My dad, the cook of our house, always made the scalloped potatoes. But we only had them when there was leftover ham, which generally wasn’t all that often, and we ate it as an entire meal. And I’m not even a huge fan of ham. I certainly don’t mind it; I’ve never cooked a ham or am ever really craving it. When my dad made it with the chunks of leftover ham, I always tried to get the scoop with the most potatoes and least ham. I’ve never been shy about loving carbs!
Now that it’s my turn to make it, it’s on my 30 Before 30 list, I wondered if I had to make a ham first. Of course not! So I didn’t. I decided to just make them as a side, and forgo the meat. My dad can make some really good scalloped potatoes, but I wanted to take them to the next level, so I decided on horseradish scalloped potatoes, a recipe I found on Food and Wine. I wasn’t a huge fan of using heavy cream for this recipe, so I went with milk, and thickened it a bit with some flour. I included the tart apple (Granny Smith) as the recipe called for, but I really didn’t taste it all that much. I think next time I’d use an entire apple instead of just half. I’d also add some onion, just for fun!
The end result was a success! I served these along side of my individual beef wellingtons; it was a match made in heaven. In the future, if I wanted to serve them as a meal, a la my childhood, I’d add some rare roast beef. It’d be so amazing with the horseradish. Surprisingly, the horseradish really mellows out. I was hesitant to use all 6 tbsp the recipe called for, but I did. while cooking the sauce, it was pungent, but once it was covering the potatoes and baked, it was dialed back quite a bit. Still get a great horsey flavor though!
Horseradish Scalloped Potatoes
Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
6 tbsp grated peeled fresh horseradish root
2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute. sprinkle flour in, one tbsp at a time, continuously whisking to form a roux. The roux should be a smooth thick paste. Once flour is incorporated, slowly add milk, one cup at a time, continuing to whisk until rue is combined and no chunks remain. Bring mixture to slow bowl, and reduce heat to simmer until it thickens, about 6-8 minutes. Carefull not to walk away – the milk can boil over quickly, and that’s messy!
2. While the sauce is simmer, prepare a 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Layer the potatoes and apple. Once sauce has thickened to desired consistency, pour over potatoes. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until potatoes are almost fork tender (I put my baking dish on a baking sheet in case the potatoes boiled over – they didn’t, but just in case). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and return to oven until the potatoes are done and top has browned nicely. Remove, cover and let cool for 10-30 minutes before serving.