My family’s holiday meals are not complete unless they include at least two forms of potatoes. One of those has to be traditional mashed potatoes–no roasted garlic, no herbs…not even pepper–my mom usually makes them with butter, a splash of milk and a sprinkle of salt. While plain mashed potatoes are always delicious, I would rather stray from tradition and make a potato dish with a little more flavor. Often, I am in charge of making the “other potato” dish–the one that can contain whatever I please–no rules.
I have this problem where as soon as there are no rules I try something so far from tradition that no one will try it. Like one year at Thanksgiving I made a sweet potato casserole that had roasted bananas and an oatmeal nut crumble topping. I will admit that while it turned out really well, my family pretty much rejected this wild addition to our holiday meal.
I’m learning to make the “other potato” dish something that still has accessible flavors, but still manages to be something different. This scalloped potato recipe is what evolved. I decided to use 2/3 yukon gold potatoes and 1/3 sweet potatoes. I like the flavor of these potatoes more than traditional russets, but they don’t have as much starch as russets, so the sauce uses a little flour to hold everything together. A thinly sliced red onion layered with the potatoes breaks up their dense texture and adds a mild sweetness. Thyme is the major flavor player in the herb department, but the subtle and mellow flavor of sage rounds out this dish. Some might find topping unnecessary, but who can resist toasted and buttery bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese? Certainly not me.
adapted from The New Best Recipe by America’s Test Kitchen
1 pound sweet potatoes
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 small red onion
2 Tablespoons Organic Valley Salted Butter
5 sage leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup bread crumbs
¼ cup melted Organic Valley Salted Butter
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
1. Pre heat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13” pan.
2. Use a mandolin or food processor fitted with a 1/8” blade to cut the potatoes and onion into thin slices. Layer in prepared pan.
3. In a medium saucepan heat the buter over medium heat until melted. Add sage leaves and continue to cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove and discard sage leaves.
4. Add the thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and flour to the butter. Whisk for one minute, or until the roux becomes golden brown. Turn off the heat. Pour in the vegetable broth slowly while continuing to whisk. When no lumps remain, whisk in the heavy cream.
5. Pour the sauce over the layered potatoes and onions. Cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour.
6. Meanwhile, stir together the Topping ingredients.
7. When the potatoes have baked for one hour, remove the foil and sprinkle on the topping. Increase the oven’s temperature to 400°F and bake 15-20 minutes more, or until the potatoes are soft, the sauce is bubbling, and the topping is golden brown.
8. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.