A New Twist on Au Gratin Potatoes (aka Scalloped Potatoes)

A New Twist on Au Gratin Potatoes (aka Scalloped Potatoes)

I love potatoes, don’t you?  Adding cream (or milk) and butter only makes them better.  When I was growing up, I always loved my mom’s scalloped potatoes, which I later learned are also called au gratin potatoes.  Mom’s version was very simple:  thinly sliced potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper.  No cheese.  I have made this recipe many, many times and always eat more than I should.  Sometimes, I even add cheese.  But I started thinking that a hybrid version that alternated russet potatoes slices with sweet potato slices might be really good and would add color to the dish, so I decided to experiment.

I started by using my trusty mandolin (one of my favorite kitchen tools) to thinly slice one large russet potato and one large sweet potato.


In a buttered dish, I alternated the two types of potatoes, overlapping them like shingles on a roof.  After sprinkling the potatoes with salt and pepper, I cut up a tablespoon of butter into 9 cubes and placed them on top of the potatoes.


Now it was time to sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the potatoes and butter.


Time for the second layer of potatoes. 


Don’t forget to season as you go.  Each layer needs a sprinkle of salt and pepper.


The goal is a creamy multi-layered potato dish, so each layer also gets the butter and flour to ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed throughout.


Be sure to sprinkle the flour evenly over the second layer of potatoes. 


Now for the cream or milk.  I added milk until the milk came half way up the sides of the baking dish.  I used whole milk, but you can lower the fat by using 2% milk or go all-out decadent with half-and-half or cream.  The combination of butter, flour and milk will create a lovely béchamel like sauce between each layer of potatoes as the dish bakes.  This recipe will even work with skim milk, which I have experimented with in the all-russet-potato version, but it will not have the same creaminess or béchamel-like sauce between the layers. 


Now it was time to bake the potatoes.  375 degrees F works well.  I covered the potatoes with aluminum foil and baked them until they were almost tender.  Then I removed the foil, and finished baking the potatoes until they were tender.  By removing the foil, it allowed the potatoes to brown on top. 


Finally, it was time for the taste test.  Amazing!  The two types of potatoes made for a fantastic combination of textures and flavors.  The russet potatoes still had a slightly firm texture while the sweet potatoes practically melted in my mouth.  I will definitely be repeating this experiment.  Hope you enjoy it too!


© 2015 FoodieOasis




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