Make these wonderful potatoes for Easter or Passover!
Sam Sifton of The New York Times sends out emails with alarming frequency. And of course, I read every one. This week is particularly notable in that Passover starts tomorrow night, April 15th which is also Good Friday. So after the 40 days of Lent, Easter Sunday will be a Feast Day for many of us. Sifton covers everything from soup to nuts. But I was particularly pleased that he included this great recipe for a great favorite in our house. The Scalloped Potato. Now, this dish doesn’t often make an appearance because you cook Scalloped Potatoes for a crowd. It’s not like a baked potato that practices portion control all by itself. Instead, this casserole of thinly sliced potatoes requires a little more time and effort. And in the case of this recipe, we loved it so much the first time, that we are delighted to re-introduce it to you, just in time for the holidays.
What made us love this recipe before we ever tasted it? This review:
“Little tiny town…no cippolinis, used a regular sweet yellow onion. No leeks, used green onions. No fresh tarragon, used fresh thyme and chives. Added good parmesan, couple of handfuls, to the top. OH my gosh…if it was this good after I boogered the recipe up, what must it be like using the original and authentic? Thank you, sir, for a wonderful recipe…we will have it once a year, at Christmas, I think.” Jonna. She was apparently not alone in her review. The recipe had, at last count, 237 Five Star ratings. It also falls into the category of make-ahead recipes for either Holiday. In fact, it benefits from a few days in the fridge where it firms up and when re-heated it will slice into perfect wedges rather than slithering all over the plate.
The recipe was accompanied by this story in the Times.
“This recipe comes from Cheryl Rogowski, whose family has been farming the rich black earth on their patch of Orange County, N.Y., for more than 50 years. They started growing Keuka Golds because the two best-known potatoes in the country — russets and Yukon Golds — did not grow well there. Keukas have yellow flesh, rich flavor, and pale skin like Yukons, but they can handle the region’s drastic temperature swings, short growing season, divergent soils, and uneven rainfall. For this dish, Yukons work equally well.” No Yukons? Go with Russets!
Since Yukons grow right down the road from us in Bridgehampton…
That’s what we used and the results were every bit as satisfying as Jonna’s were. And we followed the recipe to a Tee. What’s involved here is infusing heavy cream with three different onion flavors—leeks, garlic, and Cipollini onions all minced in the Cuisinart. Into the cream went potatoes sliced with a mandoline 1/8 inch thick. They softened and sapped up the cream. This is the point in the recipe when you can layer the potatoes in a pie plate, seal it very tight and refrigerate until about 1 hour and 15 minutes before you serve them. With any luck, you’ll achieve a ‘potato pie’ that you can cut into wedges and serve. Here is the recipe.
Upstate Scalloped Potatoes from Cheryl Rogowski of Orange County, New York
This recipe makes a superb potato pie which can be cut into wedges for serving. Tarragon and Cipollini onions give it a unique flavor...but as the story says, feel free to substitute chives and regular onions.
- 3 tablespoons butter, more for greasing pie plate
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, minced
- 4 small cipollini onions, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced French tarragon leaves plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped, for garnish
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 pounds (about 6 medium) Keuka Gold potatoes (unpeeled), sliced 1/8-inch thick
- Ground white pepper
- Step 1 Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch deep-dish glass pie plate.
- Step 2 In a wide saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of butter, garlic, leek, and onions. Place over medium-low heat and sauté until mixture is lightly golden about 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons tarragon, the cream, and potatoes, and mix well. Simmer gently until potatoes are barely tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
- Step 3 Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a pie plate, spreading them evenly and pressing lightly to compact them. Drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream from the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the top is light golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped tarragon, and serve.