John Washabaugh – cheese dip in the crock pot. I make 1 lb of taco meat, usually ground turkey, two pound blocks of velveeta, 1 jar of ragu double cheddar sauce, 2 cans of chili (whatever your preference is) and a bag of mexican blend shredded cheese. Just melt everything together in the crockpot, and take a couple bags of tortilla chips.
This past Christmas when we had the family over for a holiday dinner, I decided to try & make some scalloped potatoes. I found a ton of recopies online, and took what I liked from some & what I liked from others and put them all together… leaving out the stuff I didn’t like. They turned out really well, to the compliments of everyone. The only problem is that I didn’t write down what I did… so I had no idea when I went to make them again for an Easter dinner yesterday. Last time, like everyone in the kitchen, I kept adding stuff until the sauce looked & tasted just right.
Friday night, I pulled out the same printed recipes from last time…. made sure we had most of the stuff here & popped what I needed on to the grocery list. This time I wrote down what went into it, but I may have the portions off… Where I have “cup” or “Tablespoon”, I may have just dumped some stuff in by eye.
People have asked how I made them, so I’ll try writing it out coherently here. I’ll add that my wife, Bethany, washed & cut the potatoes while I made the sauce… which was invaluable… because the sauce needed to be watched, and cut potatoes that sit for any period of time get all brown. I guess I could have cut them & put them in some cold water to halt the browning if I absolutely had to… but we get along well in the kitchen, and it’s nice to cook together sometimes. (I offered for her to do the sauce & to put me on potato duty, but she declined in case the cause didn’t turn out well, the blame could go solely on me.)
Eric’s Decadent Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes:
- 5 lb. bag of russet potatoes
- 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I buy the stuff in bags, this is 1 small bag.)
- 2 cups shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese (The store brand was 2 bags for $5 I think.)
- 1 pint (2 cups / 16 fl. oz.) heavy cream
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- 4 Tbsp. corn starch
- Salt/Pepper/Season All to taste
- 1 tsp minced garlic (I used the stuff minced & put in olive oil, in little jars)
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- 2 Tbsp. Miracle Whip or mayonnaise… (or 1 Tbsp. Each!)
- 1 sm. bag bacon bits
- bread crumbs (or crackers)
- potato scrubber
- cutting board
- 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish
- sauce pan
- spoon and/or wisk
- large bowl (if you’re gonna soak the potatoes)
- measuring cup & spoons
- aluminum foil
- hot pads
- stove top
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Wash & slice the potatoes, store in cold water if you have to so they don’t brown… or have someone do that while you…
- Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with the stick of butter. Melt the rest of the butter on medium heat in a saucepan.
- Add the flour & corn starch to the butter to make a roux.
- Turn it down to low heat, & slowly stir in the cream, buttermilk, sour cream, & mayo/Miracle Whip. Stir like a madman.
- Add the bacon bits, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and salt/pepper/spices to taste. Don’t forget to stir.
- Add about half of each kind of shredded cheese to the mix, keep stirring like a madman.
- Pull the sauce from the heat, keep stirring… add a little to the bottom of the baking dish.
- Later potatoes, sauce, & remaining shredded cheese… saving a nice amount of shredded cheese for the top.
- Cover with foil, bake at 350° for an hour.
- Pull it out, uncover, top with bread crumbs or crumbled up crackers, add some additional seasoning if so inclined, and pop it back in for another 15 minutes.
Well, there you have it. Pretty simple, and nothing makes me happier than cheese & potatoes. I noticed a lot of scalloped potato recipes don’t have cheese, but really… where’s the fun in that? Some also used a cream of chicken or cream of potato soup… makes it too much like White Trash ‘Taters for me. You may want to skip the breading, use chips or those crispy canned fried onions. Everyone has their own thing that they dig. Yukon Gold potatoes would make this really nice, probably wouldn’t need to cook as long…red potatoes might make it bitey… A mix may be nice. As far as the spices, I used coarse ground black pepper, I think some dry mustard, paprika, and some McKormick Season All.