Playing Favorites

Best-Ever Scalloped Potatoes

By Charlotte on November 15, 2012 6:20 AM

Bob and I enjoyed a great getaway at San Antonio's JW Marriott Resort & Spa last spring. This drop-dead gorgeous Texas Hill Country haven includes a six-acre water experience, two challenging golf courses (voted among the Top 75 Golf Resorts in the U.S. by Golf Digest), a world-class spa and seven dining destinations.

While there, we had some phenomenal food. We feasted on fresh-baked Buttermilk Biscuits and homemade Strawberry Jam at Cibolo Moon, tried their wonderful infused Tequilas and tasted the best scalloped potatoes, EVER, at the 18 Oaks Steakhouse. Picture luscious layers of sliced potatoes swimming in a goat-cheese-infused sauce that simply melt in your mouth. They were so good I practically ignored everything else on my plate!


Finished Dish 600.jpg

Now a favorite around our house, Chef Jeffery Surprise's tempting take on this comforting classic makes a standout side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any day. I can't wait to treat our son Cole (fingers crossed he makes it home for the holidays), my mom and the rest of the family to this creamy concoction. They'll never guess how easy it is to make!


You just need 90 minutes (start to finish) and these seven, simple ingredients: russet potatoes, heavy cream, butter, goat cheese, kosher salt, black pepper and fresh thyme. Tip: Goat cheese also makes a fabulous white pizza.


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Begin by heating the heavy cream and thyme in a saucepan, whisking in the goat cheese until melted and letting the mixture cool. I like making this sauce a few hours ahead and refrigerating it until time to complete the dish.


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Then peel and slice two pounds (about four large) russet potatoes. Peeling the potatoes is the hardest part of making this treat. Afterwards, just put them in a mixing bowl and toss with the cream sauce, and some salt and pepper.


Scalloped Potato Bowl 600.jpg

Then generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9x12-inch (9x13-inch also works fine) dish. Splurge and use real butter instead of a cooking spray so you get a thin, golden bottom crust. The first time I tried this recipe, I did a double take when I saw the amount of butter recommended ... 1/4 pound seemed too much for greasing the pan. So I checked with Chef Jeffery. He said 1/4 pound was correct but I might not need all of it. Since then, I've found about 1/4 to 1/3 stick is plenty.**


Pour the potato medley into the pan, taking care to spread it evenly, cover the dish with foil and bake about 35 minutes. Ten minutes before it's done, take off the foil to encourage browning.


Once fork tender, remove this Boomer Brief favorite from the oven and let it rest briefly as you would lasagna so the sauce sets. Then prepare for compliments as you serve up a super side that's sure to be one of the highlights of your holiday table.



Goat-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes


Serves 4 - 6


Scalloped Potatoes 250.jpg2 pounds Russet potatoes

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 pound (1 stick) Butter (see ** above)

1/2 pound (8 ounces) goat cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

Fresh thyme from 6 sprigs, chopped 


Preheat oven to 350˚.


Combine heavy cream and thyme in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.


Whisk in the goat cheese. Remove from heat and let cool.


Butter the bottom of a 9x12-inch baking pan and set aside. Slice potatoes thinly and put in a large mixing bowl. Add cream mixture to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Check seasoning and adjust.


Add to baking dish in an even layer and bake covered for 25-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove cover and brown during last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove and cool.


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Playing Favorites is a new column where Bob and I pull back the curtain on our Boomer lives to show you what we're into these days. It may be a movie we've discovered. A new restaurant. Great food. Interesting drink. A song we can't get out of our heads...it could be anything. It's all about discovery and the stuff that makes us happy. So, step inside our lives and let us show you around. Don't mind the dust, the housekeeper comes on Thursday.





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Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


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Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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