Saturday, October 4, 2008

Scalloped potatoes

My husband Dan high-fived me when I gave him a bite of this, just slightly cooled, fresh out of the oven.

I said, "It's from Amy Sedaris," and he said, "She likes people." Then he had another bite.

As a general rule, when things that have terrible ingredients and come straight out of a box but still taste great, the chances are pretty good they will taste excellent if they are homemade. Like macaroni and cheese or falafel. So I figured scalloped potatoes would be another of these.

Now I know I said in my last post that an upcoming recipe was for potatoes au gratin, but I'm pretty sure scalloped falls under the au gratin umbrella because the dish is browned in the oven and includes cheese.

I pulled one of my favorite cookbooks off the shelf for this. Amy Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence is a really fun read, recipes aside. There aren't many cookbooks you can say that about. This book not only has lots of recipes -- for things like "pot roast for Jack Black," cheese balls, and the like -- but it also has crafts you'll probably never make (scented sachets made out of pantyhose, for instance) and sagely advice about partying from Amy herself.

The potatoes are called "Hugh's scalloped potatoes," and fans of the amazing writer David Sedaris (Amy's brother) know Hugh is his longtime love.

My photo shows the following recipe doubled.

Hugh's scalloped potatoes

1 tablespoon minced parsley (I used fresh)

1 cup thinly sliced onion

2.5 cups thinly sliced potatoes (I used new potatoes and left the skin on)

1 teaspoon salt

1.5 tablespoons butter

pepper, to taste

3.5 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk (I used whole milk)

paprika, to taste

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1.) Boil the potatoes and onion in enough water to cover them for about 5 minutes. Drain.

2.) Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and milk, and whisk. Add the paprika, salt, and pepper, and stir.

3.) Stir in the cheese.

4.) Oil the bottom of a 9x12-inch baking dish. Put a layer of potatoes and onion down (I used half of it), then a layer of sauce, then the parsley, and repeat until all ingredients are gone.

5.) Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

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