Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ron’s Scalloped Potatoes

The single sexiest thing a man can do is learn to cook. If you don’t believe me, read the story of poor, lonely Kenneth, rescued by love only when he learned to cook (see my Aug. 10, 2011 blog titled Kenneth’s Slam-Bam-Thank-You-Ma’am Blackberry Pie).

Believe me when I say that Ron is a very sexy man. He doesn't just cook ... he sizzles (That should be good for another week’s dinners cooked by Himself)!

Who has time to take pictures? We were ready to eat!
The day Ron prepared much of our Early Christmas Dinner, I suggested that a potato casserole would complement our ham to perfection. He agreed. This was the result.

Ron’s Scalloped Potatoes:

4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 5 c.)
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
½ tsp. salt
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1-½ c. milk (Ron used skim)
1-½ c. grated aged cheddar, divided
1 medium onion, sliced paper-thin
Additional butter, as needed
3-to-4 tbsp. heavy cream
Paprika, as garnish

Grease a 1-½ qt. (1.5 L) heat-proof casserole dish (Ron used a 10-½-in. diameter circular dish. Here it is, demonstrated by Moi! Ron, don’t say I never help in the kitchen!)

And so, between the two of them, they licked the platter clean!

Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Place potato slices in cold water to keep from browning. Set aside. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in flour, salt, and peppers, stirring until melted. Allow to bubble 1 min., stirring constantly. Continuing to whisk, slowly add milk, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat, stirring in 1 c. grated cheese until completely melted.

Drain potatoes, quickly blotting dry. Layer half of potatoes and all of onion into casserole dish. Pour over half of cheese sauce. Dab with butter. Repeat with remaining potatoes, sauce, and dabs of butter. Top with ½ c. grated cheese. Spoon heavy cream around edge of dish. Shake on paprika, as garnish. Bake, uncovered, 60-to-70 min., or until golden brown.

Tomorrow: A passel of Dinner Party Guidelines and Tips.

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