I am lucky to have come from a family full of talented cooks and passionate food lovers. I spent many afternoons perched on a kitchen stool, watching my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles carefully put together simple meals and extravagant suppers. I learned the care and love of cooking from them, and I credit my love for toiling in the kitchen to their example.
That said, learning the techniques was something different entirely. For that, I was on my own, and I was thankful for my grandmother’s recipe cards, my subscription to Southern Living, and the library of cookbooks I began to collect as soon as I hung bookshelves in my first tiny apartment kitchen. Southern Living taught me how to make so many things, from a fluffy coconut cake to scalloped potatoes; I’ve poured over each issue that landed in my mailbox, picking up tips, techniques, and process. I firmly believe that once you learn the how of a recipe you open the doors to experimentation, changing and tweaking to suit your tastes.
I’ve made scalloped potatoes time and time again, for holidays, dinner parties, and date nights at home. Last Thanksgiving, pregnant and craving potatoes in a bone deep way, I made three different versions of scalloped potatoes in addition to mashed potatoes. That particular meal ended with one family member getting the potato sweats and one very happy pregnant lady.
While the bones of my scalloped potato recipes is always the same— thinly sliced potatoes, heavy cream, generous amounts of garlic and cheese— each time I make the dish it turns out a little bit different. Sometimes I’ll add other vegetables, different cheeses, spices, or even add a breadcrumb top to make the leap to au gratin. Recently I mixed in a cup of gorgonzola, and the result was heavenly. Tangy, creamy, and buttery, the gorgonzola gave the dish a punch of flavor that made it the perfect accompaniment to a pesto-topped sirloin and arugula salad. It’s a variation I’m sure I’ll find myself returning to again and again, a delicious twist on a family classic.
Gorgonzola Scalloped Potatoes
8-10 medium sized red potatoes
1 cup gorgonzola cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
2 cups heavy cream
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
Heat oven to 350F.
Wash potatoes and thinly slice into 1/8″ slices, skin on. Arrange a layer of potato slices in a medium size casserole dish or braiser. Top with 1/2 gorgonzola and 1/3 mozzarella. Add a second layer of potatoes and top with remaining gorgonzola and 1/3 mozzarella. Add a third, and final, layer of potatoes and top with mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, salt, and red pepper flakes.
In a medium sauce pan combine heavy cream with minced garlic. Scald by bringing the cream just to the edge of a boil and then removing from heat. Add cream to the potatoes, pouring in along the edges of the dish so as not to disturb the layers.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until cheese is melted, brown, and bubbling. Allow to set and cool for 15 minutes before serving.