Thanksgiving: Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes

Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes

This Thanksgiving is the first year I won't be cooking in three years. I'm going to my sisters. To play with her baby and to make small talk with her in-laws. I like it there, no pretense and a lot of disruptions. We laugh. I take her elderly dog outside, then sit by a heater to keep my feet warm. 

I like it there. I share a cigarette with her husband and I'm bringing a 12-pack with me. I know how it goes, she'll cook for four hours and we'll eat in 20. I'll help clean up, take a nap with Lana. I'll bring a side dish, the potatoes below. I'll make myself useful but stay out of the way. I'm still a voyeur in some senses of the word; watching the world I left four years ago and still trying to grow accustomed to it now. I hope I'm not too deer-legged in trying.

Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes

Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes

A better alternative to the boxed scalloped potatoes your mom has probably tried to doctor up with peas or ham. These are simple to make and nearly foolproof, yet still a fun play on a classic. My favorite kind of recipes these days.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 TB unsalted butter
  • 3 TB flour
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 strips of bacon

Directions:

  1. First, grease your pan with butter. Use a shallow casserole dish, such as the Falk pan pictured here
  2. Preheat oven to 400*F
  3. Next, using a sharp knife, cut your potatoes into thin slices, but not going all the way through the skin on the bottom, so they are held together by a brown tendon of flesh
  4. Arrange your potatoes in your prepared pan, putting chunks of garlic and onion in between the spaces the potatoes have made
  5. Now, in a saucepan, melt your butter on medium-high heat
  6. Whisk in your flour and continue whisking until it is slightly browned and aromatic
  7. Slowly add your milk in and continue whisking for a good minute, until the edges bubble and the sauce begins to thicken
  8. Now, add your cream cheese and one and a half cups of your cheddar and continue whisking to melt them
  9. Take off heat, whisk in your spices (to taste)
  10. Pour over your potatoes. Do this slowly and completely smother them, fanning the potatoes to get in each slice
  11. Top with remaining cheddar and breadcrumbs
  12. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour covered
  13. While potatoes are baking, fry your bacon and cut into small "lardons"
  14. After one hour, remove foil, top dish with bacon and continue to bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potatoes
  15. Allow to cool before serving
Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes
Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes
Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes
Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes
Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes
Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes
Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes