Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekly Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes

If you're watching the current season of Top Chef, you know that one of the contestants recently had to 'pack her knives' for the lackluster potato gratin she made.  I knew it was bad when she assembled the dish the night before and didn't cook it.  Didn't she know that cut potatoes turn brown when air gets to them?  And without being soaked in water, what kind of texture are they going to have?  Mealy.  Yuck.  As Tom Colicchio said, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you can't make simple scalloped potatoes, you're not going to be a Top Chef."

So what did I do?  What any self-respecting home cook would do, I decided I needed to prove I was better than that chef and that I could make a great potato gratin dish.

I hadn't made scalloped potatoes in years but I had some leftover heavy cream in the fridge that I couldn't bear to throw away.  Then I saw this recipe on My Baking Addiction and knew it was meant to be. 

Look out Top Chef contestants, I'm coming for you!

Scalloped Potatoes
from My Baking Addiction

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or a mixture of cream and whole milk)
1 sprig of fresh thyme (1/2 tsp of dried)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for broiling

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter or spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2.  In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, warm up the cream, thyme, garlic, and nutmeg.  Keep your eye on the cream because you do not want it to boil over.
3.  Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of your prepared casserole dish in an overlapping pattern.  Season with salt & pepper.
4.  Remove cream from heat, pour a little over the potatoes.  Top with some grated Parmesan.  Make 2 more layers.  Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
5.  For that delicious golden brown top layer, sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 4-5 minutes.  


  1. I've never made scalloped potatoes...they are kind of scary and intimidating to me! Heck, I should be honest and admit that the only time I make real, truly honest mashed on holidays. Woops ;)

  2. I'm obsessed with Top Chef - it was time for Whitney to go! I'm cheering for Edward (KY pride!) and Paul, because I think he is adorable.

  3. of my favorite side dishes of all time. I think these need to make an appearance on my menu this week. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. YUM. Potatoes in any form are the way to my heart. And I love Top Chef! I've even gotten Brian interested in cooking shows (yay!) so now we watch together.

  5. Yummm!! Mike's Mom makes the BEST scalloped potatoes I've ever had and his brothers and I pretty much demand them every trip back to Pittsburgh. Mike's Dad pitches in to peel and slice the potatoes (using their FP) and they have it down to a science. I called her and told her she should try out for Top Chef after seeing the episode you reference : )

  6. Looks delicious and tasty.. so yummy... i like this one.. and besides.. i really love potatoes.. :)

  7. My husband and I always watch Top Chef. We saw the "potato" episode. I don't think this one would cause you to "pack your knives and go", it sounds delicious. I found you on Southern Bloggers, and I am now following your blog! Patsy