Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

I signed up to bring potatoes to an early Thanksgiving dinner, and wanted to try these out.

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, April 2011.

I altered the recipe slightly, noted below.

Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

1 1/2 tblsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 clove garlic
1/3 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c shredded asiago cheese
1/3 c shredded raclette or comte cheese – I used my favorite parm/asiago blend from Trader Joes
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 c heavy cream
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 fresh bay leaves – I used dried
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.  Generously brush a large skillet with butter, then rub with the garlic.  Combine the mozzarella, asiago and raclette in a bowl.

Heat the skillet over med-high heat.  Add half of the potatoes, spreading them out.  Sprinkle with 3/4 tsp salt, half of the cut-up butter, half of the shredded cheese blend and pepper to taste.  Arrange the remaining potatoes on top.  Sprinkle with 3/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the cream over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg and bay leaves; simmer 3 minutes.  Dot the potatoes with the remaining butter.

Generously brush a shallow baking dish with butter; slide the potatoes into the dish; arrange with a fork if desired. (If your skillet is ovenproof, you can skip this step and bake the potatoes in the skillet.)
*Sliding the potatoes from the skillet to the baking dish wasn’t easy. I would use a spoon or spatula to transfer next time.

Sprinkle the potatoes with the parmesan and the remaining shredded cheese blend.  Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Discard the bay leaves.

These were some serious scalloped potatoes.  Heavy cream, full fat cheese, butter – makes me drool thinking about it.  Everybody loved them and I came home with an empty pan.

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Pierogies and Kielbasa

I’ve never had a pierogi before this recipe, did you know it has polish origins?  For some reason I thought the pierogi was an Italian dish.

This recipe came from Food Network Magazine, July/August 2011.

The recipe calls for a grill (or grill pan), neither of which I have, instead I used a 6 quart chef pan.

Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa

1 lb kielbasa (pork or turkey), cut into 4 pieces
2 tblsp whole-grain mustard
2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white oinion, cut into 6 pieces
1 lb frozen potato and cheddar pierogies (do not thaw)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 c roughly chopped fresh parsley

Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the kielbasa, turning, until marked 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter.
I heated my pan to medium, and cooked the kielbasa for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl.  Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.

Toss the onion and pierogies with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pierogies thaw and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to grill, covered, until the pierogies are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet or platter.
Since I was using my chef pan, I cooked the pierogies and onion for 10 minutes, turning frequently to brown the pierogies and soften the onion.

Slice the kielbasa into pieces and add to the bowl with the mustard dressing. Roughly chop the onion and add to the bowl along with the pierogies and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss.
I added the sliced kielbasa and mustard dressing directly to the pan, tossed so everything was coated and turned the heat to low. I let it sit for 3 minutes, added the parsley and served.

Husband and I were both on the fence about this one.  It wasn’t bad, but not amazing either.  Considering I wasn’t sure I could find frozen pierogies here in the south, I probably won’t go out of my way to make this recipe again.

Apple Pie

A few weeks ago as husband and I were out wandering, I was hoping we’d come across a local coffee shop for some pie.  Unfortunately we were out in the middle of nowhere so there was no pie to be found.

The recipe is from the Food Network Magazine, November 2011 “50 Pies” supplemental.

I did not make the crust, I used the pre-made crust from Kroger.

Apple Pie

3 lbs. mixed apples
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
– I didn’t have a lemon, so I used Apple Cider Vinegar
– I also added 1 tsp of vanilla to cut the acidity of the vinegar
6 tblsp unsalted butter
1 tblsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 disks dough for Basic Crust – I used the pre-made Kroger crust
1 large egg, beaten
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Peel and core the apples; slice 1/4 inch think.  Toss with the sugar and lemon juice.  Heat 4 tblsp butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the apples and cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the flour, cinnamon and salt; cook until thickened, 1 more minute.  Let cool.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface; ease into a 9 inch pie plate.  Add the apples, mounding them slightly in the center, and dot with the remaining 2 tlbsp of butter.  Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round.  Lay it over the filling, press the edges of the crusts together, then fold the overhang under itself and crimp to seal.  Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Cut a few slits in the top crust.  Chill 1 hour.

Place a baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat to 425 for 30 minutes.  Place the pie on the hot baking sheet; lower the temp to 375.  Bake until golden, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min.  (Cover the edges with foil if they brown too quickly.)  Cool on a rack.

 While this wasn’t my mom’s apple pie, it was a very close second, this recipe will definitely be used again.  Next time I might even try my hand at a homemade crust.