Saturday, April 28, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes with a Scandinavian Variation

These are the traditional Scalloped Potatoes that so many of us grew up with. The modern and mindful twist here would be to leave the skin on as that is where so much of the nutrition resides. I like using red potatoes instead of baking potatoes because I think they have a superior texture and don't just turn to mush. But, if you prefer baking potatoes, by all means use them. If you are interested in the calories, here they are (minus the optional cheese).

Scalloped Potatoes


2 T butter
2 T flour
(if you are a salter, you will want to add a bit here)
1/8 t pepper
1/4 cup onion, grated or very finely chopped
2 C milk, whole is best, but you can use 2%. Do not use skim
6 cups red potatoes, skin on and sliced to 1/4 inch pieces (You really cannot easily measure cups for slices of potatoes. There will be a lot of air space in the cup, so make the cups very generous and you will be close enough.)
Cheddar cheese, grated, is optional and quite tasty

Scandinavian Variation ingredients:

Use 1-3 leeks instead of onion - only the white and light green part, thinly sliced, sautéed in 1 T olive oil for about five minutes.
Add 1 cup or more of grated Jarlsberg cheese (I rather like the words "or more" here)
1 t dried rosemary in addition to the pepper.
More options here include adding gently sautéed cut asparagus or fresh peas to the white sauce.

Yes, I know the cheese is Norwegian. But my Grandmother came from Sweden, so I compromised on the name of the variation - don't want to upset my Grandmother. :D


Always measure and prep all your ingredients first. It's the mindful way. That way you do not suddenly realize you forgot the onion when you are at the point where you must constantly stir the sauce... not that I have done such a thing... *cough cough*


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a medium pot, make a white sauce (Béchamel). Melt the butter over low heat, blend in the flour, pepper, and salt if using. Stir constantly until the mix bubbles and the flour incorporates with the butter.  Add onion and then slowly add the milk mixing well as you go to avoid floury lumps. Stir and cook over medium until it nearly boils and thickens. If you are using cheddar cheese, add it to the sauce and stir til it melts. For a sauce so thick you can stand a spoon in it, increase the butter and flour to 3 T ea but keep the milk to 2 cups.

Spray a casserole dish with Pam or lightly coat with butter. Lay half of the potatoes in the casserole. Pour half of the sauce over the potatoes, lifting them with a fork so the sauce covers them all. BTW - leave some room at the top - a good 1/2 inch or so. Otherwise you had best put a sheet of foil under the dish to catch the boil over drips... been there.

Scandinavian Style with grilled chicken and grilled pineapple
Repeat with the remaining potatoes and sauce.

Cover and bake for about an hour and a half. The dish is done when the potatoes are soft - use a fork to check. Allow to sit uncovered for 5-10 minutes to "set" before serving. Very excellent reheated.

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