These scalloped potatoes can be made ahead and then baked last-minute. You can use Gruyere or Parmesan. A perfect and easy side for busy holiday dinners!
Today my sister and I took our kids to a children’s museum. Just before you enter they have these big outdoor xylophones for the kids to play with. We were all playing some tunes, and after a minute I look over and see this post about waist-high that has a wooden casing around it. I thought, “ooh, percussion!” And proceeded to tap and knock and whistle at it for a good 30 seconds before I realized that it really was just a post. Um, for real Karen? Good thing I was stealthy about it, or a crowd might have started to gather. “Let’s watch the idiot investigate the pole.” It reminded me of the time when I was at Ikea and couldn’t find the elevator call button. No, not the elevator, I was standing right next to that, but really just the button. There was an arrow pointing to an empty space on the button panel, so I assumed it was like some new-fangled European sensor thing. I’m like rubbing my fingers on it, trying to tap it, and eventually asked some other customers how to work this crazy Swedish button thing. So the lady of course reaches down and pushes the button. It was like 3 inches from where my hand was. And then I had to ride the elevator with them while they surreptitiously positioned themselves between myself and their children, just in case the Crazy Lady tried to bust a move. (Here’s the elevator-button-diagram-for-idiots I drew. Have a look. It will help you feel good about yourself.) This happened to me again just last Saturday. I was driving across Texas to get from my best friend’s house to my sister’s house (If I’m going to fly all the way to Texas, I’m going to see both of them, dangit, even if it means spending 7 hours crossing one sixteenth of the state. Texas is so freaking huge.) Anyway, my phone is about to die, so I go to plug it in, but I can’t find the outlet thing in my rental car. I’m pulled over on the side of the road, literally in the middle of nowhere with zero service, so I can’t even call Eric to make him help me find the outlet in the rental car that he has never before seen. (I guarantee you he would find it.) I’m on my own and I’m kinda getting desperate; if my phone dies I have no GPS, no phone, and most importantly no way to finish the book I was listening to (The Fault in Our Stars. Have you read it?? Love. NO SPOILERS I HAVEN’T FINISHED!!) I probably pushed and pulled and massaged every square inch of that dashboard, hoping that some secret panel containing the outlet I needed would magically pop out. I even started driving again so that I could clear my head and think of where to push next. (I did find it eventually, when my phone was down to 6%. It was in the backseat. I know, what?) I feel like these potatoes pretty much scream, Hellooooooo Easter! I know, I know, it’s a little early to be posting Easter recipes. I should be working on dying everything green for St. Patrick’s Day, but I just couldn’t help myself. We made these for Christmas dinner this year and it was fabuloso. Everyone was talking about them. I didn’t even make it to Valentine’s Day before I made them again. I feel like all I really need to say about this recipe is that it is potatoes boiled in cream, then baked. Yes, straight up cream. No wussy water added, no butter, just heavy cream in all it’s creamy glory. And then some delicious spices and cheese of course. It is classic, simple, no fuss. I love this recipe because it’s soooooo easy. If you have a food processor or mandoline, then it takes 15 minutes to throw together. If you don’t, then I would still say it’s easy, just a bit more time-consuming because you have to slice the potatoes by hand. I really love the flavor the gruyère adds, but if you’re not into that, fresh Parmesan is a great substitute. It goes great with MEAT. Ham, steak, chicken, take your pick. It would be pretty amazing with this Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Ham that I posted a million years ago.
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Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- nutmeg, generous pinch, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, freshly shredded
- basil, fresh, to garnish
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Wash and scrub your potatoes. Fix the slicer blade onto your food processor. Feed the potatoes in 1 or 2 at a time until they are all sliced. If you don't have a food processor, just use a very sharp knife to slice them into 1/8 inch slices. (A mandoline works great too.)
- In a large pot add the sliced potatoes, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and minced garlic. Set the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally until the cream boils. (Stir gently so that you don't break up the potatoes.)
- Pour the mixture into a 2.5 or 3 quart baking dish. Shake it around to settle the potatoes, then sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 400 F for about 40 minutes, or until they are extremely fork-tender. You will know it is done when the cream is thickened and the top is dark brown. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so don't worry if you think it looks overly-liquidy.
- Let the potatoes stand for about 15 minutes before serving with fresh chopped basil.
Slicing the potatoes in a food processor seriously takes about 2 minutes. This is about how thin you want them. Don’t skip the nutmeg. It adds a great twist without being overwhelming. Pour it in, Shake it out, And cover with cheese. Mmm.
So simple and easy and the best method EVER!
I made with Yukon and russets and half and half and whole milk because that’s all I had in the house and it was still over the top rich and delicious. I did have to turn down the temp to 375 half way thru because my top was browning much too quickly. I took it out of the oven and the liquidy bits firmed up perfectly after resting for 10 minutes. Winner, winner, cheesy potatoes for dinner!
The recipes all look very good!
