Spiced Scalloped Potatoes

Here’s a list of some things I’ve stress-eaten over the past few months:
  • quesadillas made of only tortillas and those pull-able cheese sticks
  • marshmallows, spread in a layer on a plate and microwaved until they’ve just started to caramelize
  • baking chocolate squares, right out of the box
  • jello, made with the best of intentions but then drunk with a straw when I was too impatient to let it harden
  • cereal with water when I ran out of milk
  • peanut butter right out of the jar (later in the day I’d find PB smeared on my elbow and in my hair)
So with that: here’s to the return of napkins, utensils, and food groups.

Ingredients (adapted from simple scalloped potatoes in Smitten Kitchen)

  • 3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thinly (I used my new mandolin)
  • 1 Tb canola oil
  • 2.5 Tb butter
  • 3/4 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp each of cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder, and garam masala (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
I used a relatively small vessel for this recipe — it is probably only 7 inches in diameter.  Therefore, I only used about 1.5 potatoes, but I’d recommend using a bigger container if you’re making it for more people.  Also, you can up the spices if you’re using more potatoes.
Heat the oven to 350F.  In a skillet combine the canola oil and 1 Tb butter .  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown.  Add the peas and stir.  Add the spices and stir, turning off the heat after about 15 seconds.  Add salt and pepper.
Butter the inside of the vessel you’re using, then arrange the potatoes in a layer with edges overlapping.  Put a little of the onion mixture over the top and attempt to spread it.  Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper.  Repeat this process until you have 4-5 layers.  Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top, and finish with dollops of the remaining butter.
Finally, gently pour the milk on top until it gets about halfway up the stack of potatoes (you might not need an entire cup).  I actually filled mine higher, but the casserole ended up a little more liquid-y than I would have liked.  Do it to your preference, you’re the cook!
Bake on the middle rack for 30-45 minutes.  After the first 30 check for level of the liquid as well as browning of the top level of potatoes.  The goal is a slightly crispy top with a creamy base.  Hope you enjoy it!


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