A recipe for easy scalloped potatoes with Smoked Gouda and Gruyere Cheese.
My mom was a working mom, a very hard-working mom to be more specific; and although she would have enjoyed getting to spend more time in the kitchen after work, time was limited and bedtimes approached not long after her homecoming.
Many of our dinnertime sides were quick-fixes, pre-packaged or canned, and I can remember the excitement that would fester within my little body on the nights my mother announced we would be having scalloped potatoes with our dinner, even if they did come from a box. It was a welcomed change of pace to the hum-drum, routine of side-starches we were accustomed to.
I adored those thin, little slices of potato, drenched in a melty cheese sauce, and in my youthful opinion, cooked to bubbly perfection. Because my mom was often charged with more to-do’s than one lady could handle, we were fairly independent kids, and I began taking on more responsibilities as I got older…mostly those to do with food. I would do the grocery shopping, picking up the items on her list, but also adding in a few of my own dinnertime ideas; she always allowed me the freedom to do as I pleased in the kitchen.
I fell in love with menu planning and cooking, but most of all, that old-time-y, nostalgic idea of making meals from scratch. This idea became a passion once I married and had a family of my own, boxed items and frozen meals made fewer and fewer appearances on the grocery list, and I began re-creating childhood favorites with a made-from-scratch mentality, and there was no going back.
Now, I will say this: Homemade scalloped potatoes are not difficult to make, however, of all the side dish revivals, this one might have been the most intimidating. How do you get the potatoes thin enough? How do you make them perfectly creamy? And, just how long do you cook scalloped potatoes anyway? I had so many questions, and I’ll be honest, there was quite a bit of trial and error, plenty of “not good enoughs” and a whole lot of “try, try, try again” internal pep talks when it came to developing this recipe, but I have a fool-proof method in order, with ingredients that would satisfy any devoted lover of scalloped potatoes.
This is a recipe I am proud of, and I can guarantee with full certainty, they will be the best scalloped potatoes you’ve ever eaten. But first, let’s get all those pesky questions out of the way, shall we?
HOW DO YOU MAKE HOMEMADE SCALLOPED POTATOES:
I’ve done quite a bit of experimenting when it comes to scalloped potatoes, and I’ve found the best way to make homemade scalloped potatoes is to begin on the stovetop and then move to the oven to finish baking. I first came across this method via is Emeril’s scalloped potatoes, and after trying various methods, I can assure you, there is no better way to get evenly cooked scalloped potatoes; especially if you do not have a mandoline, and your knife skills are not stellar.
Allowing the sliced potatoes to simmer, submerged in cream on the stovetop before transferring to an au gratin dish, allows each potato to soften up, rather than just those across the top and the sides of the dish, and ensures the potatoes in the middle of the au gratin dish from will not be under-done. A problem that often occurs when cooking scalloped potatoes solely in the oven.
Once the scalloped potatoes have simmered away in the cream, they are then removed and placed in the au gratin dish in two layers, with a generous amount of cheese in the middle and on top. The potatoes are covered and baked for 20 minutes. Then, the foil is removed and they are allowed to bake 10 minutes more to develop that beautiful, golden color.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK SCALLOPED POTATOES IN THE OVEN:
Because this method of cooking scalloped potatoes first begins on the stove-top, the time spent in the oven is much less than traditional cooking methods and requires no more than 30 minutes in the oven.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CREAMY SCALLOPED POTATOES:
So how do you make creamy scalloped potatoes? Well, I hate to say it, but the answer is simple…and very fattening — cream. I’ve tried scalloped potatoes with a roux, I’ve tried them with milk, I’ve tried them with half and half, and trust me when I say, if you want perfectly creamy scalloped potatoes, you should bite the bullet, and use cream and only cream. The fat content in the cream helps to prevent curdling and creates a luscious sauce that makes scalloped potatoes the decadent treat that it is.
This recipe was developed over time, tested over and over again until the formula was just right. The cheeses play in important role in the flavor of the potatoes — the mixture of Smoked Gouda and Gruyere give the sauce a beautiful complexity with just a hint of smoky piquant flavor and a whole lot of stretchy cheesy goodness.
I serve these potatoes up every Christmas day, alongside roasted prime rib and spinach, and at big family dinners throughout the year. People not only go crazy for them, but they also go back for seconds as well. Which brings me to the next point: They feed a crowd, making them absolutely perfect for entertaining. They are total perfection, I love them, my family loves them and I promise, you will love them too. Please, enjoy.
Which brings me to the next point: They feed a crowd, making them absolutely perfect for entertaining. They are total perfection, I love them, my family loves them and I promise, you will love them too. Please, enjoy.
- 3 pounds Russet potatoes about 3 medium-sized potatoes
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups freshly grated Smoked Gouda cheese
- 2 cups freshly grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 400° and have ready a large, greased au gratin pan.
Rinse and peel the potatoes. Using either a sharp knife or a mandoline, cut the potatoes in slices no thicker than an 1/8". Transfer to a medium-sized saucepan and pour over cream, salt and pepper. Stir and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to maintain a constant simmer, placing lid slightly ajar. Watch pot so that it does not boil over. Stir occasionally, and remove from the heat once the potatoes are fork tender, about 12 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the two cheeses and mix together. Set aside until ready to use.
Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, transfer half of the potatoes to the prepared pan, and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Do not discard of the cooking liquid. Add the remaining potatoes and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. Pour the cream evenly over the potatoes and cover with aluminum foil.
If possible, transfer the prepared pan to a heavy duty baking sheet to keep any drippings from hitting the floor of your oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more, until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, serve and enjoy.