Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dijon Scalloped Potatoes

Since I have joined this Bountiful Basket Food Co-op, I have been forced out of my comfort zone since I don't get to choose the produce I get. Any followers know by now that I used to be a very picky eater as a kid, and sweet potatoes are one thing that I would never eat. They looked strange to me. Orange potatoes? Marshmallows? Are you serious?! Needless to say, I got some sweet potatoes in my basket a few weeks ago.

First thing I thought? Great. What in the world am I going to do with these? Throw them at a neighbor's dog that is barking at 2:00 a.m? Practice throwing like a girl with them? Do some sweet potato bowling? Am I seriously going to eat these things?!

Well, after looking through my trusty Taste of Home cookbook, in the vegetable section, I found these scalloped potatoes. They are mixed with Russet potatoes, so I wouldn't be getting too crazy with the sweetness. When I tasted them, I was quite surprised. They were so good! It always helps when cream cheese and onions are thrown into the mix. My husband loved them. My kids... not so much. I made them a second time when my mom came over for dinner, and she had two ginormous helpings of them. She loved them. I think these would be a great holiday side dish. They are colorful and kinda fancy. I would suggest doing them for Thanksgiving, but shame on you if you don't do mashed potatoes. If you do both, well, that's okay. :) Like I said, this recipe was totally out of what I would normally cook, and I loved it. If you're over there reading this and gagging- you might be surprised. The sweet potato flavor is not overwhelming at all. They are just plain delicious.
Dijon Scalloped Potatoes:
and the Taste of Home "The Cookbook"

2/3 c chopped onion
2 t canola oil
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Chicken Broth
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, cubed
1 T Dijon mustard
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1-1/2 to 2 c crushed Ritz crackers
3 T Parmesan cheese
2 T butter, melted
2 t minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350.

Saute the onion in oil in a large saucepan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
Turn the heat down to medium. Pour in the chicken broth.
Add the chunks of cream cheese and dijon mustard. Stir it occasionally until the cream cheese is melted.
While that is cooking, get going on the potatoes. Now, my awesome dad got m a meat slicer for Christmas last year. Some people chuckle when I say that, but I'd like to see them slice this many potatoes with this perfection by hand! I love that darn meat/potato/pineapple slicer. :)
Once the cheese mixture is melted, add the potatoes. Stir them around to get the sauce all over the potatoes.
Grease a 13x9 or a pan of a similar size. I used a round ceramic baking dish. Put the potatoes in. Now, when I did this the first time, I halved the cream sauce. They were wonderful. When I did the full recipe, I thought they were too runny. I'm not sure if they didn't absorb right or what, but I would suggest making the full amount but maybe taking some of it out before adding the potatoes. Then, you can add more sauce if you'd like.
Put the cracker crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and cooled melted butter in a bag and mix to combine. You can use a bowl if you'd like. Get it all nice and mixed up.
Sprinkle the crumbs over the top and sprinkle with parsley. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
I will be making this again and again, I'm sure. I sliced the potatoes even thinner the second time, and that was wonderful. I think this is a dish to make where you can't go wrong. If someone was blind-folded and tried this, I bet they would just think you added a little brown sugar to the russets. Let me know what you think if you try them!

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