Yield: 4 sides or 2 entrees
- Idaho/russet potato – 1 each
- Yellow onion, thinly sliced – one half
- Whole milk – about 2 cups
- Sage, fresh – 2 sprigs
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon, more to taste
- Butter – 1 Tablespoon
- Smoked gouda cheese, grated – 1/2 cup, more as needed.
- Pepper, freshly ground – to taste
- Breadcrumbs, fresh – 1 Tablespoon
- Bacon, cooked, crumbled OR ham, cooked, small diced – 1 Tablespoon
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Peel the potato. Slice into thin rounds, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Place potatoes, sliced onions, and sage sprigs into a saucepan.
- Add the whole milk to just cover the potatoes (use more or less as needed).
- Add the salt.
- Bring the milk and potato mixture to a simmer slowly (so you do not scald the milk) and stir occasionally. Do not let the milk boil rapidly, use very low heat.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes, until potatoes are tender, but still have some crunch (otherwise they will fall apart when you assemble the scalloped potato dish). The best way to test for doneness – is to taste one.
- When they are done, drain and save the milk. Remove the sage leaves. Allow potatoe/onion mixture to cool slightly so you can handle them.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a microwave and coat the bottom of a small gratin dish with the butter.
- Arrange a layer of the potatoes and onions in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with a pinch of salt, a pinch of ground pepper, and the grated mozzarella. Arrange a second layer on top of that and follow the same steps of seasoning and cheese. Your should have enough for about 3-4 layers. Save three, nicely shaped potato pieces.
- End your last layer with cheese just about covering all the potatoes. Lay the three reserved potato rounds, overlapping, in a line, in the center of your gratin dish. Sprinkle lightly with cheese, but leave these potatoes more exposed.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the reserved milk into the sides of the dish. It should come about 1/3 to half way up the sides of the potatoes.
- Place dish in preheated oven. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese or potatoes are slightly browned on edges. The sauce will be very bubbly while cooking, that’s ok.
- Meanwhile, heat a small dry saucepan over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and toss over the burner until browned and crisp (do not burn). Toss the breadcrumbs with the crumbled bacon. (If you are using ham, brown it slightly in a small sauce pan with a drizzle of oil first).
- When you potatoes are done, remove from the oven and sprinkle the bread crumb/bacon mixture over top.
Note: This recipe was created for taste and to my chef instructor’s liking. Fat and sodium content can be high… but so is flavor! Watch your portion size.