Last weekend I visited my best girlfriends from high school for a wine and cheese party. Though the wine is usually the shining star of the party, there are some requirements for the food:
1. It must contain cheese
2. It must be kick ass
And being that I had to travel for the party, my own personal requirement was that it had to be easy. Since I didn’t get to make scalloped potatoes for Thanksgiving (did I not post about my first Thanksgiving dinner? That will change…), I still had them on my mind.
Peel a few regular old potatoes and slice them up nice and thin with the help of a mandoline, if you have one. While this is going on, half and half should be steeping on the stove top with a smashed garlic clove, a few peppercorns and a bay leaf (strain and season well with salt before adding to the potatoes). Layer the potatoes in a pan and pour in the half and half. Top it all off with grated Gruyere cheese and cover the pan with foil. Bake in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and finish cooking until the liquid is absorbed and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes more.
The scalloped potatoes were a hit, and so was the rest of the spread: grilled vegetables with truffle oil, penne alla vodka, bean dip, and crostini with goat cheese and marinated cherries. The pictures are terrible, the food was terrific, and now it’s just a memory–albeit, a fuzzy one.