Yesterday, I more or less had dinner done at 8:30 in the morning. With my favorite slow cooker pot roast simmering away, I was able to turn my attention to the long list of things to do on my day off. The savory aromas of the pot roast, a welcome reminder of the dinner that would be on the table at 5:30pm.
But then there was the matter of the potatoes. My daughter just had to have cheesy potatoes. Which presented a problem, because I had no clue what she meant by cheesy potatoes. Did I make them in a previous life? Did a friend’s parents make them for her at some point and not give me the recipe? Was this an entire fabrication?
Moments like this are when a well stocked pantry and the internet come in handy. I had potatoes and a block of cheddar cheese and a gallon of milk. I also had a recipe from one of my favorite food contributors, Ellie Krieger, from Food Network, that I was able to rework for the ingredients I had on hand. And the best part? Ellie was able to work her magic by making a light version of scalloped potatoes with NO BUTTER and 1% milk (are you listening Paula Deen?)
Enthusiastic thumbs up from all family members and didn’t put me over my calorie count for the day. Cheesy potatoes? Oh yeah, I got that one down now!
Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes on the Lighter Side
- Olive oil spray
- 3 pounds yellow potatoes, like Yukon gold, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4-inch slices OR 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 3 cups cold milk (1 percent low-fat)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large or 2 small sprigs thyme
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, combined (or you may substitute 1 3/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese)
- Freshly ground nutmeg
- Dash hot sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt + 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 TBS chopped flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2 quart, shallow baking dish with olive oil spray.
Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
Put the milk and flour into a large saucepan and whisk until the flour is dissolved. Add the garlic and thyme and heat over a medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the thyme sprig, and stir in the salt, white pepper, a dusting of nutmeg and a few dashes of hot sauce. Add 1 cup of the cheese and stir until melted. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.
Arrange half of the potatoes in the baking dish. Pour over half of the cheese sauce. Add the remaining potatoes and top with rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. If desired, add a few more sprinkles of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbling. Put under the broiler and broil on high until the top is browned, about 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Serving size: about 1 cup