January 28, 2015

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I'm going to keep things pretty short this week, because I am with my family at a chalet at Big White, and in the eyes of my niece and nephew, I am taking away valuable chase-me, come-find me, and I'll drop all of the crayons on the floor and you pick them up time.

Last Friday night I had everything packed for the trip, a batch of gooey chocolate rolls for snacking, the house all clean and organized, and then I went to get my passport from the passport spot (in a folder, in a box, in the closet). I found Brent's passport, my passports from 2014, 2009, 2004, and 1999 (I keep for nostalgic reasons), but couldn't find my current passport. I tore the house apart. I called Brent at work and he rushed home where he found me on the floor in a puddle of my own tears, worried that I had ruined the trip. And then he reminded me that there was no way that I could be denied entry back into Canada because I am Canadian. Of course. I was then able to focus on the task at hand which was find that dang passport. We searched in every nook and cranny. I called the Toronto airport, I called the Seattle airport, customs, the cab company from when I last remember having it. Nowhere, no one, my passport gone forever. And then, 5 hours later, I hear Brent call out from the other room, with his new found power, the fact that he found my passport, in the scanner.

I owe him forever. I'll probably have to make him these cheesy scalloped potatoes every time he asks, because he says that they are now his favorite food. Potatoes, cheese, hot peppers, spices, butter, gah. Pure deliciousness. You know, in the dead of winter when you're really feeling like a bright crisp salad with raspberries and goat cheese and sunshine and margaritas, and then you realize that it's still cold outside, there's snow on the ground, and that you should really start living in the moment. Cheesy comfort food is the way to go, and we can only get away with eating these foods a few months our of the year, so might as well take advantage of that fact.

I used a combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheese for these potatoes. Half of the cheese I made into a sauce with butter, milk, and spices. The rest I sprinkled on top, and then set the oven to broil in the last 5 minutes of baking to give the cheese that magical flavor. I used a few Mama Lil's Pickled Goathorn Peppers, which are the best peppers I have ever tasted. They add an amazing tang to compliment the creamy cheesiness. This dish can be served as a side with some greens on the side, or on its own with a glass of pinot or a nice frosty lager.

makes 1 - 9 x 11 inch dish
serves 8

5 large russet potatoes
5 tbsp unsalted butter
5 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hot sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 pickled hot pepper slices

Scrub the potatoes with cold water. Slice them thinly with a mandoline. Place the potato slices into a large bowl filled with cold water. Set to the side.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a medium saucepan heat the butter on low heat until bubbly. Add the flour and stir with a wire whisk. Heat for one minute.

Whisk in the milk, salt, chili flakes, paprika, and hot sauce. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer until it has thickened to the consistency of gravy. Stir in 1 cup of cheddar, and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Remove from the heat.

Drain the potatoes. Butter a 9 x 11 inch baking dish. Layer half of the potatoes on the bottom followed by half of the cheese sauce. Scatter the hot peppers on top. Finish with the rest of the potatoes, the rest of the cheese sauce, and top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese.

Place in the oven and bake for 70 minutes. Turn the oven to broil, and broil the top until brown and crispy, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm. May be kept in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for 3 - 4 months.


  1. OMG, I just drooled a little bit on my keyboard.

  2. Oh my gosh I had a heart attack just reading your story of the lost passport! And why wouldn't you keep old ones? They're among my most prized possessions; instant memory books, and I can't think of anything that conjures up so many instant memories! Though I don't have anyone to profusely thank, these potatoes look worth the making.

  3. Ahhh I lost my passport once, too. For about a year or two. :-/ But then I found it (thank god) when I came home from college and went through all my stuff. What a relief! ps these potatoes look delish.

  4. Holy cow that looks incredible! So much cheese, omg...I'll take a bite out of that :)

  5. These potatoes are a total dream!! Crushing hard on this recipe!

  6. Ha the scanner. I have done that before.

  7. Ohhh do I know the lose-my-passport-tear-the-house-apart-looking-for-it bit alllllll too well. I'll never learn. Hopefully you have. ;) And hopefully you're enjoying your time in the snowy mountains. <3

  8. These potatoes look heavenly! So much cheese!! Enjoy your chase-me, come-find me, and I'll drop all of the crayons on the floor and you pick them up time with your niece and nephew while I try to recreate this recipe :)

  9. This could not more perfect for a Friday! I feel you about the scanner thing; I have done it too many times to count.

  10. I love me some scallop potato! I bought a mandolin just to make this kind of dish. I wonder how sweet potato would fair in this recipe?

  11. Oh my lordy - I can only imagine the stress!! But woah, cheesy potatoes make everything better :)

  12. Sooooo glad to hear you found your passport!!! That sounds like something I would do and so nerve racking right before a trip. Also thanks for the recipe for Potato Crack - good Lord those look completely addicting ~ Cheers!!!

  13. Oh my.. That sounds so scary! I am glad he found it. Stuff like that happens to me in my nightmares when I am getting ready to go on an international trip...
    These scalloped potatoes look so yummy! And that cheese.. I want to sleep in it. :)

  14. these look sooooo goood. MMM cheese, MMM potatoes.

    I have had so many "SHIT - where is my passport" moments. not fun. So glad he found it.

    My friend lost hers when we were travelling and the only thing she said through tears for the next 24 hours was "I just don't understand". We laugh about it now.

  15. I would have come over to help look for the passport too if you had these cheesy scalloped potatoes . . oh my gawd, I die. These look so good. . so glad to hear you made the trip and enjoyed time with family!

  16. I have been trying to make scalloped potatoes for so long now and failing miserably. Yours looks perfect!

  17. Beautiful and inspiring <3<3 loove this pictures they are just perfect


  18. Fabulous. As a European what's a "cup" please? Seems ambiguous. Thanks and great food!