Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 22: Scalloped Potatoes with Chipotle and Smoked Cheddar

Tomorrow's Easter. I have a six-pound beef brisket in the slow-cooker right now, with a whole bunch of pureed onion and garlic and Worcestershire and beef broth. This brisket really spoke to me in Costco today. It's going to be spicy and southern-style, not good-Jewish-Mama style. I'm kind of psyched about it.

To go with it, I'm going to make these scalloped potatoes from my bridal shower. Traditional, but with a twist. I can't wait.

Scalloped Potatoes with Chipotle and Smoked Cheddar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 large chipotle in adobo, minced (about 1½ tablespoons)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1//2 pounds (about 5 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream2 bay leaves
4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chipotle, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes, chicken broth, cream, and bay leaves and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped into and out of potato slice with some resistance), about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

3. Transfer mixture to 8-inch-square baking dish (or other 1½-quart gratin dish); sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake until cream is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

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