That dish looks great
Looks delicious! I’m going to make this for a group of 14, so I want to double the recipe. Would I adjust the cooking time? What size dish would you suggest for a double batch?
Hi Dawn! I would recommend using two pans if you are doubling it. A deeper pan is going to give you less crispy topping, and I would just feel so sad for your guests that didn’t get enough Gruyere goodness, haha! If you don’t have two pans you can buy one of those disposable aluminum ones. hope this helps!
I had basically made these potatoes earlier this week for your beef pot pie recipe and they were such a scene stealer I had to come over here and make them on their own. I had a ham steak kicking around with nothing to do so it hopped in too. So it was a ham and cheese and potato casserole. The last portion was feircly fought over and highly coveted! Thank you for a great recipe.
Ham and cheese is the best combo!! Genius idea! So glad everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing your adaptation!!
I’ve made this twice. The first time was exactly as the recipe read. Really good. The second time I added stuff. (I adjust things, it’s a problem!) While the potatoes were cooking I cooked some onions( sliced in food processor) added the garlic to it. Then mixed it with the potatoes. Then I put half in the dish, added some minced thyme and a layer of cheese, then the rest of potatoes and more cheese.
Onions, garlic, thyme, oh my! That sounds amazing Alan! Great suggestions, thanks for your tips!
I’m sorry to say that these ended up on the kitchen floor… the casserole dish it was in … broke… I cut my finger. It was quite the commotion. Everyone was worried about me… I was more upset about not even tasting the potatoes!!
SOOOOO SAAADDDDD!!! I’m sorry about your finger Linda and I’m sorry about the potatoes too! You will have to try them again. We just made these for Christmas dinner and I was reminded how worth it they are. Your story reminds me of that time when Kris put our Christmas breakfast star bread on a glass pan in the oven, right above the warming ham and potato casserole, and the glass shattered all over the casserole. And bumpa still ate it. haha! It’s a miracle he survived!!
Hi – want to make this for a dinner party – can I really make everything the night before and then add the cheese and bake? I don’t want the potatoes to turn color on me – my guest wont mind but I will.
Hi Kathy! As long as the potatoes are covered in liquid they will not brown. My mother-in-law makes this recipe a lot, and she has baked them beforehand and then just warmed them up in the oven when she needs to serve, so that’s another option. I hope it turns out great!
It did turn out great! I ended up preparing this dish about 5 hours before company. I made sure all the potatoes were covered with cream sauce and refrigerated. No color turn on the potatoes. I was serving this with a tenderloin and everyone raved about it. So easy and perfect side dish I’ll be making this again, Thank you.
I’m so glad the make-ahead trick worked for you Kathy! Woohoo. I’ll have to try this with pork tenderloin next time, that sounds delicious. Thanks for the feedback!
I made a recipe almost exactly like this for Easter. It never thickened up. I forgot to heat the heavy cream first, would that be the reason. I was wondering if the cream should of had flour added for thickening. Was a total waste of expensive ingredients, any advice is appreciated.
Barb, that’s really strange! I’m sorry you wasted all those ingredients, that’s the worst. I have no idea why it didn’t work. You could try adding flour to the cream, but I probably wouldn’t add too much. Let me know if you try my recipe and it doesn’t work. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
I’m making this Sunday for our Easter. I’ve made a variation of this a million times as Daupinois Potatoes and have a bundle of herbs/aromatics (rosemary and thyme and onion chunks) that I put together in the milk and remove once the milk and potatoes are done. Really adds a nice herbal aroma to the dish. Another tip is to alternate layers of the cheese and potatoes. Can be kept in the fridge overnight if needed and brought to room temp with a topping of cheese before baking. Cheers!
OOH! I like that herb bundle idea Aletta! Kind of like an herb bag you use to make wassail, right? Great idea. Thanks for all the tips, I’m going to try that next time. And thanks so much for stopping to comment!
My family loves gruyere cheese. We put it on a lot of things but these potatoes need to make it on to my try list. They look great!
Thanks Peter! Isn’t gruyere the best? I can’t believe I only discovered it a few years ago. I blame my upbringing. What can I say, my parents were pretty much neglectful. What does shelter and education mean when there’s no gruyere?
You crazy genius. These potatoes look like MAGIC! Also, if you happened to be at the children’s museum in Houston with your sister, you were totally like 1 mile from my apartment!! That is probably a far out chance, but it IS in Texas…anyhoo you are just hilarious. Loved that IKEA story…I am also definitely finding-things-challenged sometimes so I can totally relate!
Erika, we were actually at a museum in Dallas, but HEY we were both in TEXAS, so that’s like practically neighbor-ness!! :) I don’t even think it was technically a children’s museum. Some science museum. And now you are finding out that sometimes I don’t check up on random details on the stories I tell…we were at a museum with children, therefor it’s a children’s museum. haha!
These are deep south recipes. Gulf coast food cost less and feeds big families.