Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


Mmm. Foody.

Potatoes and Cheese. Oh, how I love thee. And how I love my new America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook despite its ridiculously thin pages (what were they thinking?). Seriously? This cookbook rocks it. And to prove it (and entice you to head to your local purveyor of books and buy it) here's their scalloped potato recipe.

Scalloped Potatoes
You'll need:

1 small onion, diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh or 1 tablespoon dry thyme (I used about a teaspoon and a half of parsley and about 2 teaspoons of chives instead)
5 medium potatoes (they said russets, I had yukon gold on hand), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick.
2 bay leaves
1 cup cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I did cheddar and parmesan)

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven, then cook the onions in the butter until soft- about 5 minutes (medium/high heat). Add in the garlic and herbs and stir around till fragrant- maybe 30 seconds. Then toss in your potatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cream and chicken broth. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Turn down to medium low and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Rip out the bay leaves. Then, pour the whole shootin' match into a small casserole (I used an oval corningware dish, but you could use an 8 inch square one too) then press the whole thing into one layer, top with the cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 425. Be sure to let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Quite possibly the only change I'd make is the addition of a little more cheese- stirred into the potato mixture (maybe a 1/2 cup) to carry through the potatoes- otherwise? Perfection.

I also made my favorite lemon bars from their book too- and got to use my microplaner. Love. Love. LOVE the microplaner, even if I was a dumbass, and forgot that I changed off the fine blade for the spice blade when I was showing it to ma- and couldn't figure out why it was so hard to get the lemons zested (and why I was taking off chunks of my thumb...) The world didn't end though (and I strained the chunks of flesh out of the lemon curd).

I also picked up stuff to make french onion soup tomorrow night, and black bean soup later in the week. I'll keep you posted. (And I'm thinking there may be some slivered ham on top of the bread, but beneath the cheese on the soup- as Odie got a ginormous ham for Christmas from work, and I'm trying to cleverly use it up...)


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