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Three Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

30 Aug

Three cheese scalloped potatoes edit3

Wow, oh wow!  These potatoes are unbelievable.  I first made them as part of our Easter dinner this year, and they did not disappoint.  Even my friend Timm, who doesn’t care for blue cheese, had a second helping.  The recipe is perfect as written, so I didn’t make any modifications — a rare thing these days.

Scalloped Potatoes with Three Cheeses

  • 3/4 cup (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Danish blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/4 ounces)
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 cups whole milk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Mix cheddar cheese, blue cheese and Parmesan in small bowl.

Arrange half of potatoes in prepared baking dish, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle onion over, then flour. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle half of cheese mixture over. Top with remaining potatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons butter. Reserve remaining cheese.

Bring milk to simmer in medium saucepan. Pour milk over potatoes (milk will not cover potatoes completely). Cover baking dish tightly with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover dish (liquids in dish may look curdled); sprinkle potatoes with reserved cheese mixture. Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and cheese is deep golden brown, 30-45 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Cover and rewarm in 375°F oven about 20 minutes.) Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings (only 8 at my house)
Source: Rick Rodgers – Bon Appetit, November 1999

Cranberry Relish

7 Dec

My sister-in-law introduced me to this new take on the classic cranberry sauce.  It’s now a staple at our holiday meals.

1 bag (12 oz) cranberries
Juice of one orange
1 cup sugar

Simply blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.

Candied Yams

7 Dec

This is a family recipe I grew up having at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and sometimes both.  The medallions of sweet potatoes turn out sweet and a little chewy on the edges, hence the reference to candy.  The recipe name is a misnomer, because sweet potatoes are always used (yes, yams and sweet potatoes are two different things), but who cares what it’s called if it’s good, right?

Candied Yams

6 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup orange juice, from concentrate
chopped pecans, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.*  Place whole sweet potatoes directly on oven rack and roast until cooked in the center.  Set them aside to cool.  When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them into about 1/2 inch rounds and place on a sheet pan or large baking dish in a single layer.

2. Combine butter, brown sugar, and orange juice and pour over potatoes.  Top with pecans, if desired.

3. Reduce on to 250 degrees F.  Bake potatoes for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until the sauce has caramelized, and the potatoes are beginning to crack around the edges.

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After completing step 2, potatoes can be refrigerated for 1 or 2 days before baking.

*If you prefer, sweet potatoes can be boiled with skins on until cooked through instead.

Skillet Cornbread

7 Dec

This is the southern version folks, meaning no sugar added!  This is the kind of cornbread I grew up eating, and it is the perfect accompaniment to chili or stew.  If you already have bacon grease on hand, skip the first step and use 2 or 3 Tbsp cold grease.  Heat your pan over a burner or in the oven until melted and the pan is piping hot.  Be sure to keep an eye on your melting grease, so you don’t end up with a fire.

Skillet Cornbread

  • About 2 thick bacon slices, chopped
  • 3 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Brown chopped bacon in a 10-inch cast iron skillet.  Remove bacon from skillet.

In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper and mix well. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Quickly pour the cornmeal batter into the hot skillet.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until firm and golden brown on top. Let sit for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve hot with butter on the side.

Yields: 12 slices

Source: adapted from Emeril Lagasse, 2001