Growing up, my mother would make scalloped potatoes. It was the perfect meal when the days were growing colder. Her recipe was simple, thinly sliced potatoes with a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup diluted with a half can to a full can of milk. However, when she had the cream on hand, she would make this recipe and it is ohhh, so good. Cream instead of canned soup is better for you because it is not loaded with salt, preservatives, and BPA from the can. Sometimes the cheese sauce bubbles out and makes a mess, so place the dish on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 1 c. small diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 c. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 8 potatoes (about 4 lbs), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 c. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese for the top
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Butter a large casserole dish and set aside.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions, garlic, and thyme in the butter until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes to make a roux. Whisk the cream and chicken stock into the roux. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens and is just about to simmer. Stir in 3 cups of the cheese, mixing until the cheese melts. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the potatoes very thin using a food processor, or mandolin placing them into a large bowl. In a large buttered casserole dish, place a layer of potatoes. Pour some cheese sauce over the top of the potatoes. Repeat layering the potatoes and cheese sauce, ending with the cheese sauce. Cover the casserole dish with a lid.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Put the potatoes back in the oven and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker. Instead of putting it in the oven, place the potatoes mixed with the cheese sauce into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Just before serving, top with remaining cheese and cover until cheese melts. Let the potatoes rest for 15 minutes before serving.
For variety, you can add cooked bacon, ham, mushrooms, or a can of drained tuna. Add it to the cheese sauce.