I need directions quick as this is for Christmas. I want to make scalloped potatoes for 11 people. They never seem to turn out good for me. What is the secret? Either the potatoes are hard or the milk curdles. They are never ready in the time frame the recipes states. Are 5 pounds of potatoes enough for 11 people? Can I make them the day before? If yes, do I bake them the day before as well? Thanks so much. Merry Christmas.
By Arlinn from NY
You didn't say how you make them so it's hard to know what you are doing wrong. If the potatoes are hard they need more cooking time. I've never had a problem with milk curdling, but I always make a cream sauce (flour cooked with oil/butter, then whisk in milk) rather than pouring on plain milk.
Five pounds should be plenty for 11 people. You can bake it the day before, but it will still take a long time to reheat as it's a large amount. (12/24/2010)
Here's how I make my scallop potatoes and have never had any problems with it. If your potatoes are sliced thick; add a bit more flour, butter, and cheese in the layers and more baking time. The amount of milk used should not go past the 1/4 mark in the casserole dish's height. Just remember that butter and cheese will melt and add to the height of liquid. If too much flour is used the liquid will be too thick, the potatoes will be less flavorful as it weakens the cheese/butter/onion taste considerably. If too little flour is used there will be a runny sauce that won't stick to the potatoes and flavor is weakened. Slicing potatoes not too thick lessens the baking time and there's more flavor to the recipe I think.
In a large casserole dish, place a thin layer of sliced potatoes covering the bottom. Sprinkle diced onions thinly over the potatoes (optional). Sprinkle flour evenly over the potatoes. Add several pats of butter over the flour. Add even amounts of cheese over this. Finally, pour a little milk over it.
Repeat to continue layers and the last topping with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil or glass lid and bake. (12/25/2010)
Make a white sauce. I don't make them any other way, and them you don't have any lumps or curdled milk! (12/26/2010)
If you add cheese they are not scalloped. They are au gratin. Without cheese they are scalloped. Put sliced potatoes in a dish of melted butter. Sprinkle flour over the top, add salt and pepper, and cover with milk. Cook until the milk has reduced and the potatoes are soft, but crispy on top. (12/29/2010)
Not in time for Christmas, but these are the easiest and best scalloped potatoes. Our daughter brought them for Christmas Day (made the day before). Melt butter in casserole oblong dish, mix in garlic powder and brush some on sides of pan. Add thinly sliced potatoes and cover with heavy whipping cream. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes at 350*F. Stir in shredded Swiss cheese. Bake about 30 minutes more. Test with fork. Cover with foil loosely if they start to get too brown. If making a large amount, it is better to use two pans. You can also sprinkle onion powder on raw potatoes. Very good. (12/29/2010)
My husband's elderly aunt taught me. I was having the same problem because I made them the same way as my mom and hers curdled too. Aunt Lorraine took 1 can of cream of chicken soup and added 2-3 cans low fat milk. Stir. Pour over the pan (cooking sprayed) with potatoes.
If you do any salt, pepper, etc. make sure you put this in the liquid before pouring over the raw potatoes. Figure at least 2 medium potatoes for escalloped potatoes when fixing for guests. Medium is smaller than your fist size. Cooking will decrease potato size.
When my potatoes are getting to the non baking stage, but still good, we peel them all and make a big roaster pan. They can be frozen to be used later. My grandchildren just love them. I put some powdered hickory smoke into the soup mixture when making them without a meat source. (12/29/2010)
I think they would taste better made the day before and reheated covered in the oven. (01/02/2011)
I also used to wonder what I was doing wrong with scalloped potatoes and finally realized it wasn't my recipe; it was the pan. I was using a deep corningware casserole and by the time the center was cooked the sauce was curdling and the outer edges were overdone. Taking my cue from an aunt of my husband's, I now bake them in a 9x13 glass cake pan, in a much thinner layer than I used to. If I need a lot, I use my big lasagna pan, but still keep it not too deep. I bake the pan low and slow, about 300 to 325 degrees, for one and a half to two hours. Works for me.
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