Today I will show you how to cook the scalloped potatoes recipe from Ina Garten.
Ina Garten is a legend in culinary circles with her homey comfort foods. On special occasions, holidays, birthdays, or cravings for some warm meal, many of us turn to her recipes to make the day a little better, and the food a little tastier.
Scalloped potatoes, in some form or another, are made in almost every national cuisine around the world, as well as fusion cuisines. Some say it’s a distinctly French meal, and they might be right.
But with some variety, it’s made all over the world. In the US, we have creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes.
Its richness comes from the heavy gruyére cheese, and it is an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes with any main course, being more decadent. Pork is probably the best choice to serve as the main course with scalloped potatoes, as well as acidic salads or pickles to counter the heavy creaminess of the dish.
How long does it take to make this recipe?
You will need about 90 minutes to prepare, assemble, and bake the scalloped potatoes. Some layer and arrange the potatoes with great effort, which takes significantly more time.
There’s no need to do that, and it might look prettier, but the taste will be exactly the same. I would go as far as to say it’s not worth the hassle. Just mix them up, and let them bake in peace.
That’s the charm of casseroles, after all. The lazy feeling associated with it is that you just have to toss them together and pop them in the oven.
That’s pure bliss as a busy person with a hectic schedule! On some occasions, however, you may decide to spend some more time arranging the scalloped potatoes to not just taste but look perfect.
Should I use white or red potatoes?
Many cooks are not familiar with the importance of using the appropriate type of potato for different kinds of cooking methods. The truth is, not all potatoes are created equal. Some kinds will remain hard and solid after hours of cooking. However, that’s not just on the potatoes.
For scalloped potatoes, both red and white potatoes can be great. Make sure not to use new potatoes and to peel them. Red potatoes have a more distinct earthy flavor and easily become mushier or fall apart.
Long white potatoes keep their shape better and blend in better with all the other ingredients.
What’s in the Ina Garten scalloped potatoes recipe?
First of all, it has earthy red or creamy long white potatoes, peeled, washed, and cut into even slices.
You’ll need some onions, fennel bulbs, oil, butter, heavy cream, cheese, salt, and spices.
Some recipes also call for chicken broth or milk.
Both are suitable additions but don’t leave out the cream entirely, as it will thicken the sauce.
There are many varieties out there; some use cheddar, parmesan, gouda, goat cheese, or blue cheese, but the authentic recipe calls for good ol’ gruyére. Some even go as far as to add some chopped bacon or ham to the recipe.
Ina Garten Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- 8 Medium-large white long potatoes (4 pounds)
- 2 Large yellow onions (thinly chopped)
- 4 Cloves of garlic (minced and chopped)
- 2 cups Geavy cream
- ½ cup Unsalted butter (melted)
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- ½ tbsp Black pepper (ground)
- ½ tbsp White pepper (ground)
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg (ground)
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 3 cups Gruyére cheese (grated)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a baking dish.
- Brown the chopped onions and minced garlic in some olive oil in a skillet or pan on the stove, using low heat.
- Peel, wash, and slice the potatoes either by hand or on a mandoline. Make sure the slices are more or less the same in size.
- Mix the potatoes, sautéed onions, garlic, heavy cream, butter, Gruyère cheese, salt, peppers, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
- Place it in the preheated oven, and bake for an hour until the top is browned and it’s bubbling.
- Enjoy your recipe!
What are the best types of potatoes for this recipe?
First, learn how each kind of potato behaves when cooked and when to use them for the best results. Highly starchy ones, like Idaho or russet, are ideal for baking or frying. With a moderate starch content, such as long white potatoes, you can boil, bake, or fry them for the best results.
Less starchy potatoes like Yukon gold or yellow ones are great for roasting, baking, casserole-type dishes, soups, making mashed potatoes, or chowders.
New potatoes are dense, having more moisture while being much less starchy. They are best for salads after being boiled because they keep their shape better.
The key to delicious potato recipes is choosing the right potato for them. It’s best to go with high starch-content potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold because they don’t fall apart when baked but become tender and help thicken the sauce.
Some might prepare it a day ahead, but the potatoes might brown when mixed together beforehand and placed in the fridge pre-cooked. It’s best to keep the sliced potatoes in cold water in the fridge to keep them from browning.
All the other ingredients can be pre-made, mixed, and kept in the fridge a day prior.
Can I use pre-fried potatoes?
Using pre-fried potatoes is a great way to make the cooking faster. The goal with pre-frying is not to cook them completely golden brown but to make the oven-baking faster. Fry them just to soften the potatoes and to get a harder outer layer. This will prevent them from drying out when oven-baking later.
Also, make sure not to bake them at more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit because the potatoes won’t soften enough.
For the first 30 minutes of the baking time, you can cover the baking dish with foil to make sure the steam and aromas stay inside the dish and soften it as much as possible. The other 30 minutes are meant to caramelize the top uncovered.
This is only possible if the slices are conveniently thin.
Tips and tricks for a better recipe
For perfect scalloped potatoes, heavy cream is a must, but using too much acid like vinegar or sour cream might harden the potatoes, as surprising as it sounds.
At the same time, don’t just pour an ungodly amount of cream onto it, as it might become watery and never brown enough. Add some more gradually if needed. Only milk won’t cut it, and the fat content in heavy cream makes the sauce thicken.
Casserole dishes, like scalloped potatoes, typically improve the day after being prepared. The flavors come together, and the sauce thickens. If you are making them for a special occasion or a big family event, make them a day ahead.
Adding fresh herbs into the cream-potatoes mix takes this to a whole other level.
Besides Gruyére, experimenting with different flavor-profile cheeses can result in completely different meals-for varying main courses.
Blue cheese, parmesan, and mozzarella each add a different undertone. But not just cheese can dramatically alter the taste. Using broth, especially bold-flavored ones like beef broth, can make this a whole meal by itself. Avoid using too much, not to make the potatoes watery, and don’t cover the dish with foil when adding broth either.
Scalloped potatoes might seem like a side dish, but with some ham or bacon thrown into it, it can be a whole meal. It has a particularly high-fat content and is not the healthiest dish you can opt for, but with some extra veggies on the side, it’s not that bad.
They are much more decadent than mashed potatoes and not more of a hassle. It’s great for beginner cooks as well, as it’s hard to ruin.
The richness of this meal is mind-blowing, but that might be hard on some people’s stomachs. To counter this effect, use some broth in the sauce as well.
Some fresh garlic bread, green salad, or baked brie are amazing on the side. Shallots can also be a great addition to this recipe, besides simple onions and garlic.