Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monterey Scalloped Potatoes


You’d think . . . a scalloped potato . . . is a scalloped potato. But I’m here to tell you that not all scalloped potato recipes are created equal. This one is definitely different – it uses Monterey jack cheese, for one. And that may be about the only thing that’s truly unusual about it, although this version also requires you to make a cream sauce – one made with cornstarch and milk and cream. The recipe came from a woman who used to work for me, in the ad agency I used to own.
Occasionally, usually around the holidays, we’d have a potluck, and as years went by, it was just accepted fact that Kathy would bring her scalloped potatoes. These are just so incredibly good, and I’ve never – ever – made another kind since she introduced me to them. I’ve changed her recipe just a little over the years (adding salt and pepper, and cooking the onions before starting to layer the potatoes). And I’ve altered the ratio of milk and half and half depending on what I have on hand. Kathy’s original recipe called for all half and half, but I changed it some years ago to half milk, and maybe just a touch of heavy cream if I happen to have it.

Cook’s Notes: be sure to use Monterey jack cheese – it is what makes this recipe. And don’t skimp on the baking time – it does require a full 90 minutes of baking. I salt and pepper the cream sauce to suit my taste (making it saltier than you’d make a sauce because after all, it has to salt the entire dish). If you have it, substitute a bit of heavy cream for an equal quantity of half and half.

Monterey Scalloped Potatoes
Recipe By: Kathy S, a former employee
Serving Size : 8
5 large Idaho potatoes
10 ounces Monterey jack cheese -- sliced
1 whole onion -- sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces butter
1 teaspoon salt -- or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper -- or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350. Select a 3-quart baking dish with lid. Spray the dish with vegetable spray.
2. Slice onion and place in a microwave-proof dish. Cover with plastic wrap and cook for about 4 minutes, until onions are just barely tender. Remove from microwave, discard plastic wrap, drain and allow to cool to a handling temperature.
3. Slice potatoes (with or without skins) to fill halfway up the dish. Cover with half of the slices of cheese and half of the onion. Repeat potato layer, cheese and onions, until dish is filled.
4. Make white sauce with half and half, milk, cornstarch and butter. Heat until somewhat thickened and pour over the potatoes. Place lid on potatoes. Bake for 90 minutes, removing lid during last 20-30 minutes.

Per Serving: 348 Calories; 23g Fat (59.7% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 70mg Cholesterol; 561mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 4 Fat.
Printer-friendly PDF recipe.

1 comment:

Toffeeapple said...

I adore scalloped potatoes. I usually make mine by covering each layer of potatoes with a thin scattering of finely chopped (minced) onion, raw, salt and pepper until the final potato layer which has a finish of butter pieces, all covered with heavy cram and milk. We can't get Monterey Jack here, but I have eaten it so I can visualize the flavour in the finished dish. Yum!