Scalloped-Potatoes-Gratin

Scallop Potatoes

By Sally Cameron on September 26, 2012

holiday dishes, Side Dishes, vegetables, vegetarian,

11 Comments

Whether you call them cheesy scallop potatoes, scalloped potatoes, potato au gratin or au gratin potatoes, they are just flat out fantastic.

Healthy? Not necessarily. But this recipe is at least healthier, with less fat and calories than the traditional French Potato Dauphinoise. It’s more for that occasional splurge or special dinner. And worth every bite.

Growing Up – The Mystery Box

Growing up I loved scalloped potatoes. Mom made them the accepted 1960′s way – from a box. No real potatoes. Dehydrated potato “chips” layered into a casserole dish, then covered with a mixture of milk and a powdered mystery packet. Even though I knew no better back then, it still seemed strange. Today I shudder.

The Real Deal Today

Decades later, a dear friend and fellow chef introduced me to the real deal – Potatoes Dauphinoise. A classic French dish of thinly sliced potatoes layered with cheese and cream. I still remember the first time I had it. It was heavenly. Sublime. The kind of dish where you close your eyes and sigh with delight while your tastebuds sing.

Being a potato lover I was hooked, until I thought about how much fat and calories were in every bite.

After that I rarely made this classic dish, until I began to experiment. Using whole milk versus cream or even half and half helps to reduce the fat content.

Here is how I make this great classic today. Less fat for sure, but still delicious. Like I said, not healthy, but healthier, so that you can enjoy it once in awhile.

Tools for Accurate Slicing

This casserole depends on slicing potatoes uniformly thin to 1/8″ (3-4 cm). The only way to do that is with a mandolin, hand-slicer or a food processor with the right blade attachment.

Mandolins are a terrific kitchen tool for slicing. Potatoes, apples, pears, beets, carrots and other fruits and vegetable can be sliced uniformly thin. They come in all price ranges from $40 – $400.

Food processors are faster and a tool I could not live without.

For potatoes, I use the Yukon Gold variety. They have moist flesh and wonderful flavor that work perfectly in this dish. Choose smooth, firm potatoes with no cuts, bruised spots or green areas.

Simmer the slices in milk with thyme until tender (just a few minutes), then layer into a casserole with grated gruyere cheese and bake. Heaven awaits.

Helpful Links

For more information on Yukon Gold potatoes you can read here

This is great served with roast chicken breast, whole roast chicken, pork tenderloin or beef.

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11 Comments

Leave a Comment
Madonna | September 27, 2012 at 12:14 am

This is an excellent technique. I know they are not that healthy, but I heard Jamie Oliver say we should treat them like chocolate, meaning indulge, but not too often. I think these would be excellent for holidays or company. I too cringe about box food. I remember eating those when I didn’t know any better. Another thing that makes me cringe is canned mushroom soup in green beans and broccoli, oh boy! Because of you we don’t have to do that anymore. Thanks.

    Sally | September 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I like to follow the 90/10 rule Madonna. 90% of the time make healthy, smart choices. 10% of the time have fun!

master chef | September 28, 2012 at 2:22 am

I love this recipe. Well done

Michelle @ Find Your Balance | September 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Ugh and how about those boxed mashed potatoes???

    Sally | September 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    No kidding Michelle! Scary part is they still sell those in the store. Shudder. Potatoes grow in the ground, they do not come in boxes!

Shut Up & Cook | September 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

This is a favorite dish of mine, but you’re right, it’s definitely not exactly healthy, so must be saved for special occasions. Subsequently though, when I do make it, I want it to be excellent! Will give this recipe a try next time the craving calls.

Zakia Hassan | October 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

Hi! Ive always wanted to make scalloped potatoes, i think im ready to put it on my “to make list”. Im going to buy a mandolin, which brand do you use/recommend?

    Sally | October 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Hi Zakia. Mine happens to be a Matfer. I’ve had it for years. If you buy a good one, it will last forever. They come in all price ranges, so it depends on your budget. Just make sure it’s adjustable as you want potatoes slices that at 1/8″ thick. Check out a store like Sur La Table. They have many options. Also do a google search. I saw the Matfer for $180 and free shipping. Check around for good prices. It’s a nice tool to add to your kitchen. When learning to use one be very careful you don’t slice the tips of your fingers off. They come with hand guards for a reason. Good luck, and please report back.

      Zakia Hassan | October 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

      thanks! yes the one i have now does not adjust – which sucks! ill do some research and let you know what i choose. Thanks!

Zakbirch | June 3, 2015 at 6:10 pm

this looks amazing… my son would love it. and you clearly have the same appreciation for the mountain of parmesan to top.

    Sally Cameron | June 5, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Busted…I do love Parmesan!

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