Creamy Scallopped Potatoes with Bacon and Carmelized Onions


It is that time of year when we are planning our Thanksgiving meal options. I have been planning for a few weeks and still can't make up my mind on my theme or what I want to serve. For some reason brussels sprouts are calling my name. I like them, but not many do. I am trying to steer clear of this vegetable, but it keeps popping into my thoughts. There are so many possiblilities on what to serve from the side dishes to the dessert. I have been testing, but still not sure of my master plan. Potatoes are a must, but what kind of potatoes?


There are so many ways to prepare a potato. Mashed, smashed, riced, candied, whipped, baked, etc... Then there are so many varieties of potatoes. Do I choose russets, fingerlings, yams, sweet potatoes, marble potatoes, red potatoes, gold potatoes, etc... The list is never ending. Stress that is what it is. So many options, so little time. What better way to determine what to make, is to make it, try it and circle it to keep it on the list or the big X to discard it. That has been my method of madness lately.


On the list scallopped potatoes. If not for the fact that they will be delicious on my dinner menu, but they are amazing left overs for breakfast. I mean absolutely amazing. I stack them on top of toasted piece of bread and then cover with an over easy egg, now that is bliss. Soft creamy potatoes with liquid gold oozing down the sides, with the crisp tender bread soaking up all this yumminess. Yep, this girl is drooling. 


These scalloped potatoes take a little more effort. Not that it is difficult or anything, but the effort will add another layer of flavor. And this is an amazing thing. The only extra steps are to 1. heat your milk mixture and 2. slice and carmelize onions. See not a big deal. And the kicker is to use the same pot. Carmelize your onions first and then while your layering your potatoes and onions, heat the milk mixture. It doesn't have to be boiling, just warm. See it is not that bad. If you do not have a mandolin or a slicer I would suggest getting one. It is not necessary, but a HUGE time saver. I unfortunatly cut all my potatoes and onions by hand (because I am dedicated, no because when I moved I gave away my mandolin and have not yet replaced it). It is a great investment and you will use it more than you think. You can slice apples, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, etc... you get the idea. And you will want to make this recipe over and over again, not just for holidays.

SCALLOPED POTATOES

1 tsp unsalted butter, plus 3 Tbsp more for dotting 
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 oz bacon, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
2-3 pounds all purpose potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 1/2 c. grated Gruyere, Cheddar, Parmesan, or Blue Cheese (I used a mix of all)
2 c. milk (I used 2%, but feel free to use whole, heavy cream or half and half)
1 c. chicken stock
Salt


Black Pepper
Cayanne Pepper 
Garlic Powder
Paprika
Thyme

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 3 1/2-quart baking dish and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the onions begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add the thyme and garlic and cook 1 minute.
Once the onions are carmelized remove from pot and transfer to a dish. Add the milk and chicken stock to the pot and heat until hot.
In the mean time, spread a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the prepared dish, slightly overlapping the slices. Sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika, thyme, cayanne pepper, salt, and black pepper, and top with a layer of the onions. Followed by more potatoes, onions, and seasoning. Repeat. Pour the milk and stock mixture over the potatoes, dot with butter, and cover with foil.
Roast until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the foil and top with cheese, continue baking until golden brown and bubbly, an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
***Liquid may boil over, take preventitive measures***

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