Not My Father’s Scalloped Potatoes
My dad is one of my favorite people on this planet! He is such a wonderful man and a great role model for me. We celebrated his 62nd Birthday this past weekend. He grilled a pork loin roast…one of his specialties! He takes a whole pork loin and splits it in half. Then, he ties the two pieces together sandwiching garlic and spices between the two halves. Then, he marinades it and grills it on a charcoal grill until it’s crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Delicious!
Our family gatherings are usually pot-luck. Everyone signs up for a snack, side, or dessert and brings it with them to the party. This time, I signed up for potatoes – mmmm po-ta-toes! After signing up, I talked to my dad and he requested scalloped potatoes. Crap. That is totally another of his specialties. You know, one of the dishes that you love but, it never turns out as good as when someone else makes it?! Yeah, it’s one of those.
His recipe, which he told me is actually my grandmother’s recipe, is soo simple, though: thinly sliced potatoes layered with thinly sliced onions layered with canned Cream of Celery and Cream of Chicken soups, salt, pepper, and milk. How could I mess this up?
Well, I decided not to even attempt to mess up his recipe. I mod-ed it. I gave him full warning, to which he said ‘So, you’re experimenting, again, are you?’ 🙂 He knows me too well!
So, here is how I made Not My Father’s Scalloped Potatoes:
Since I don’t typically use canned cream of anything soups, I had to make the creamy base for the potatoes. I decided to use fresh mushrooms, celery, and green onions as the veggies.
Start by melting 6 Tablespoons of butter in a 2 quart saucepan on medium-low heat.
Finely chop a rib of celery. Add to the pan.
Finely slice the white parts of a couple of green onions. Save the green parts for later. Add to the pan.
Thinly slice and chop the mushrooms into small pieces. Add about a cup to the veggie mixture.
Cook down the mushrooms until they’ve released all their juices. This will take a few minutes.
In the meantime, grab your kitchen shears and cut off the green tops to the green onions into a dish. You’ll want about 1/3 of a cup. In another dish, put 6 Tablespoons of flour.
When the veggies have cooked down, add the flour to the pan. Stir to coat the veggies and to get rid of all of the white from the flour. The goal is to have equal parts oil to flour so that we can create a roux for the sauce. Let the veggies and flour cook for a couple of minutes, making sure the flour has enough surface area on the bottom of the pan. We don’t want the sauce to taste like flour!
Add 4 cups of chicken stock and whisk everything together so that the veggie mixture breaks up. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally.
Once the sauce boils, reduce to a simmer as it thickens. Stir so that it doesn’t burn. Once the sauce thickens, turn off the heat.
Add 2 cups of sour cream; whisk into sauce. Let sauce cool.
Grease a 9×13 pan. I used butter; you can use cooking spray or a thin layer of olive oil. Set the pan on a sheet pan to catch any overflows – this is inevitable!
Now, the fun part! Have you ever used a mandolin? I bought one awhile back from Bed, Bath, & Beyond to make consistent thin cuts of veggies. We’re going to use it for the onion and potatoes. If you don’t have one, just thinly slice each with a knife. If you are using a mandolin, I set the thickness at 1/8 of an inch.
You’ll need one onion. Remove the skin and slice on the mandolin.
I used all six of these russet potatoes to fill the dish.
Remove the end then, slice on the mandolin. So fun!
Now, put a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan followed by a layer of onions.
Salt and pepper the layer.
Repeat: potatoes, onions, salt, pepper, sauce.
One more time! Potatoes, onions, salt, pepper, sauce… Say it with me!
End with a layer of potatoes and the rest of the sauce.
Now, here’s where we’re going to get a little crazy. Grab some parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Grate approximately a cup of each and sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Sprinkle those green onion tops onto the casserole, too!
Then, wait for it, French’s Fried Onions. I know, processed. I’ve recreated these with fried shallots before which were really tasty but, I ran out of time to do that for this dish. And, who are we kidding, these are delicious as they are and you don’t eat enough to hurt you when they’re on top of a casserole! Just don’t eat a whole container of them…okay? Promise?
Cover this beauty with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven until the potatoes are fork tender. This took about 2 hours for me but, I had to finish them at my dad’s house. So, I would guesstimate about an hour and a half straight in the same oven; check them at one hour. Remove the foil near the end to let the top get nice and crispy.
I made a rookie mistake and didn’t take a photo of the finished product before digging in. But, on the ride down to my dad’s the casserole tipped and got ugly anyways. Yours will be beautiful! Even my dad enjoyed them…now, that’s a big deal!
Not My Father's Scalloped Potatoes
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