No, the potatoes are not 40+ years old, but his recipe is - and it's delish!
My hubby has been making these ever since were first married. He has a special way he makes them and every time I make a suggestion to try them a different way, add some herbs, add some cheese on top, add something other than ham, use heavy cream...well, he says "no" to all of them. (I don't think he likes the way I keep changing recipes., but I like to experiment.) He makes them just a certain way and he's not about to change. However, he will serve them alongside ham - no wonder he makes them sooo good!
His recipe takes only 3 items. Like I said, it's easy! He starts by peeling all the potatoes. I have suggested leaving the peelings on for better nutritional value, but he's not interested in that. He's interested in the flavor of his original recipe. Then he slices them VERY thin on the mandolin. He does them all without even one slight trim job on any of his fingers or knuckles. A short lived trip to soak in a bowl of water to eliminate a lot of the starch is next. He mixes his "secret" solution to mix with the potatoes in the blue metal roaster. The roaster is probably as old as his recipe. We have two matching blue roasters of different sizes. The smaller one is always for his scalloped potatoes and the larger one is always for the ham. That's just the way he's always done it. However, this Thanksgiving it will be a little different since he bought such a smaller ham, just for the two of us. You see, we used to host many bustling family Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners over the years. Now that our parents are gone and my siblings have young families of their own to gather with, plus we are all split up around the state and the U.S., we don't host these huge family events at our home anymore. Now, it's just a quiet relaxed dinner for the two of us. Anyway, I digress. Here's the rest of the story regarding Doug's Scalloped Potatoes.
This recipe serves 10-12 people depending on the serving sizes
Prep your pan:
- Make sure the medium baking pan (Doug uses an 11" x 8" oblong blue roaster pan) with cover has been dusted off from the last big family dinner.
- Line the pan with foil so you have an easy clean up.
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
Scalloped Potato Ingredients:
6-8 Potatoes, medium - large, Russet, Yukon Gold or Red are recommended
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup, 15 oz
1 Can Whole Milk (use the Mushroom Soup can to measure the whole milk.) Do not substitute any other type of milk.
Get the potatoes ready for the pan:
- Peel all of the potatoes and rinse.
- Slice the potatoes very thinly on a mandolin. They can be sliced by hand, but it's difficult to get them as thin as you can on the mandolin.
- Pour the Cream of Mushroom Soup in a large bowl. (Do not add any water.)
- Add one can of whole milk, using the Cream of Mushroom Soup can for measuring the milk. Stir thoroughly. Do not substitute any other type of milk.
- Add all the drained, sliced potatoes to the bowl and slowly stir together so all the potatoes are covered with the white sauce.
- Pour the potatoes and soup mixture into the baking pan so it's about 1 inch from the top. You can always add another potato or two if your potatoes are more than the one inch from the top of the pan. Leaving a clearance of an inch eliminates any bubbling over or creating a mess on the bottom of your oven.
- Do NOT add salt and pepper to the mixture until after the baking has been completed, otherwise the milk will curdle.
- Cover and place in the oven set at 325F degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
- Take the cover off the pan and turn the temperature up to 350F degrees, and bake for an additional hour so the potatoes turn golden brown on top.
- This is a great recipe to have on a buffet because you can serve the scalloped potatoes right out of the blue roaster so everyone can access the crusty brown top if they like.
If you want to prepare a smaller amount:
- If you are serving a smaller group of people and don't relish a lot of leftovers, use smaller amounts. and preparing it in the same way. We use a 10" round ceramic casserole bowl that is a couple of inches shallower than the blue roaster pan.
- 4-5 Potatoes, sliced very thinly
1/2 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Can Whole Milk
Optional flavor ideas: You know by now that I like to experiment when making a recipe in order to change up the flavors and textures. So, here goes. But, don't tell Doug.
- Add some Italian herbs to the potatoes and serve Italian sausage next to the potatoes. Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary work well.
- Near the end of the baking process shred some fresh Gruyere cheese to sprinkle on top so it creates a bubbly and brown crust.
However you prepare potatoes for family get togethers, every family has their favorite recipe. Enjoy, and Bake your own Memories!