Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Love to Cook! Signature Recipe #1

Okay, so it's no big secret that I am more domestic than most men, and even some women. I love to cook! I even have a recipe page for you to look at under the heading, "Knowledge Nourishment". Cheesy I know, like most of my recipies. (I just love melted cheese on just about anything.) So I thought, "Hey! I know how to boost my page count! Feature a Recipe, and headline it!" then I broke out into maniacal laughter, and thought...  "It doesn't matter, no-one even reads my blog..." but what the heck, I feel better about myself doing it.. It's like a journal where I can keep things for myself... or something like that... any way...

Onto what you've been waiting for... This Week/Month's Signature Recipe...

Perfect Scalloped Potatoes
(Serves 8-ish, prep time 35 minutes, cook time 30-40 minutes, pretty messy to make, kind of a pain to clean up.)
  • 2 lbs. Potatoes ( I prefer to use the all blue potatoes, they have a much better texture)
  • 1 head of Broccoli (I shred mine starting at the florets, on the cheese grater)  
  • 1 lb Sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 - 1/4" slices of your choice of Meat (I use the Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Breast from Raley's Deli.)
  • 1 green onion stalk
  • 1 -1/2 pint Heavy Cream 
First, Start a large pot on the stove with enough water to submerge your potatoes in, thinly slice all of your potatoes. I use a mandolin for mine to keep them all uniform. Drop them in the pot and let them steep in the hot water until you finish up shredding the broccoli. The potatoes shouldn't be in the water long enough to boil. Take the potatoes off the heat, Then rinse them really well in a collander under cold water. (Some of you may know this as "Blanching") let them set aside to drain while you dice your meat of choice into 1/4" cubes, and cut your green onion stalks into nice little 1/8" or 1/4" rounds. Preheat your oven to bake at 375. Get out a baking dish, and start assembling your Scalloped potatoes in it. I don't care what kind or size you use. The overall result is that you need to start making layers... do a single layer of potato slices, you do not want to see gaps. Then a fairly even layer of shredded broccoli, a layer of cheese, and a sprinkling of your cubed meat. Repeat this process until you fill your pan. I can usually get 3 layers. Between each layer I like to "press" the pan, this ensures that everything will be nice and tight, so that you get perfect "sticky" scalloped potatoes with each Spatula full. Once you've completed your last layer, top off with one more layer of cheese, do a final pressing, and add your green onion stalks. (remember those? I had you cut them up earlier... I know... it's been a while...) Make sure to clean up the edges of your pan, you don't want things spilling over the edge and becoming burnt krispies on the bottom of your oven. okay, now break out that little tiny thing of cream that I put in the list of ingredients, you're going to slowly pour, kind of more like, trickle, this over your entire pan. I use about 2/3 of the 1/2 pint... (what is that...  a third of a full pint then? whatever doensn't matter) If you use too much cream, you will end up with more soupy potatoes... too little, and it's gonna be really dried out. Place in the oven and check on them from time to time... they should cook for about 30 minutes.. sometimes it might take a little longer, especially if you have packed them really well, by pressing each layer nice and tight. Serve to everyone in your household, (who doesn't have any allergies to the ingredients) and enjoy the praise.

(Sliced Blue Potatoes and Shredded Broccoli)

(Ingredients set out into an assembly line)

(Layer of potatoes, completely covering bottom of pan, and a layer of broccoli)

(A layer of cheese, and (in my case the turkey) meat, notice how you can still see some of the potatoes and broccoli...)

(When finished, your pan should look something like this... (except I didn't have any onions this time around...))

(And when you pull it out of the oven, it should look like this.... mmmmmm.... baked cheese... yummm)

For more of my recipes go here >

Here are some pictures: