foodie friday: individual scalloped potatoes

Potatoes. Garlic. Cheese. This trifecta is all you really need. Seriously, this dish packs in the flavor like no other. Just try not to think about your arteries… or your cellulite. It’s worth the extra lap in the pool… or five miles on the trail.

One thing I do when making potatoes is to make individual servings in muffin tins. This is great for portion control [unless you’re like us and you just end up taking the whole pan]. It’s good for a party as a side dish everyone can just spoon out. But the reason I love it the most is that it really cuts down on oven time. Which is time I spend staring at its deliciousness and pondering life’s mysteries.

Ok, so secret one is to use a muffin tin. Which will be a pain to wash but worth it in my opinion. The next have to do with supplies: a grater and a mandolin. I use a grater for the garlic because it makes the pieces so small, they just melt into the whole dish. You know it’s there by the taste but you never see them or bite down on them. A little Rachel Ray for ya.

The mandolin is one of the best things in my kitchen. You always feel like you’re living on the edge when you use him [watch out for your fingers!] and he does wonders for the dish. Thin potato slices that are uniform and will cook evenly. I’m sold. I just used the blade that came in it and it’s not marked so here is a picture to give you an idea of how thin I sliced the potatoes.

Then you layer all your goodies in the tin muffins. I start with the ends of the potatoes I’ve sliced because they’re smaller and will fit better than the larger slices at the bottom. Next, I add just a dash of our grated garlic. I want to warn you, I use practically a whole head of garlic in this dish. You don’t have to obviously, I have a garlic problem. Throw just a bit of cheese in between each layer to make sure everyone sticks together and gets friendly. I added some chopped chives since they “go” with potatoes and because I had them. Usually I just do oregano on top though and have been happy with that. I really didn't even taste them that much so it may not be worth the trouble.

Then I add two slices of potatoes. You don’t want to do too many in one layer or they wont cook well. Some more of the toppings, another layer of potatoes, and then just cheese and oregano for the top. Next, you fill the cup about 2/3 full with whipping cream. Shit just got serious.

I cover with tin foil for the first 20 minutes [45 minutes total in the oven though]. I also places an empty baking sheet under the tins in the oven. If one of your tins was too full it could bubble up and over and fall onto the oven bottom. Then you’ll have a very smoky oven and therefore smoky kitchen. I’ve been here. Listen to me.

Side note: the cheese. Asiago. Don’t go substituting. It’s a little on the pricier side but I finally found it for $5 a block [instead of $7] at walmart. In the fancy cheese section. It’s pretty pungent and tastes like heaven. I use it for anything to do with pasta or potatoes. It’s worth its weight in gold, or your first born. Whichever is easiest. You can make it last longer by throwing in some mozzarella, provolone, or cheddar but I wouldn't  I got 0.69 lb block and used about half of it. Which means the other half is taunting me this very second. Oh, what I do for you.

The below recipe fills up 24 muffin tins. Use at your discretion.

Individual Scalloped potatoes:

3-5 potatoes, sliced thin with mandolin
¼ - ½ lb of asiago, grated
1 qt whipping cream
10 garlic cloves [or less if you’re a wimp/have children], grated
dried oregano

Grate cheese, hopefully by use of machine or husband/boyfriend/uncle/small child for hire. Peel and grate garlic. I pop my cloves in the microwave for 5 seconds to make peeling easier. Slice potatoes after cleaning, at the last possible second. Preheat oven to 375.

Assemble with potatoes on the bottom, a little bit of cheese and garlic. Add two slices of potato, cheese, garlic. Add two more slices of potato, and a decent amount of cheese. Fill cups up 2/3 with whipping cream. Sprinkle with oregano. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes [removing the foil about 20 minutes in]. Let cool. Hide in closet with pan, don’t share.

Variations: add thyme for a sophisticated touch, breadcrumbs for a homey dinner, or cooked prosciutto to beef it up [ham it up??]. Check out the link up and enjoy!

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