I have written from time to time about my mother’s limited but important contribution to my culinary experience. There are a few memorable dishes that she made that I can still taste. Even though she studied nutrition during the low fat craze of the 70s, she still occasionally treated us to wonderfully fat and tasty dishes. She never said it, but I think she believed like I do that everything in moderation, especially moderation.
There are millions of scalloped potatoes, or “gratin” recipes floating around. I had a desire to have my mothers. Nobody really has that recipe but I think I have come close. Since she is not your mom, you can do whatever you like. Many people like to change the cheese, or leave it out and add ham or bacon or even spinach. As my brother said, my mom probably added the cheese because my father liked cheddar on everything.
- 3-4 Cups of Potatoes, sliced (about 4 russets, or 6-8 new potatoes)
- 1 Onion, thinly sliced
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Salt +
- 3 Cups Milk
- 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated or shreaded
- Casserole or other Ovenproof Dish
- Chef’s Knife
- Mandolin (optional)
- Medium Sauce Pan
- Pre heat oven to 475.
- Peel and slice potatoes into thin coins. I use my cheap little mandolin. You can also do the onion with it. Russets work fine but I usually use red potatoes and do not peel them.
- In the sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour, salt and pepper.
- Slowly add the milk.
- Bring to brief boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- In the casserole dish, create a layer of potatoes, salt and pepper them.
- Add a sparse layer of onion.
- Sprinkle a light layer of cheese.
- Pour a little of the milk mixture.
- Repeat for another two or three layers, making sure to leave enough cheese for a good top layer.
- Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes.