Scalloped potatoes are a delicious and classy side dish that is simple to make. I highly recommend using starchy potatoes, particularly Yukon Gold potatoes, as they are more tender and the starch will help thicken the sauce. You can serve them with pork or chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C.
- Lightly butter or spray a two quart 8 x 14 x 2 inch baking dish and sprinkle the minced garlic over the bottom.
- Yukon gold potatoes are specified because they have less starch than a russet. Also, they have a low water content so they’re tender and will hold their shape during the cooking process. You can choose to peel them or not, whichever you prefer. Rinse them and use paper towels to absorb as much water off of them as possible.
- The perfect thickness is 1/8 inch which is tough to consistently make without using a mandolin. Thinner than that results in a very soft finish and thicker will make them rigid and they will take longer to cook. Whichever thickness you decide on, try to make the slices uniform so they’ll cook evenly.
- Slice the potatoes and begin layering them in the baking dish right away. If they sit too long after slicing they will discolor into very unappetizing shades of grey.
- Sprinkle each layer with salt, pepper, and a small amount of nutmeg. The potatoes should rise to no more than 2 or 3 layers and should come about 3⁄4 of the way up the sides of the pan. This allows room for bubbling and provides a broad top surface for browning.
- Whole milk is called for, although you can substitute half and half or cream. However, half and half, and to some extent cream, is more likely to curdle from the heat. If you are determined to use one of the two then you have to keep the temperature low with a longer cooking time so as to ensure the liquid does not boil or bubble too much. By the same token, 2 percent and low fat milk do not have a lot of flavor. So, if you are calorie conscious you might substitute broth or stock in place of the milk.
- Whichever liquid you decide on, pour it over the potatoes until it just covers the top. Spread tiny pieces of butter over the potatoes.
- Bake on the center rack of the oven for 90 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Oven times will vary so check them periodically.
- When there is only 10 or 15 minutes of cooking time left, take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle a liberal amount of the cheddar cheese over the top of the potatoes. Return the dish to the oven and check periodically to make sure the cheese melts but does not burn.
- Let the casserole stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
Sign up for our newsletter so that you can be notified every time a new recipe is posted