How the term “scalloped” came about in cooking is a mystery that has not been clearly explained. Generally, “scalloped” means to be cooked in a sauce of milk and butter and may or may not include bread crumbs, though the term may have its origin in the Old English word “collops”, meaning, in slices, or from the French word “escalope”, meaning, in a shell or covered.
- 3 lbs peeled or unpeeled potatoes, thinly sliced
- 6 ozs Gruyere cheese, grated
- 2 Cs milk
- 3 Tbsps all-purpose flour
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (¼ C)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tspn salt
- ¼ tspn black pepper
- one pinch paprika
- 2 sprigs thyme, fresh
- 6 Tbsps butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2-quart casserole dish with shortening or cooking spray.
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in flour and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Spread potatoes in a casserole dish. Pour sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle the grated Gruyere on top.
Cut remaining 1 tablespoon butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and insert into the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes and uncover. Add salt and pepper per your taste, sprinkle with paprika, then bake uncovered for another hour to hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender to your satisfaction and the cheese is of the desired consistency.
NOTE: If the potatoes are still stiff after the initial 40 minutes, cook another 30 minutes covered, or until the desired degree of tenderness is obtained. Then, bake uncovered for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to brown the top of the dish.
Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.
Serving suggestions: Goes well as a side for ham or brisket.