Monday, April 5, 2010

Cooking is Chemistry (scalloped potato recipe)

My Papa is a scientist...a biochemist: biology + chemistry = biochemist. He likes to cook and on all the holidays, he is in the kitchen with my mom. He always says "cooking is chemistry" but my mom just rolls her eyes. She's more of a give-it-a-try cook. My Papa is exact. For Easter, mom wanted scalloped potatoes, so Papa and I got to work. I was going to try to slice the potatoes with a knife until Papa showed me how to use a mandoline slicer. Very cool tool.

Papa's Exact Scalloped Potatoes
Stuff You Need
5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, skin on
1 medium onion, sliced in rings
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 /3/4 cup milk
Cooking spray
pinches of salt and sprinkles of pepper

Equipment You Need
2 1/2 quart baking dish
Mandoline slicer
Cutting board
Measuring cup
Measuring spoon
Aluminum foil

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease baking dish (I sprayed mine with that cooking spray stuff).

2. Peel onion and slice into thin rounds, separating out the rings.

3. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Figure out the mandoline tool (ask your Papa) and slice potatoes into disks. Slices should look like skinny hockey pucks.

4. Make a layer of potatoes covering the bottom of the pan. Layer over the onion slices. Add small chunks of the butter. Sprinkle over flour. Continue the layering until you reach 3/4 of the baking dish.

5. Pour the milk over the layers making sure the potatoes are covered with liquid. Use pinches of salt and sprinkle the pepper over the top.

6. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tender.

(*We cheated this Easter since we didn't have a lot of time. We covered dish with plastic wrap and put in the microwave for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes were just soft. Then, took off the plastic, covered with foil, and baked for 30 minutes. We uncovered it for the last 10 minutes of baking. Turned out soooo good.)

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