Fall weather changes my thinking when I plan dinner, even side dishes. I turn from things like light, citrusy rice to rich, cheesy potatoes. Or at least I did today. I wanted to make a cheesy potato dish to go with the breaded, baked fish I was planning. And I wanted to make it as simple as possible, with as few dirty dishes as possible.
I decided to make scalloped potatoes like my mother used to when I was growing up. I sliced potatoes and layered them with cheese and sprinkles of flour. I poured milk over the top and baked them until they were browned and bubbly and the milk and flour had thickened into a sauce.
The only hard part about this recipe is waiting for them to bake. No cheese sauce to make, no potatoes to parboil before baking. Just cheesy, warm potatoes with a minimum of fuss and bother. My idea of a perfect side dish.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
From The Cook’s Life
You can make this with your favorite cheeses. Stronger cheeses are better than mild ones, in my opinion. Use any milk you have on hand – the richer the milk, the richer your sauce.
4-6 potatoes (1½ pounds)
1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ cup flour, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
black pepper, to taste
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heavily grease a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish.
Peel the potatoes and slice them into thin, round slices. Mix the cheeses together in a bowl.
Cover the bottom of the casserole with a thin layer of potato slices – use about a quarter of the potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour, ⅛ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, flour, salt and pepper.
Spread 1 cup of cheese over the second layer of potatoes. Repeat the layering twice more with the remaining potatoes, flour, salt and pepper.
Pour milk gently over the entire casserole. Cover casserole tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle top of potatoes with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, for another 20-30 minutes, until top is golden brown, edges are browned and sauce is bubbly and thick. Let potatoes rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. Leftovers reheat well.