I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled programming today to bring you this.
Totally worth it, am I right? That question is rhetorical.
Typically, I publish my recipes on Friday. I like my food to be the last thing seared in your brain before the weekend starts. I envision you hurrying out to the grocery store on Friday night, grabbing said ingredients and then spending a portion of your Saturday or Sunday whipping up whatever concoction I shared, at which point you’ll take countless photos and then Instagram that shit. Obviously.
We all know as fabulous as Monday morning recipes are, we’ve long since forgotten them come Friday, unless it’s Amanda’s Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie. Our stomachs, right along with our impulses, are fickle and fair-weathered friends. Or you suffer from self-diagnosed ADD, which means you can barely remember what you fell in love with on Monday and just had to have or else your world would end, and your Pinterest board is a black hole worse than the one in the center of the universe.
Today though is Wednesday, and I’m sharing my Cheddar Scalloped Potato recipe anyway. The horror, I know. I have good reason though. Of course I do, I always do and feel free to replace reason with justification. For me, they’re one and the same.
Easter is coming; like this Sunday coming, and you’re gonna want this dish on your table. Hell, I’d even set a place for it at mine; give it a seat of honor, perhaps a dainty napkin and a sizeable fork. As a self-proclaimed planner, who happily and readily embraces her planning ways, I knew I needed to share this recipe with you ahead of time, and if I’m being totally honest, I probably should have given it to you last week, so I could plant the seeds in your mind (I’m stealing a page from Kirsten’s book with this brainwashing stuff).
This dish is easy to make, requires very few ingredients and will blow your traditional cheesy potatoes with cornflakes out of the water. My houseguest said so when I fed it to him this week, and I never even mentioned that poor substitute for a potato dish. You call those potatoes? Ha! I call them cardboard, unless of course it’s being offered by my own relatives, then they’re fabulous, and I appreciate your contribution to the meal.
This dish calls for some of my favorite ingredients: potatoes and cheese. It’s a classic; a rich and hearty side, comfort food at its finest. The best part though is its simplicity to make. At the end of the day, this wonderful, warm and inviting casserole of delight is nothing more than some sliced potatoes, coupled with a fast and easy cheese sauce. The two should mate more often. They could get married, have babies, and live happily ever after.
- 4 large Baking Potatoes (I used Russets), sliced thinly. Peeling is optional.
- 1/2 cup yellow Onion, finely diced
- 4 Tbsp. Butter
- 4 Tbsp. Flour
- 1 cup Milk of Choice, I used Almond Milk.
- 2 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided (2 cups and 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard
- 1/2 tsp. Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. White Pepper
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes, depending on heat preference
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a midsized saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp. of butter. Once the butter has melt, add the finely diced onion and cook until translucent, about five minutes more.
- Reduce the heat to low and then add flour, one tablespoon at a time and mix in with the butter and onions, using a whisk or a fork until the flour has been fully absorbed. It’ll resemble a paste, as seen in the first picture in the below collage.
- Slowly add in your milk, stirring until fully incorporated with butter/onion/flour mixture. Your sauce will be quite thin at this point. Add in 2 cups of your shredded cheese (see the second picture in the above collage) and all of your spices. Stir occasionally until cheese has fully melted and sauce has thicken substantially. If your sauce is too thick, you can gradually add more milk. Alternatively if sauce is too thin, you can add more cheese. Taste your sauce and adjust seasonings as necessary. It’s okay if your sauce is a little on the salty side because the potatoes will soak up that seasoning.
- In a greased 2.5 quart casserole dish, place sliced potatoes flat side down, alternating with scoops of cheese sauce. I lay out one potato, then one scoop of cheese sauce, one potato, one scoop sauce until I’m completely out of both. The cheese sauce should be your final layer. Note: The sauce should be spread over each of the layers, although it won’t cover everything. It’s okay because as it cooks it will melt and manage to fill the nooks and crannies you missed. Top with remaining quarter cup of shredded cheese and extra paprika for coloring.
- Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You should be able to easily piece the potatoes with a fork when they’re done.
- Be prepared to fight your in laws for the top layer. It’s worth it.
- This is one of those dishes which comes together quickly, so I like to have my ingredients prepped before I even start cooking. I dice the onion, I shred the cheese, I measure out the milk and I combine all the spices from the nutmeg to the red pepper flakes in a small cup. Last, I peel and finely slice the potatoes (a mandolin would work well if you are fortunate enough to own one).
- The pictures below are those of the cheese sauce (a roux if you want to get technical) in action. Since it goes through some strange textural phrases rather quickly, I thought a visual might help.
Today’s post is being shared with She Eats Fresh Food Wednesdays, Anyonita Nibbles Tasty Tuesday’s, Hun… What’s for Dinner’s Simply Supper Tuesday’s, Buns in my Oven What’s Cookin’ Wednesday and The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday.
Do you celebrate Easter? If so, what are your favorite side dishes at Easter dinner? If not, what are favorite side dishes at family gatherings?