Sunday, December 6, 2015

Grandma's "OLD SCHOOL" Scalloped Potato Casserole - 52 Church PotLuck "Old School" Recipes

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I love the "Old School", Grandma recipes.  And why not?  They have met the test of time with hundreds of thousands versions of this recipe served at hundreds of thousands of church basements!

There is a creamy gravy on the insides (if served right, the gravy is still bubbling right out of the oven).  with a topping of crusty slightly crunchy top.  A perfect mix of textures for your pallet.

The taste will take you back to Grandma's house (or your church basement).  A great dish to take ot any family gathering, church social or big friendly neighborhood potluck.  This is one of those recipes you will make (and be asked for) again and again.

Deceptively easy considering the BIG payoff in taste and popularity.

This is very easy to make,

It does help A LOT to have a mandolin to evenly slice your potatoes.

I like this version that fits over a bowl as you slice.  there are interchangeable pieces that also grates and even Julian Slices (fantastic for quick salads).

OK, enough selling, here's the recipe...

 OK... Here's what I did...

Scalloped Potato Casserole

  • 3 Pounds Potatoes, About 8-10 Medium size Russet Potatoes for 8 Cups, Medium to Thick Slice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Smashed and Minced
  • 2 Medium large Onions, Sliced, rings separated
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • Couple of pinches of Sea Salt
  • Couple of pinches of Black Pepper (to Taste, I like a lot of pepper)
  • 1 TBS Cajun Spice Mix
  • 1 Stick (8 TBS, Divided) Butter
  • 1 (12 Ounce) can Evaporated Milk
  • Sprinkle of Additional Herb spices (Herbes de Provence, Dill, Rosemary, Basil, etc) for appearance
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, Prepare a large 9X13 Baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Slice the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick (use a Mandolin for uniform size). Add cold water to a large bowl to hold the potatoes. Add a teaspoon of sea salt. Just before adding the potatoes to the baking dish, drain , transfer to a clean towel and pat dry.
  3. In a large heavy bottomed saute pan, heat he olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent and soft (about 5 minutes). Add the Garlic and saute for an additional minute.
  4. Heat the evaporated milk and Butter until the butter has melted and the milk has heated HOT.
  5. Now, assemble the casserole, layer 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom of the dish, add 1/2 of the onion/Garlic mix. Season with half of the salt, pepper and Cajun spice mix.... Repeat with the remaining halves.
  6. Pour the hot milk and butter over the potatoes/Onions. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.covered tightly with aluminum foil. after 45 minutes, remove cover and add a sprinkle of dry Herbs of your choice for a better appearance and continue to bake for 15 minutes until the top has started to crust. I also like to broil for a couple of minutes just to get the top nice and crusty (optional). If you do this, keep a close eye to prevent burning.
  7. Serve HOT and ENJOY


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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