I’ve been playing with twists on the traditional holiday fare…potatoes, cranberries, sweet potatoes/squash, pork/beef/turkey and veggie side dishes. We’re actually going out to a fancy Thanksgiving dinner at the St. James Hotel this year, so all I really have to do for that is get dressed up…but I’m thinking outside the box for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals.
I’m sure scalloped potatoes isn’t a new idea for the holidays, by any means, but it would be new to us. I usually make either cream cheese-oven roasted garlic or horseradish mashed potatoes. Period. Never baked, fried, au gratin or scalloped… I think this bacony, cheesy rendition of the traditional scalloped potatoes would pair wonderfully with turkey or duck. And maybe a little drizzle of cider caramel on the meat instead of heavy gravy? I haven’t gotten that far yet, but I’ll keep you posted
3 to 4 lb. russet potatoes, washed, unpeeled and sliced thin
9 slices applewood smoked bacon, fried until crispy and crumbled
1 medium sized onion, peeled and sliced
2 cups cheddar-jack cheese, shredded
1 cup swiss cheese, shredded
3 cups whole milk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon dry parsley
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons paprika
Fry bacon until crispy. Remove from skillet and allow to drain and cool a bit on paper towel-lined plates. Discard all but 2 Tablespoons bacon drippings and saute sliced onion in the drippings until tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Melt butter in skillet lower heat and add the flour. Whisk until butter and flour are a light amber color and fragrant. Add the milk and continue to stir with a wire whisk until milk and roux are incorporated and the milk is warm. Set aside.
Mix shredded cheeses. Set aside.
Slice the potatoes and layer in a 9×13, glass baking dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of the crumbled bacon over, then 1/3 of the onion, then 1/3 of the cheese. Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture evenly over. Repeat until all of the ingredients are gone, ending with the cheese and milk. Sprinkle salt, pepper, parsley, paprika and nutmeg over the top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the top of the casserole is deep golden brown and the potatoes are tender and everything is bubbly and hot.
Cut into squares and enjoy!