November 13, 2012

Classic Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme {Naptime Everyday}

Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme via The Naptime Chef

Even though our postponed Halloween celebration just took place on Saturday I am in Thanksgiving mode. This year we’ll have a small family celebration in Boston. It will be nice and easy which is just what I’m in the mood for since I am definitely slowing down a bit. Next year I am sure we’ll happily host a huge family bash, but this year I need a little break. In light of this I’ve had some fun spacing out some of our Thanksgiving favorites over the past week. Just because we aren’t having a huge feast doesn’t mean we should skip our favorites for an entire year. Last week I made some of Gwyneth’s Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Olive Oil and they were as delicious as ever. Over the weekend I made a classic Roast Chicken and paired them with these Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme. Next week I plan to indulge in our favorite Thanksgiving dessert so stay tuned!

I’ll freely admit that I am not one of those mashed potato addicts. I prefer my potatoes to be crispy like our favorite Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, or sliced thin and bathed in a light layer of cream and cheese au gratin-style. In fact, this is one of the first potato recipes I ever learned how to make. My father and I were always put in charge of the spuds at Thanksgiving when I was little and this became something of a signature dish of ours. Over the years we tweaked the classic Joy of Cooking recipe for basic Scalloped Potatoes recipe until we finally landed on, what we feel, is our best possible version.

What we like about this simple dish is that it is creamy without being soupy. We are not making potato soup after all, and we prefer our potatoes to retain a little bite after they’ve been baked. Dad and I are also big fans of shallots and thyme so adding those is really a no brainer. Together they give the dish just the right amount of flavor without being overpowering.

Once the recipe is simply assembled we slide it into the oven and let it bake until the edges are crispy and golden and the cheese has melted just so. In this case, I simply slide the dish right next to the roaster of the chicken to bake. On Thanksgiving we often bake potatoes and give them a little reheat before the meal. I actually prefer this because I think it makes the creamy underbelly just a touch thicker which is even better.

Recipe

Classic Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme

adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Ingredients

3 cups of peeled, thinly sliced potatoes (about 1/8-inch thick)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 10-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and parboil the potato slices for about 6 minutes, or until they are slightly softened. Drain the water and pat the potatoes as dry as you can possibly get them with clean paper towels. Layer the potatoes into the butter baking dish in three layers. Sprinkle one third of the flour over the first layer, followed by one third of the shallots, and dot the top with one third of the butter pieces. Repeat this with the remaining two layers, finishing with the layer of flour, shallots, and butter.

3. In a small saucepan warm the milk, salt, and thyme and stir until tiny bubbles form around the edges, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour the warm milk mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle the cheese evenly on top.

5. Bake the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is bubbly and warm.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This simple dish is a perfect for Thanksgiving or any time cold weather gathering. If you would prefer a different flavor try making it with rosemary or another herb of your choice.

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes prep time, 30 minutes bake time

Naptime Reviews

This is a family favorite and we try to have it every year!

More Naptime Recipes