If you compare the dining habits of Italians with Americans, then it is certain that you will find vegetables, grains, and side dishes occupying major space on their dining table than meat, as they play such a significant character in Italian cuisine. You will also find that the emphasis is stressed on the natural flavors of a perfect vegetable rather than banking on artificial flavors of sauces and intricate trimmings. A sprinkle of olive oil, a drizzle of parsley, with a bit of salt, and pepper often do the trick for the dressing. And Potatoes are no exception.
Potatoes have been a chief ingredient of our diet for many years. Earlier, the types of potatoes were restricted to two: russets and redskins. The recipe of each was quite specific also. You simply boiled redskins, and you either baked or mashed russets. However, over the years, our tastes have expanded and we found more convoluted recipes of the potato.
It seems that some of us are afraid to embark upon the preparation of scalloped potatoes. Here is one of those much elaborated recipes to make a great dish. Follow the finer details of this recipe, and you will find a graceful complement for a special dinner. And if you think that the potatoes can make only side dishes; then, we are sorry ... You may be wrong! Try this and you will come to know why!
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- Large russet baking potatoes, 4
- Heavy cream, 2 pints
- Granulated chicken base, 2 tbsp.
- Butter, 1 tbsp.
- Salt, as per your own taste
- Choosing the appropriate type of potato is important. Large russet baking potatoes can give the best results. Avoid using redskin potatoes, new potatoes, or any other potatoes containing high percentage of moisture.
- The slicing of the potatoes plays important role. Mandolin can be the best tool for the task, although with a little practice, you will also able to hand slice them. The thickness of the slices should be less than a ⅛ inch. It is better to have each slice uniform.
- Arrangement of the sliced potatoes in the casserole will conclude the final result. It is vital to use the casserole of an appropriate size depending on the amount of the potatoes you are going to prepare. A 12" x 8" casserole that is 2" deep can be enough for the following recipes. The placement of each layer should be in the lightly buttered casserole dish with a slight overlap so that there will be an even building of layers, and still you don't end up with potato silos. Arrangement of four layers can give excellent outcome.
With the help of a vegetable peeler, peel all the 4 potatoes and place them in a bowl of cold water so that they will not be discolored. Before slicing them, don't forget to dry each potato. Try to slice each potato uniformly with approximately ⅛" in thickness.
The casserole dish should be lightly buttered. The arrangement of the potatoes should be done in such a way that, one layer has to be laid at a time by overlapping each potato slice both top and bottom. Salt all layers lightly and shower some of the granulated chicken base over them. Continue this process of laying layers until ¾th of the casserole dish is filled.
Generally, three to four layers of potatoes can achieve this. Make sure that your layers are even. Care should be taken that the dish should not be overfilled. After completing layer arrangement, if you are remained with excess quantity of potato slices, fry them off for chips, but don't overfill in the dish.
Pour adequate heavy cream to have the level just scarcely touching the topmost layer of arranged, sliced potatoes. Allow the dish approximately 5 minutes to let the cream dispense itself evenly. By pouring again, adjust the level of the cream until it is just touching the top level of potatoes again. You can use the left over butter as dabs over the float up of the top layer, and shower any remaining chicken base. Now, cover the dish with some aluminum foil. Remove it from one corner so that the steam can easily escape.
Shift the dish to oven. Preheat oven to 370ºF. It will take approximately 45 minutes for desired baking, till top is golden brown. Now, remove the dish from oven and place it for cooling. Allow 15 minutes to set it before serving. If you prefer the dish to be dark brown in color, then you can sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese on top of it before baking.
This dish can have 6 servings. Enjoy and satisfy your taste buds with this delectable dish.