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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Scalloped Potatoes

We live in beautiful Ontario, Canada where the winter days can be somewhat blustery, grey and cold.  On the flip side, there can be a blanket of snow on the ground, an amazing clear blue sky and bright sunshine that makes the snow sparkle like a million diamonds.  That means we need comfort meals especially on the cold, dreary days.  And, for those not familiar with Canadian winters a bit of extra fat is always welcomed in the diet during the winter months because we have to shovel snow, walk through snow, and get outdoors to get our bodies to make Vitamin D.  We have been focusing on making winter comfort foods at home.  Some dishes are just beyond comfort food.  Now if that dish happens to be a creamy casserole, well you have it made!

scalloped potatoes
I have always made scalloped potatoes the same way my Mom did.  The only difference is sometimes I don't peel the potatoes.  In fact, I seldom peel potatoes if I don't have to as both nutrients and fiber are lost when potatoes are peeled.

Method:  I use a food processor to slice the washed potatoes uniformly.  A mandolin can also be used.  I place an even layer of potatoes on the bottom of a lightly buttered oven proof baking dish.  Then I sprinkle the surface of the layer of potatoes with flour, salt, pepper,2 - 3 dabs of soft butter and chopped onions.  I continue layering in this fashion ending with a flour layer.  Sometimes I add chopped chives to the top layer as well.  I then pour scalded milk over the potato layers until the milk reaches just under the top layer.  I find it is best to place a shallow baking sheet with water on the rack under the casserole dish in the oven as scallop potatoes are famous for boiling over.  I bake at 350°F until the top is golden and sauce is bubbling.

scalloped potatoes with home canned beans and home cured pea meal bacon
Scallop potatoes baked this way are rich and creamy just perfect for pairing with home cured pea meal bacon and home canned green beans. On a cold winter's night this is the perfect easy to make comfort meal!  Aside of the potatoes, the meat and beans take only about 15 minutes making the meal a rather low prep one.

These scallop potatoes will cut nicely into squares.  They reheat well and can be frozen for later use.  They are just a bit creamier if you peel them.  The nice thing is they are just about a fool proof to make as possible.  Paired with home cured pea meal bacon, the entire meal is low fat.  Don't be tempted to omit the butter as that does add flavour but the entire casserole dish has less than 2 tbsp of butter if that.  I use 2% milk.  Whole milk (4%) or heavy cream will give extra creaminess but I find the 2% milk works nicely without adding extra fat.  Skim milk works as well but I have not tried them using soy milk.  However, soy milk can be substituted for cow's milk in many recipes so I don't see why it wouldn't work in this recipe.

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