
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
1 cup (250 ml) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)

2. Butter a casserole that measures about 9 inches square (I used an 8" square pan). Place mushrooms in a small bowl. Cover mushrooms with about 1/2 cup boiling water. Let stand while preparing ingredients.

3. In a large frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat until it starts to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and continue to cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender, about 5 more minutes.
(If you are using button mushroom like I did add them chopped up to the bacon when you add the onion.)Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Strain porcini mushrooms over a bowl but don't discard liquid. Squeeze out any liquid from mushrooms into bowl. Chop mushrooms and stir into bacon mixture.

4. Peel potatoes and slice as thinly as possible (I used my food processor to do this. It was a lot quicker than hand slicing potatoes) no thicker than 1/4". Place milk, cream and nutmeg in a large wide pan. Gradually add mushroom liquid, so that any grit at the bottom of the bowl doesn't get added. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Add potatoes to simmering mixture. Stir. Cook just until almost fork tender, about 10 minutes. (I cooked mine for 20 minutes so that the potatoes were cooked. That way it didn't take as long in the oven.)

5. Using a slotted spoon, remove and spread about half the potatoes into prepared casserole. Top with half the bacon mixture. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Spoon remaining potatoes over the top. Repeat with bacon mixture and seasonings. Carefully poor milk mixture over the top, to evenly distribute. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue to bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 - 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. (If you cook the potatoes in the milk mixture longer like I did, you can skip the step of covering and baking for 30 minutes and just go ahead and add the cheese to the top and cook until bubbling and golden.)

I hope you try this recipe I promise you will not be dissapointed!


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