SCALLOPED POTATOES WITH BACON AND CHEESE
This recipe comes from Barbara Fischer, who works on the farm with her husband,
Gideon, and cooks three meals a day for her household of nine. An Amish family,
they live on a lovely old dairy farm near Millersburg, Pennsylvania. They used to keep
cows for milking, but it wasn't paying the bills, so Gideon transformed the dairy barn
into a gorgeous carpentry shop and planted horseradish, which they process and sell through local markets.
Barbara prepares traditional Amish dishes, such as this light variation on scalloped potatoes.
It gives the potato star status, its flavor heightened by the bacon and the touch of celery seed.
Use top-quality potatoes – Russets give a fluffy result, but also try Urgenta or Maine potatoes,
both of which fall somewhere between a fluffy and a waxy potato.
Barbara sometimes turns her scalloped potatoes into a main course by adding cooked beef, ham,
corn, or peas – but when I serve it as a main course, I simply serve a big salad alongside. Enjoy a
full, fruity Pinot Noir, such as one from Oregon's Adelsheim Vineyards, with this dish.
6 to 8 servings
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1 garlic clove, peeled and halved lengthwise
4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1 x 1/4 x 1/4-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
2 ounces Swiss-type cheese, such as Gruyere
2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
||Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the garlic over the sides and bottom of
an 8 1/2 x 12 1/2 -inch earthenware or enamel-baking dish.|
||Steam the potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water until they are nearly
cooked through but still slightly firm in the center, about 15 minutes. Remove from
the heat and allow to cool.|
||Sauté the bacon in a medium-size heavy skillet over medium-high heat just
until it turns translucent and is beginning to turn golden – don't let it get crisp – about 8 minutes.
Remove the bacon from the fat, reserving both.|
||Grate half the potatoes into the prepared baking dish, using the large holes of a standard grater.
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with half the bacon and 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat, and repeat
with the remaining potatoes, bacon, and another 2 teaspoons bacon fat.|
||Combine the milk and the cream, and pour over the potatoes (see Note). Sprinkle with the
celery seeds, then with the cheeses. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the center of the
oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the cheese has melted and the potatoes
are beginning to turn golden at the edges, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.|
|Note: Depending on the age and quality of the potatoes, they may not absorb all of the milk and cream.
You may want to add just the 2 cups of milk, and then check the potatoes halfway through the baking. If they have absorbed all the milk,
pour the cream over them and continue baking.
Excerpted from FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK copyright © 1991 Susan Herrmann Loomis.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.